View Full Version : Ugh, a pooing question..

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Feb 11th, 2009, 02:24 PM

I tried finding some information on this forum, as well as on google and I have had no luck. I am just about at my wits end with this.

I eat tons of fiber, seriously tons. There are days [I track my intake on Nutritiondata.com] where I go over the daily recommended value. I eat lots of raw or very lightly cooked vegetables, fresh fruit, and whole grains. I'm not even eating bread right now, and pasta is totally rare. I drink at least a liter of water a day and I haven't had coffee in months.

The problem is, I have stopped pooing altogether. I used to be regular.. super regular, like clockwork. Once in the morning, once after lunch.. maybe one before bed. Now I go days without going at all- and when I do, it's totally unsatisfying and small. It's ridiculous. I can see my lower stomach getting slightly bigger each day I go without pooing. I am so frustrated and I have no idea what to do. I can't go to a doctor right now because I'm living in Japan [I am from America..]. I am hoping someone can give me some advice. I just don't know what to do, and it's driving me insane.

I really appreciate your help with this issue as it took a lot of guts for me to post this question.. and thanks in advance. I've just exhausted myself worrying about this. :sad:

Feb 11th, 2009, 02:40 PM
I feel it would be a good idea to see a doctor even if you are in Japan, TBH.

I think sensitivities to particular foods can cause constipation so you could try an elimination diet. A lot of fibre with not enough water can also cause problems and a litre of water doesn't sound all that much, though obviously you get some from food too. Coffee sometimes helps, and so do wholegrains...but a doc checkup would be sensible.

Feb 11th, 2009, 03:07 PM
I'm sorry you're having this problem; I'm super-regular and when I get constipated it drives me nuts!!!

Try to analyse when the problem started and what changes you made in your diet and lifestyle around then. It sounds like maybe you should cut back on your fibre a little, and double your water intake; one litre a day isn't all that much. And exercise!!! Exercise is really really important.

There are also certain foods that stimulate bowel movements - try prunes in warm water. Also dates and tamarind, I think. I find fruit helps keep me regular, especially if I eat a lot! Generally hot drinks are good, as is coffee in moderation. Also bear in mind that in reaction to stress the digestive system may slow, so try not to worry.

There are also some gentle laxatives on the market; absolutely not recommended except as a last resort, but perhaps you could get the gentlest type and that would get things moving.

I would see a doctor though, just to be safe. Good luck.

Quantum Mechanic
Feb 11th, 2009, 03:46 PM
I had a similar problem ongoing for a few weeks - maybe stress or something, combined with physical things (back injury). The worst part is, that while I'm not thrown off too much in timing, when I go it plugs up the toilet every other time it seems. Which is really annoying and embarrassing. Particularly as it's a shared bathroom in a dormitory, and you can hear the toilet flushing (repeatedly) from the rooms. We don't have a proper plunger. I don't drink all that much water in a day, but then again that is no different from usual and I never had this problem apart from when I first moved here and didn't go for a week. (!)

And cautious about caffeine - can stimulate things, but also dehydrates.

Feb 11th, 2009, 09:04 PM
A quick solution is to try one of those detox teas that have senna in it (you have it before you go to bed at night). That stuff really makes you go- though it's not a solution and you're not supposed to drink it long term.

Because you're eating lots of raw food, you may want to look into proper food combining. Some raw veg is quite hard to digest. Like fiamma said, it may be worth having more fruit- and perhaps easing up on the raw veg.

If you think you have a food intolerence, try starting a detox diet where you abstain from known allergens, and gradually introduce foods. Keep a food diary- What grains are you still eating etc? Try a few days without veg, a few days without fruit and so on.

If you feel your health suffering/feel over-stressed about this definitely see a doctor- Rooting out food allergies/intolerences takes weeks, even months- and it might be you don't even have an intolerance, you might just need a probiotic or something.

Feb 11th, 2009, 09:30 PM
google megacolon - see a doc

Feb 11th, 2009, 10:15 PM
Thanks everyone for the help. :(

Feb 11th, 2009, 10:16 PM
i think you need to triple your water intake!

Feb 11th, 2009, 10:21 PM
I've heard that warm water w/ lemon is supposed to help.

Feb 11th, 2009, 10:59 PM
i think you need to triple your water intake!
Good call, cobweb.

Feb 11th, 2009, 11:33 PM
Drinking coffee really helps me go. And make sure you're drinking a lot of water, thats really important like everyone has said.

and i hope you're not embarressed, everyone poops. Well everyone SHOULD poop. :) its natural :D

Feb 12th, 2009, 12:01 AM
a lot of water, tea with fennel&anisseed helps a lot (e.g. detox tea from pukha), too! add ginger to anything (either fresh, pickled or ground one would work, too)

Feb 12th, 2009, 12:15 AM
Thanks again everyone. I will definitely try the increasing my water intake tons. I used to drink so much but now it's like a chore. Stress may also be playing a part as I've been very unhappy lately and frustration comes pretty much daily. I just realized that I haven't had any tea in like five days [so that means no hot liquids at all] so I will definitely start drinking tea again, as well as the water. I have been jogging for 30 minutes a day and I do a nice relaxing [not intense by any means] stretching regime beforehand including abs and a few upper body exercises, but it's only been a week or so altogether. Hopefully things will start to change for the better after I try these things for a week or two.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to help me out with this. It's really frustrating to feel so disconnected from the body I was once so in tune with. :sad:

Any other advice is always welcome. I also can actually find that Pukha tea here [in Japan] and will pick up the detox stuff. I have the revitalize kind and it's delicious.

Thanks again everyone. :o

Feb 12th, 2009, 01:14 AM
I guess you would have mentioned if you'd started taking medication which co-incided? when I started taking painkillers I definitely noticed a big difference in my regularity (I was expecting it though, as it was one of the listed possible side-effects).

Feb 12th, 2009, 01:41 AM
Nope, no new medication. In fact, no medication whatsoever. For someone who used to be really into probiotics, enzymes, amino acids, vitamin and mineral complexes and every else a girl could get sucked into by working at a health food store, I don't really take anything.. ever. Since I've been here in Japan [got here on September 18th, 2008] I've only taken a few digestive enzymes three or four times.

Now that I think about it, a liter of water is practically nothing. I've heard around half my bodyweight in ounces per day? Or should I be aiming for more? I'm sure I'll have no problem gulping down loads of water once the weather heats up again, but right now I have to make a conscious effort. I will start drinking a liter for my workout alone, and then work from there to get two or three more in each day.

I looked up that megacolon disorder- I think that [or I'd like to think] is a bit more extreme than my case. But, I don't really no. The only "discomfort" I experience is the whole "Ugh, I haven't pooed in days" feeling.. I just want my stomach to go back to being flat [it's not like 7 months pregnant bloated or anything insane like that, just.. a little bigger than normal] and go back to being regular.

The doctor thing, though I'd like to go to one just to see [in America I'll usually deal with things myself. If they get bad, I'll call Nurse Direct. If they get really bad, or they ask me to do so, I'll see a doctor. Usually I steer clear of them and heal myself.] the doctor thing simply isn't an option here. Not only is the language barrier going to keep me from accomplishing anything, there's no way I'm going to tell the head of the international education office that I need to see a doctor because I can't poop. Noo, no no way. :no_expression:

Again, thanks everyone for the help. Keep the advice coming! :o

Quantum Mechanic
Feb 12th, 2009, 07:04 AM
I guess you would have mentioned if you'd started taking medication which co-incided? when I started taking painkillers I definitely noticed a big difference in my regularity (I was expecting it though, as it was one of the listed possible side-effects).

Maybe that explains it for me. NSAIDs, can they do this? I've experienced digestive symptoms before on them, but usually not this. Yet another good reason to to keep pushing for a PT referral...too bad I've developed a terrible phobia of needles after years of fainting from them, or I would be delighted to try acupuncture on the student clinic. :(

Feb 12th, 2009, 08:29 AM
Go and get a colonic (irrigation), I had this problem and since then have had no problems at all - in fact it's, "Get out of the toilet I'm coming through!".
After years of problems i am now cured after just one session.
Everyone is having them now young and old people so there is no need to be embarrassed!:)

Feb 12th, 2009, 10:45 AM
A few other things come to mind...

I'm fairly sure that most water enters your body through your large intestine.... in fact I was told in a biology class that if you are stranded at sea without fresh water, then colonic irrigation with sea water could well save your life!
Further to this, I think that the absorbtion
of water is 'active' ...that is the process involves energy and cellular processes, and does not depend on osmotic potential [ forgive the salt on slug example ...we used onion cells under a microscope].
Nextly, if you are going to be exercising your abdominal muscles then the "yogic wind expeller" exercise is surely for you :D. I forgot the proper name for it, but is generally guarunteed farts in less than a minute.
Thirdly, "sat-isabgol" aka psyllium husks. I don't mean take a few capsules! This stuff is available as whole seeds, or as flakey husks only. I found boxes of 200 grammes for two quid [two dollars:D] in an asian supermarket. The thing about this 'fibre' is that it 'holds on' to water... meaning that if there is too much water then the stools will be gelled up; however if there is not enough water then the fibre might suck up all that is available [ that might seem useless at first consideration].

Echoing horseless, Hemlock, cobweb et al, I would be eating litres of water soup.

Since we know that water is absorbed actively from the large intestine.... we can assume that there is a path to it from your mouth [ unless you are tubed up somehow]; otherwise you would be dying from thirst.
[EDIT: actually you would get plenty of water from your small intestine... therefore your large intestine might not be getting much hydration nor lubrication.]

I would ask about colonic irrigation as well....but I would be panicking on day two:confused:.

Feb 12th, 2009, 10:58 AM
There are some people on this forum I love. :lol:And it's several of you long time forumees that posted on here. Thank you guys. You have been very helpful. I promise, I have had more water today than the entire week before! Thank you all, so much. I didn't expect to receive such nice advice. I expected the "go to a doctor" bit post after post.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bigsmile::bigsmile:

Feb 12th, 2009, 11:56 AM
I just revised some; I'm going to edit my previous post.

Actually most water will be absorbed by the small intestine [up to 7 to 10 litres in 24 hours... though drinking this much suggests other problems].
However, the large intestine is capable of absorbing more water per unit of surface area... it needs to be good at it because 'stools' are usually more "salty" [or solutey] by that stage, and have a stronger pull on water. A further two litres of water can be taken from the 'fecal' matter by the large intestine [per day].

Feb 12th, 2009, 01:32 PM
I'm just going to go ahead and tell you all that I pooed not once, but TWICE today. I'm feeling pretttttty damn good. I have had almost two liters of water and two liters of barley tea. I seriously think I must just be severely dehydrated. Thank you all again, sooooooooooo much.

Who needs doctors when you've got a group of vegans from around the world willing to talk poo with you? :lol:

Thanks again everyone. Like nine million times, thanks. :thumbsup:

Feb 13th, 2009, 01:59 AM
glad you are feeling better ashleybear! i completely understand about the doctor. i'd rather heal myself as well. another thing i thought of is that caffeine can be binding. so if any of your teas has caffeine in it that could be a problem. it sounds weird b/c coffee seems to make some people go but a long time ago a doctor told me about the tea thing. idk.

Quantum Mechanic
Feb 13th, 2009, 06:43 AM
glad you are feeling better ashleybear! i completely understand about the doctor. i'd rather heal myself as well. another thing i thought of is that caffeine can be binding. so if any of your teas has caffeine in it that could be a problem. it sounds weird b/c coffee seems to make some people go but a long time ago a doctor told me about the tea thing. idk.

That reminds me how when I was younger, drinking a can of soda, especially a black cherry shasta, would make me need to GO! Right away. Not #1, but #2. Right after drinking even 1/2 a can. LOL. No wonder I cut my soda intake so much by the time I was 13.

Feb 13th, 2009, 05:35 PM
I quite like talking about poo - don't see owt wrong with it myself - gets a bit annoying tho when I go about 4 times a day:satisfied:

Quantum Mechanic
Feb 14th, 2009, 10:04 AM
^ that could be bad if it keeps up like that, though. Generally once or twice a day is good, more or less will strain you too much and lead you to an anal fissure or other such nasty complication.