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Constipation - even with the runs!

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    Constipation - even with the runs!

    I wonder about the spasticity thing... I have to strain to go even when I have the runs (or very loose stools). It's like the muscles somewhere (abs, sphincter, bowels) just don't work. I can be in a seriously cramping situation - the type of cramps that tell you to RUN to the bathroom - and still have to strain so hard. Anyone else have this problem, or know why this happens. I am not dx with MS yet, but am trying to compile a list of signs and symptoms that are likely MS-related to discuss with my neurologist when we review the lesions found on my MRI. Amazingly, my family doc say the MRI report showing 8 or 9 lesions, and he told me it was a good thing they didn't find anything wrong with me on my MRI!!! WHAT???
    20+ years of sx - no dx yet - getting close!

    was it your neuro that said that about the lesions? and do you know where the lesions are? where are you at with your diagnosis?



      I have the same problems you mentioned. I started taking a bulk laxative and abdominal massage. This helps some, I think constipation is a fairly common problem in MS. Would be interested to see how others handle this problem. Dale
      Dale in NC, dx'ed 2000, now SPMS


        Originally posted by Kenmore View Post
        was it your neuro that said that about the lesions? and do you know where the lesions are? where are you at with your diagnosis?
        It was my radiology report that showed 8 - 9 oval lesions in my left frontal lobe, also the white matter of the periventricular region, and within the left parietal deep white matter. The reason for the MRI was sudden onset movement disorder (Myoclonic Jerking in my back and leg), so the radiologist's impressions were that if clinical findings were suggestive of MS, then this should be pursued further. I still have evoked potentials and an EEG this coming week.

        The finding of lesions on my MRI are somewhat a relief to me, since I have 20+ years clinical history of various MS-like symptoms (foot drop for 6 months, double-vision, bladder problems, dx with IBS from the episodes of constipation of the years, sexual disfunction, and many, many episodes of numbness, and neuropathic pain). So, I am thinking that I may get a dx in the near future, or at least further testing (such as LP or MRI of spinal cord).

        The only other possibilities the radiologist suggested were possible microvascular ischemic changes or Vasculitis - however, both of those seem to be related to having a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which I do not have.

        Would love some type of dx so that I can be treated! Haven't worked for 6 weeks due to the movement disorder, and since my husband and I run a restaurant and it is crazy, busy, Christmas party time, I have really been letting DH and my business down.
        20+ years of sx - no dx yet - getting close!


          I've had this problem for many (too many) years. Was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) almost 20 years ago - after a decade or more of alternating between both extremes, and endless gross, embarrassing and painful tests.

          Now its mostly constipation and I know part of that is the pain meds I'm on, but it's been going on a whole lot longer than I've been on any meds. I have to take fiber supplements and stool softeners every day and still have huge problems with it. A "good" week for me is when I can go two or three times in one week. And yup, when I can eat, I eat lots of fibre rich foods. But half the time I feel too ill to keep food down. Or it just hurts too much to "add" anything to my system when it isn't processing what I've eaten in previous days/weeks.

          Have given up trying to explain to GP that this issue started when I was a kid. He doesn't want to hear anything I have to say and I'm sick of trying. So I just don't tell him anymore how lousy I'm actually doing.

          I'm also beginning to suspect it never was IBS, but rather has been MS all along since the neuro's figure I've had it most of my life even though I'm newly diagnosed.

          What can I say, it sucks. I wish everyone much better luck than I've had with this problem.


            Yeah, it sucks to go your entire life with problems and docs don't listen! My favourite is, "It's all in your head, caused by stress."

            My problem is not that I need to soften my stools because 1/2 the time, I have the runs. The muscles just won't eliminate what's in my body. It is actually a rare occurrence when I am actually "constipated" with what I call "bunny poops" and then a laxative would definitely help get things moving... if I weren't having episode of muscles not working.
            20+ years of sx - no dx yet - getting close!


              Despite an MRI showing a ton of lesions and two neuros confirming this is my problem, I am still hearing that kind of response from GP. Drives me bats.


                Move for better movements!

                Walk, walk walk and water, water, water. Hard this time of year, so I put cheap, orange Walmart brand fiber in my water. Gross, but natural, unlike Ex-Lax, and the like, in which your body can grow dependent on- not good when it is an ongoing problem. If you are serious about nipping this in the bud, you have to "move" to "move" with every physical ability you still have.
                Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 2004; First sign of trouble: 1994


                  Try taking magnesium 400mg at night. You will go. No cramping in most cases. It is a muscle relaxant. But works on your colon for sure. Try it.

                  Good luck
                  Disabled RN with MS for 14 years
                  SPMS EDSS 7.5 Wheelchair (but a racing one)


                    Miralax or the generic version is safe to use daily too. It pulls water into the colon.
                    Spent years with IBS and would not have ever dreamed that I could possibly be constipated.


                      Try Miralax

                      The last post beat me to it. I had severe constipation that causes a fissure that led to an abscess, extreme pain for a couple of months, then surgery to drain the abscess. Immediate relief from the pain after the surgery but now I have a hole down there from the abscess that will never go away. My sphincter is not as tight as it was & I often pass gas when I don't want to. The dr told me to take Miralax as often as twice a day. You can take it with any meds & he said I could take it for the rest of my life. It's like a miracle. I now take it 2 days then miss a day. Or every other day. If I take too much I have to go too often. If the dr writes a script for it your insurance will pay for it. I have him write for twice a day to save on co-pays. Hope this helps someone. Avoid getting constipated as that leads to worse problems.


                        I know this is an older thread but hoping someone will still read and post on this for me. I too was dx with IBS right out of high school . Until a couple of months ago, I was doing very well taking Benefiber drink mixes in my water.. then they pulled them off the market. Just my luck.

                        I then switched to the nasty orange Metamucil fiber for your water but then got sick with a bad stomach virus that involved fever, body aches and watery diarrhea. Like the poster said, even though I had the runs, I still had to StRAIN to get it to come out ,,,, very strange and worrysome.

                        Anyway, it took 3.5 weeks to get my bowels back to normal so I was afraid to take anything. Had begun taking 2 or more walks per day so getting lots of exercise and also drinking lots of just plain water in the plastic bottles you buy.

                        It seemed things were going well ..... I had started getting smaller / harder BMs for a couple of days but night before last, I had the most HORRENDOUS cramps of my entire life! I got hot and felt like I was going to be sick and / or passout I finally had to get off the toilet and get a cold washrag and sit in front of my pedestal fan. The other thing is BOTHof my legs started cramping terribly all down the back sides of them both. I could barely walk and that really scared me. My husband rubbed them and then I had to go back to the pot. Had one final loose stool and was done finally. But the majority of the stools were completely normal just VERY hard to pass and very large / long ... sorry for the TMI.

                        ANyway, I am thinking that I am not feeling the proper urger for a BM and / or also they aren't coming out properly . Someone also suggested the Miralax for me to use but I'm afraid of getting the runs from it

                        Any advice or whatever would be greatly appreciated.
                        I don't think I could deal with another painful episode like this one again :'(
                        MS - diagnosed 2/05/2013