Chronic constipation for over a year - doctors are useless please help!

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I am new to this forum and have put off writing about my story due to the humiliation I feel daily but I am so depressed and although my family and boyfriend try to support me they don't fully understand what I go through daily and how I feel about it. I no longer feel like a human being anymore I am the lowest I have been my whole life and I wish every day for it just to stop, I hope by talking to similar people I can find some strength and a way to continue fighting.

My problems started a year ago when I decided to quit smoking,  I have lost 6 stone over the past few years, I eat healthily,  go to the gym 6 times a week and barely drink, smoking was the last thing to go. I started suffering with constipation 5-6 days a week, only going several times on 1 day and then repeating the cycle. I have been prescribed various different laxatives which worked for a limited time and then stopped. I have been to see a specialist who did one transit test but when it came back normal he said he didn't know what to do with me and dropped me. 

I changed gp's,  and had a sigmoidoscopy,  which confirmed no blockages in the lower part of my bowel. That's it as far as testing goes. All the doctors keep saying is they don't know  what is wrong with me and that at 26 I shouldn't be suffering like this.

My symptoms are now out of control and vary greatly, I am constipated without medication,  but any laxatives now give me severe diarrhea. I bloat every time I eat something to the point I feel too big for my skin and I get lots of gas which a lot of the time is hard to pass. I have been noticing blood and mucus a lot when I try to have a movement and it can be painful. I am finding that no food is safe and regularly get diarrhea attacks from eating things I could previously with no problem.  It is greatly affecting my ability to work, exercise or function as a normal human being. The doctors don't know what is wrong with me and seem adamant they don't want to test me further. I wondered if this sounds similar to anyone else on here? My symptoms are daily and there doesn't appear to be any triggers or patterns to them. 😯😨

Any help, advice or support would be greatly appreciated,  I am at the end of my tether and just don't know where to go next

Thank you for reading,


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27 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi becki35775, Firstly I am not a Dr or Nurse just a somebody in this big world.  I have never experience anything like you are going through and can sympathise that you must be suffering physically as well as emotionally with  this.  Are you the correct weight for your height ?  Or are you underweight or overweight for your height?  Keep a food diary of everything you eat for a complete month alongside with whether you experience diarrhea or whether you are constipated, I would also write down whether you have taken part in any form of excercise in that time and for how long and present the whole written month to your Doctor if he still doesn't say something useful I would change your Doctor and get a second opinion.  I do know that if you feel you want to open your bowels and you keep pushing you or if your constipated you can give yourself piles and these will bleed, but your Doctor can prescribe something for that or I believe you can buy over the counter remedy.  I used to be a heavy smoker and gave up almost 15 years ago and I became very constipated but I watched my diet ie plenty of vegetables and fruit and when I got constipated I used to eat pears they are amazing or buy Sunblest pure prune juice nothing else would cure my constipation.  I hope you get sorted soon, all the best smile


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    • Posted

      Hi Maureen,  thank you for your reply and kind words. I am the perfect weight for my height,  and do a lot of muscle training too, I had a fat % test done last week and it came back perfect for someone of my build and age.

      I tried a food diary but gave up as everything was a trigger and lost heart with it but I can start another one if it will help the doctors, they clearly need a lot of help at the moment it seems!

      I tried prune juice,  it went straight through me. Which is the problem with most things,  I am bouncing between the two symptoms with no regularity and I have had enough of taking drugs to balance it out. Just wish the doctors would hurry up and do something about it.

      I do have hemorrhoids but my doctor didn't prescribe anything, perhaps that is something to discuss with the pharmacist. 

      Thanks again for your help and support :-)

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    • Posted

      Maureen, may I plz ask you a question... it perked my interest when you talked about pears...(helping you) and I am wondering if you mean fresh pears...or is it ok for them to be canned pears? Thanks!!
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  • Edited

    Hi beckie, I really feel for you as I have been going through something similar since October 2012!. Like yourself I started going to the gym and eating healthy. I started getting constipated, bloated, feeling sick, severe pain and mucus and blood. I started to feel so tired. In may 2013 I saw a specialist and was booked for a colonoscopy. After the fourth unsuccessful attempt to clear my bowel with bowel prep they proceeded, to then tell me we can't see anythin as I was blocked up..... Yep I knew that... But its like they didn't believe me, I'm 31 and got that rubbish about being to young! I demanded more tests.. I'm now waiting to get a rectal prolapse repaired which I'm sure was caused by all the bowel prep. I would demand a barium enema and a proctogram! These tests show functional problems and blockages. These tests are unpleasant, but its a step closer to diagnosing and treating. If u havnt done already... Contact the complaints dept at ur hospital and explain to them. Failing that contact the chief exec! I know its really difficult but do not give up.. U will find help! Its a long process and u may b just another patient to them but this is ur health and don't be bullied by doctors. Please stay strong and keep going at them it awful to c how much the nhs can ruin people and their lives. Take care and stay strong

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    • Edited

      Hi, thank you for your support :-) I was starting to feel all alone with this and like the only one! I am sorry to hear you're going through the same thing, it's miserable and so debilitating.  I don't think it's right we should fight the doctors to get treated, the illness itself is exhausting enough!

      I am awaiting an appointment with an anorectal surgeon (finally) but I am not sure what will come of that. I have had enough of talking about my bowel habits with doctors to get the same reaction.  And the tests terrify me, I can't think of anything more humiliating. I can't stop asking myself why me? I am a good healthy person who takes care of themselves and yet I am one of the most unhealthiest people I know. I don't think my self esteem will ever recover from this.

      I will wait and see what he has to say but then I think it will be a complaint as it's gone on for too long now.

      I hope all goes well with your surgery, i'm sorry to hear it's a result of the prep, you would hope they would know what they're doing and not make the situation worse.

      If you need to talk to anyone you know where I am,  I know how exhausting it is to stay strong through things like this 

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  • Edited


    I wonder if you have taken any penicillin or other antibiotics within the past two or three years? It may be you have a candida yeast infection. Millions do, and don't even know it. The best cure is to go for one month with NO SUGAR, meaning not even any fruit, no grains of any kind, not even any kind of bread, and not dairy products. Candida lives on sugar. The average diet today has FAR too much sugar. IF you can follow such a diet for 30 days, my guess is you will feel like a new person. Oh, what is left to eat? Vegetables....only begetables!

    Now, for constipation, I would start taking Magnesium capsules. You could take milk of magnesia, but it takes yukky! Take capsules. It will take a few weeks to figure out just how much you need every day. Magnesium causes moisture to form in your bowels. I take 100 mg per day, but occasionally I take two. I have taken 400 a day, but that was too much, and had diarrhea. You should find a place where you have a bowel movement each day, and it will take 30 seconds or less. That is the way it should be.

    By the way, some doctors believe half the population is lacking in magnesium. It will not harm you in any way, and chances are great your diet has been very defecient in magnesium. Doctors used to say take half as much magnesium as calcium; now some are saying take the very same amount.

    Most doctors don't take the time to find natural means of healing; they just try another drug. Magnesium is 100% natural and we NEED IT in our diet. Most people simply don't get enough. Look for magnesium capsules of 100 mg. then, you can take one in the morning and one at night, or just one a day if that is enough. It is also VERY good to eat some fiber every day. Starting your day with oatmeal is a good way; oats have soluable fiber and that is good.

    May God be with you and help you get back to health!

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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you so much for replying. I had antibiotics just before I quit smoking and this started happening. I did consider it could be candida but the doctors haven't done any testing as they are sure it isn't.  I am happy to try any new diet, if it will help. The only problem I have is if I eat too much fibre I either get more constipated or I get diarrhea. I can't eat fruit,  salad or too many vegetables because they upset my stomach too much. If I cut out sugar and cards I would be surviving on nothing. It all feels pretty hopeless at the moment.  But I will try and introduce different vegetables slowly and see if I can tolerate them and I will also try some magnesium.  The other laxatives just don't work anymore.

      Thank you for your support :-)

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    • Posted

      Milk of Magnesium? I'd never thought of that!! Anything's worth a try at least once isn't it.

      Hi i'm Caroline; i happen to suffer from constipation on and off as a result of having the skin condition EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa). Constipation-often chronic is a huge problem for both adults and children with EB.

      Thankyou for sharing with all here 😃

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  • Edited

    Becki, you are putting far too much trust in doctors. VERY few doctors know anything about Candida. The truth is, if you took antibiotics, that wiped out (as in killed) every single bacteria in your intestines, both good and bad. With none there, Candida can literally take over, and I believe frequently if not always does. It ends up making holes in your intestines, so instead of sugars and proteins getting into the blood stream, tiny particles of food get into the blood stream. Blood considers these as poison, and so dump them in the nearest convenient place: your Bronchial tube. This causes bad breath. Bad breath is almost never something in your mouth, it comes from your bronchial tubes or your lungs. Of course frequently stuff gets dumpted into your sinues and so then run continuously. (I know, because I have had all these symptoms!) You should run, not walk, to the nearest store and buy a GOOD probiotic, one with several billion of several strains of good bacteria. Heath is one of the most beneficial things a human being can have.

    If your breath smells sweet, and if your sinuses don't run, perhaps you escaped Candida. I have discovered that antibiotics should be used only in very severe cases.

    I am convinced, if you begin taking magnesium, after a while your bowels will settle down, and you will be closer to "normal." However, it may take you a month to find out just how much your body needs to be normal.

    You should also be taking calcium suppliments to assure your bones stay strong. There have been several older women in my wife's family that has suffered a broken hip. This should never happen! If your died is not sufficient, calcium is SO important, your body will just steal it from your bones, and they will become brittle; this is why older people get broken hips.

    Dr Linus Pauling is the only man ever to get three Nobel Prizes. One He got for discovering the need for vitamin C, and that a lack of vitamin C is what is causing most people to die of heart attacks. It is a lack of vitamin C that causes the body to seal cracks in the blood arteries with plaque. And it is blocked arteries that cause heart attacks.

    I say this to show you that you should also be takng a lot of Vitamin C. You simply could not get enough, even if you ate 100 oranges a day. Linus Pauling suggested 10 grams a day. It is difficult to take that much. I try to get 6 grams a day. Other animals can make their own - we cannot.

    If you do have some symptoms of candida, I will add how to fight it.

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  • Posted

    Hi Becki,

    I too suffer with acute constipation.  I have tried it all. I'm a lot older than you and my doctors said. . . Older people always suffer. And then nothing. No help in rectifying my discomfort,. Bloated tummy that I can't even lean forward.  

    What I have now done is fibre fibre fibre and water water water. 

    Make sure you are not wheat intolerant. I am, bread just clogged me up!


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  • Posted

    sorry about your condition....i had constipation though never as severe as yours....hope u get rid of it is my personal belief that our stomachs need periods of fasting(google for periodic intermittent fasting),,,to give the system a complete rest...u probably should consider this option if it sounds allright to u...may not relieve your constipation immediately but it helps our digestive system in the long run...would appreciate any comments from other members about fasting and constipation...
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    • Posted

      I find reducing my starchy carb intake by half the recommended daily adult portion stops my stools becoming too bulky - painful when suffering from anal fissures (tears) and/or piles.

      I speak of foods like rice, pasta & potatoes; instead i try eating more juicy fruit & veg like carrots, swede & strawberries. However, by far the best foods I found to be helpful here are mangoes and leafy greens!

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  • Posted

    I am 16 male and I play sports and run cross country so I get plenty of excercise and I eat relatively heathy and eat as much fiber as I can and I only drink water and lots of it. For the last 2 years I have struggled with constipation and the doctor prescribed me with miralax and it works great for a few months but I've become immune to it and even laxatives do nothing for me. Recently it has started to become unbearable and it feels like there's a knife stabbing me in the stomach and no matter what I try I can not get regular and I'm always in so much pain, please help in anyway you feel you can, thank you.
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    • Posted

      Hi Trey,

      Your story sounds a little too familiar, i'm sorry to hear you're suffering. 

      I have recently been referred to a surgeon, had a procrogram and flexible sigmoidoscopy which discovered a rectocele and entorecele.  I am awaiting a manometry test as they think it could  be my pelvic floor.  I also had a transit study which came back normal. There are primarily 2 types of constipation,  transit and functional.  Mine is functional. 

      I would urge you to go back to your doctor and ask to be referred and tested. My condition has done nothing but deteriorate because I was fobbed off for too long with laxatives,  told I was too young for it to be anything serious and now I find out I have a prolapse 😧😨 but guess what I am too young to be operated on so they suggest diet and exercise to manage it (which is what I have been doing for the past 1 and a half) I am back in to see my doctor next week to push for another option.

      I hope you have more luck with your doctor especially as it is causing you pain now and I know how disruptive it is to your normal life. I would explain the laxatives aren't working,  do not settle with being offered more, you can develop a dependence on them because they are habit forming, really push to be tested

      I found myself in a&e due to severe stabbing pain and now my tests are being brought forward from November,  do anything you can for them to take you seriously

      Do you feel the urge to go but can't go? Do you feel a dragging/heavy sensation or is it just the pain? Do you feel full? How you feel will help speculate what type of constipation you have

      The only advice I can give you is don't give up, keep pushing to be listened too and prioritised. I have found that it is a very hard thing to diagnose and doctors will often fob you off with ibs because it's easier and they won't consider anything else because you are young.

      Good luck and if you have any further questions I would be happy to help xx

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    • Posted

      Whenever I run it is a stabbing pain, a 9 out of 10 on pain and I always feel full and bloated. My mom told me that I have had problems going literally since I was born and my great grandmother had the same problems all the way up until she died so I'm afraid it may be genetic and I am afraid I'll have to live with it my whole life.
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    • Posted

      It's the same for me, sharp stabbing pain when I walk, full and bloated to the point I look pregnant by the end of the day. I also recently found out that I too from the age of potty training struggled to go. Unfortunately with bowel problems once you have a weakness they are often with you forever. My nan has recurring problems so I think mine may also be inherited.

      However there has been a lot of research into bowel function since your nan had her issues and doctors are understanding the function and dysfunction better. There is no reason to suffer with this forever there will be ways they can help you understand it and manage it so it doesn't rule your life.

      It is very unfortunate that healthy active people like us have this problem but never just give up and accept it, especially as you're in so much pain. Go to your doctor and explain everything and don't be afraid to say you aren't happy to keep taking drugs, seek a long term solution.  You're so young, there will be things they can offer you to help manage it and give you back the control.

      My heart does go out to you, I feel I am no longer a woman I am a disgusting thing that can't be beautiful. But I have to keep picking myself up and push for a solution to get my life back. I can't imagine what it is like for you at 16, all I can say is don't be beaten by it.

      Research into bowel conditions see which symptoms you can relate to, see if any foods upset you more than others. I personally find rich foods are the worst and I can't eat beef or lamb.  They take longer to digest

      It may be a long road to recovery but you will get better. Please don't be disheartened. 

      First step, go to docs and describe everything and ask for tests and a long term solution. The tests aren't pleasant but they will get you a diagnosis and then treatment

      I am hear if you need any support I know how soul destroying and frustrating it can be and I have had several tests already so happy to offer first hand advise. Good luck :-) xx

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