Dont Give Up

I had this problem as well. My hope is that by sharing my story, you won't have to look much farther for the answers you are looking for. If you don't care to read the story, scroll down I'll leave some tips at the bottom.

This problem began with me two years ago. Basically I had to use the bathroom one day and none were available so I waited and eventually lost the urge to go. After a week I went out and bought some laxatives and they didn't quite seem to do the trick so after about two months of me thinking the problem would sort itself out, I decided it would be a good idea to go see my doctor. He prescribed me to some medication called Levbid (which I had some pretty unpleasant reactions to) and told me to drink Metamucil with each of my meals. He also had me to see a gastroenterologist to get a colonoscopy.

The colonoscopy was basically to make sure there wasn't blockage or anything that was causing the irregularity. After it was done the doctor told me that everything looked fine and instructed me to take Miralax and Metamucil at the same time every day for a month. I did as told and felt great the whole month. Everything seemed to be going fine until that month was up and I stopped taking them. Within days I noticed something wasn't right and called the gastroenterologist back to schedule a follow up appointment.

When I tried to speak with him about the issue I was having after I stopped taking the Miralax and Metamucil, he basically told me that if they were working, to continue taking them. He told me "You're an adult and you just have to deal with the fact that you will be taking these for the rest of your life." He said all he could do is give me a referral to see someone at the University of Chicago.

Needless to say, I left feeling pretty horrible. I went back to work and all I could think about was how this was going to effect the goals I had set for myself in life. I spent the next couple months feeling very depressed and eventually decided to use that referral to go see the specialist at the University of Chicago.

My first visit was somewhat of a screening where they just asked questions and whatnot. Once they were finished asking questions they told me that what I was dealing with was most likely a dependance to the laxatives I was taking. They also told me the one thing I needed to hear to change my attitude about the whole thing: they told me that they were going to help me get off the laxatives.

First they wanted to make sure that it wasn't actually a problem with the muscles in my colon so they did what is called a Proctogram. Basically they inject a paste into you and you have to push it out while they take xrays (yes, it was horribly embarrassing but I havent seen the dude since so whatever).

When the results were in they called me and said that the muscles were working fine and it was indeed laxative dependency. They had worked out a plan for me to pull off of them slowly while consuming lots of water every day. The plan was to keep taking the Miralax everyday and when I felt comfortable, start taking them every other day. Taking that first step is the hardest part, not knowing if it is going to work and not taking the Miralax for a whole day.

So basically over the next year or so (probably didn't need to take that long) I slowly cut back adding a day in between every dose when I felt comfortable. What I came to notice after awhile was that every time I added another day in between, the bowel movements seem to be more and more normal the longer I wasn't taking the laxatives. In other words, the laxatives seemed to be causing the irregularity.

I got to the point where I was taking the dose once a week and by that point I was going just fine until I took the laxatives. The next couple days after my dose, I would barely go at all. That was the point where I decided it was time for me to try something new, and I just went cold turkey with it.

So that brings me to today, its been about three weeks with no laxatives and quite honestly, I haven't felt this good in years. Everything seems to be going just fine at this point and I know it may not seem like a long time, but for someone that was once taking them everyday it feels like an eternity. Hopefully if you are reading this and have this issue I have been of some help to you, I know I could have used it. Sorry for the horrible grammer.

Here's some tips:

1. If you are taking powerful laxatives, stop taking them and take Miralax. It's a very gentle laxative and is much easier to pull off of. Take it every day at the same time and do as I did: when you feel comfortable take them every other day, then every two days, then every three days and so on.

2. Drink a lot of water. I was told by my doctor that water is like lubricant for food passing through you.

3. Coffee: I was told that drinking coffee regularly can help with having regular bowel movements.

4. Diet: Eat smaller portions more times a day, this helps your stomach by giving it less to digest at once, this will also make you feel less bloated and overall better. Eat a lot of vegetables (corn, brussle sprouts etc.). Potatoes also help.

5. Marijuana: Now I'm not telling anyone to go out and start doing anything illegal. I actually don't smoke anymore. As dumb as this may sound, there were days where I thought I wasn't going to have a bowel movement and then I would come home from work and smoke some weed and be running to the toilet.

6. Exercise: Lift some weights, run, ride a bike. Sweat.

7. Do not give up: this problem can be extremely taxing on your mind. Hopefully if you are reading this I have given you some kind of hope and hope can go a long way. Just know that the human body is capable of some amazing things and with some hard work and determination, you can fix this.
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3 Responses May 8, 2012

did you go off the metamucil completely and just ween off the miralax?

Had to make a new username because I forgot my old password. Its been 10 months since I wrote this and my life has improved dramatically. Almost one year with no laxatives. I've dropped 50 pounds and I am in the best shape of my life. Thought I would come on here to share this since my story was written only 3 weeks after I stopped using lol.

Wow your story is amazing! I'm gonna start following some of the things you mentioned, although in my case I need the laxatives, I've never heard of some of the tips you I hope they work. thanks :)