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  • whole grains?

    The last time I went through this, almost seven years ago, oatmealposed problems, so I've been staying away from whole grains. Although I eat salads, veggies, honeydew, blueberries, pears and dried apricots, I'm suffering from constipation. I'm taking Metamucil, ugh, and it helps a little, but I'd rather improve my diet. Any suggestions? I worry about cereals because of all the added vitamins. Any advice is most welcome. Also, has anyone tried senna for this problem? My sister uses it but she doesn't have a bladder issue. Thanks.

  • #2
    Water, Water and more Water.

    I know this sounds elementary, but you may want to evaluate the amount of water you are drinking and make sure you are getting plenty of good quality water every day. I know with IC its a juggling act, to much water and your running to the restroom every 5 min toilet , and to little and your buckled over in pain banghead , but its important to try and find that balance and drink as much water as you comfortably can.



    • #3
      I agree with the water intake!!

      I would be VERY careful with Senna. Although it is a great laxative, there are many different classes of laxative, and senna is what is called a "stimulant" laxative. Although it is natural, it stimulates the bowel to increase peristalsis, which are the muscular movements that move the food down the bowel (and eventually out of it!) However, what happens if you use too much stimulant laxative is that your bowel stops doing its own peristalsis, which leads to an increase in constipation and can lead to even more serious bowel problems like megacolon.

      I too tried metamucil. Yick! It is better to use osomotic laxatives, such as colace, which draw more water into the bowel to soften stool, OR, bulk laxatives, which are just fiber. For awhile my physical therapist had me doing an applesauce with whole bran cereal regimen, which worked. It wasnt the tastiest, but if I got all natural applesauce and bran cereal, it worked well. The other thing that I have added to my diet is Bulgar Wheat. You can get it at a health food store and you cook it like you would rice, although it takes half as long, and its very bland in flavor, so you can add any flavoring you want. I usually add a tiny bit of olive oil, some garlic, parsley, and a pinch of parmesean. Its delicious!! And, high in fiber and low in calories. (A whole cup, plain, is only two weight watchers points!!)

      I hope this helps a bit. My constipation got so horrible, and I was also having other symptoms (hair loss and nerve pain) so my doctor did some thyroid tests and it turns out THAT was part of my problem, so with the thyroid medicine, and a diet full of veggies, I do OK. I also only eat whole grains, NO white flour, that constipates me the worst.....I even found whole wheat saltines at my health food store!! They are yummy too. So, my constipation has pretty much resolved. Now, If I get constipated, as I still do once in awhile, I take a Phillips Milk Of Magnesia chew. (This is also an osmotic laxative.) They work great, and no cramping or complications like I would get from the senna!!

      Hope this helps a bit,
      Good luck. I know that "filled up" bloated feeling....its the worst!!
      @[email protected]
      "Well the Secret O'Life is enjoying the passage of time." ~James Taylor


      • #4
        I have a terrible time with constipation when I'm taking pain meds. Just recently I went 4 days without any movement. My dr. gave me miralax, a prescription laxative because colace wasn't working for me any more. I have used colace very successfully in the past but this time it was just not enough maybe because I'm on heavier narcotics. Anyway the miralax worked but when I stopped taking it the constipation came back. I eat only whole grain bread and try to eat blueberries and honeydew mellon and occasionaly pears but they're not enough. I've gone back to the miralax until I go off of the narcotics I guess its my only option. I tried All Bran cereal and while it was gross I think it helped some but still wasn't enough. Does anyone know if miralax is a stimulant? I asked the dr. and I believe she said it's just a laxative whatever that means. I'll ask about it again when I go on mon.


        • #5
          Hi Rachel,

          Miralax is also an Osmotic laxative, which brings water to the stool and does not have effect on the colon. Not a problem!! But you shouldnt take it for more than two weeks at a time, according to the company's prescribing information. As always, be sure to discuss with your doctor.

          And be sure to eat some greens! A bowl of salad helps me go wink

          Hope this helps
          Hugs, the other Rachel
          @[email protected]
          "Well the Secret O'Life is enjoying the passage of time." ~James Taylor


          • #6
            Thanks. This is helpful. Where do I find colace? Is it a health food store kind of thing. I do drink lots of water and fortunately, frequency is not a problem for me most of the time. I wonder what bran cereals you eat? So many of the ones I look at have added vitamin C which is ascorbic acid, a real no-no for me, as is anything apple. Maybe I'll be daring and try whole wheat bread this weekend. I don't try foods during the work week, so that if I have a flare, I don't work in pain. Bulghur is something I know and love, but only think of it as tabouli, with tomato and lemon. I'll try it another way.


            • #7
              Colace can be purchased at any supermarket, drug store, Walmart, Costco, etc. --- just be sure to read the label so you don't get the Colace with laxative.

              Stay safe

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              I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

              Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool


              • #8
                I find WHOLE grain foods a blessing for me. I buy amaranth seeds and cook them to add to hot or cold foods. I just bought a package of ground flax which I also add to foods. I buy raw wheat germ to replace some of the flour with when baking and toasted wheat germ to put on or in lots of foods. I use whole grain bread but read the labels very carefully. The best bread, and without additives comes from my local Country Grains store. I want to try millet and quinoa now. All of these foods should be IC safe. I like to go to my local health food store and browse through their grain and lentil products. All are very nutritious products for us. I also enjoy whole wheat flour. I make whole wheat biscuits with the ww flour, raw wheat germ, a scoop of milk and egg protein powder and any other thing I think of. Really good with honey. Almost a meal in themselves.


                • #9

                  I've found a natural cereal and it's called Barbara's. She has different kinds. I usually get the one that is like shredded wheat. Sometimes I can find it at Drug Emporium and sometimes at Krogers. Also Kashi makes a cereal that is all natural and it's Autumn Wheat. It's good also. That is the only 2 that I've been able to eat because of no preservatives. Hope this helps


                  • #10
                    I started flaxseeds too and that works pretty good, but start adding it gradually. I buy the whole seeds and grind a little at a time. Keep both in refrigerator. Add one to three teaspoons to applesauce (if you can tolerate applesauce). Or you can just take the seeds with water. Don't take too much too soon. It can cause intestinal gas. There are also some cereals that have added flax and they are good too. Flaxseed takes some getting used to, but now that I've been taking it for about a month, I like them. Drink a lot of water when taking flaxseeds.


                    • #11
                      I also eat Barbara's Shredded Wheat (I make it more interesting by adding fresh blueberries & almonds OR raisins & brown sugar) & Autumn Wheat. I get them both at Trader Joe's.

                      Also at Trader Joe's- I can eat their "Truly Handmade" wheat tortillas & their cinnamon bread.

                      I just got a can of their chicken broth & will try that tonight. It's high in salt so will dilute with water, but am happy to find a broth with no onion powder or MSG - big triggers for me!!

                      Good luck

                      I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

                      New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
                      Source - Pinterest

                      Current treatments:
                      -IC diet
                      -Elavil 50mg at night
                      -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
                      -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills at night 3-4x per week, more often if needed
                      -Pyridium if needed,
                      -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
                      -Antibiotic when doing an instillation to prevent UTI
                      -Colace & SmartFiber to treat chronic constipation from meds, Fleet enema as needed
                      -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
                      -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
                      -Managing stress= VERY important!
                      -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!