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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: No Bowel Movement for 7 - 14 days

 bumpus2005 - Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:57 am

I am a 21 year old female who has experienced problems having bowel movements since I was 17 (after having a knee surgery to repair and ACL). I may have a bowel movement once every 7 to 14 days and when I do, it is very large and of a hard consistancy...which normally cannot be flushed down the toilet.

I am active as I walk and run a treadmill 3-5 times a week, go to college, and work. I experience some pain in my stomach, some bloating, and occasional naseau.

I tend to eat regularly and most of the time healthly foods. I drink water 99% of the time.

I have tried stool softeners, laxatives, enemas with no real success. The only drug that will allow me have a bowel movement is magnesium citrate which I have only used a few times because I am scared to use it regularly.

I did go see a gastrinologist about a month ago who told me to drink more cokes (cafinated drinks) and to eat more fatty foods. He ran no tests.

This has not worked and I would like a suggestion on what I need to do or what could possibly be the problem.

I am afraid that by not having BMs that I could develop colon cancer.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:14 am

User avatar Hi bumpus2005,
It is inadvisable to recommend an increased intake of fatty foods and caffeinated drinks.... My suggestion to you is increase the amount of fiber in your diet which can be easily found in whole grains, for example, wheat breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water, ( 64 ounces per day unless contraindicated by your physician) and you may want to try drinking something warm in the morning as this has a tendency to stimulate bowel movements in some people. Again, it is ill advised to recommend a diet high in fat content. Lowering controllable risk factors for colon cancer are diet and physical activity which includes limited intake of high fat foods! Irregular bowel movements have no affect on colon cancer risks but if these diet changes are unsuccessful it would be advisable for you to seek out the opinion of a different gastroenterologist to identify the causative factor.
 rightway - Tue Oct 18, 2005 4:38 pm

Hi! I've been having a similiar problem. I've been fasting for almost 2 weeks now and for the past 5 days or so I haven't been able to let out much waste. And when I do it's very little. Also I've been having pain on my right side around my ribs and on my lower abdomen. This problem occurs every now and then but not often. What should I do?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:40 am

User avatar Hi rightway,
If I may ask, why have you been fasting for two weeks? This alone slows down metabolism, motility of the intestines, etc., because your body is trying to prevent starvation and if you have been fasting for two weeks that's exactly what you are doing. This can cause not only severe deficiencies in needed nutrients, metabolic dysfunction and a prolonged practice.....possible death. I would advise you to eat a healthy diet.
 rightway - Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:21 pm

Hi Rntdj!

Well I've been fasting b/c it's the month of Ramadan and it's a religious duty. I usually eat in the cereal in the morning at dawn and at sunset when I break my fast I have a date, rice, chicken or beef, salad, maybe bread and coke. Should I eliminate one of those food products and substitute it w/ something else? Also does eating even after not getting rid of all waste make it more difficult for the intestines to work? It's been a/b 7 days now w/ this problem. I tend to have this problem every now and then when I do and do not fast but almost always the next morning I'm fine in terms of getting rid of waste. Is there some sort of over the counter medication I could take?

Also if it effects anything I'm a female who is 21 and I usually work out from time to time but not lately since it's been Ramadan. Also I've been having headaches.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Oct 22, 2005 8:01 am

User avatar Hi rightway,
I was hoping your response was religious related. Two things I can suggest is fiber rich foods or supplements, and the recommended water intake, 64 oz of water (providing this isn't a contraindication from your physician).
 rightway - Sat Oct 22, 2005 7:23 pm

Hi Rntdj!

You said I should eat foods high in fiber that would be fruits and vegetables right? So should I limit eating bread, rice, etc? Also would taking Pepto Bismol help? Thank u!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:42 am

User avatar Hi rightway,
It is not necessary to eliminate the foods you are currently eating. Try whole grain breads and cereal (oatmeal), fruits, vegetables, and if you are considering an over the counter product do not use pepto-bismol as this will increase the constipation problems. Supplements such as, for example, metamucil, fibercon, etc. are the ones that would be more desirable for improving fiber intake and decreasing constipation. Also make sure you drink plenty of water.
 mwicks20 - Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:03 pm

Hello, I also have a similar problem. I am 20 years old (gonna be 21 next month) and i have had this problem ever since i got pregnant when i was 16. I got anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks without a bowel movement (most of the time it's about 2 weeks in between bm's). Whenever i do have a bm it is very hard and most of the time wont flush. I try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and drink a lot. I have tried taking fiber and it wont help. This has beenn going on for almost 5 years now. I don't feel constipated or anything, sometimes my lower abdomen will start hurting and i get a really sharp pain in my lower abdomen but it don't last long and goes away in a few minutes, it does that a few times a day sometimes and sometimes none at all. I want to know what might be the cause for it and how i might be able to fix it. Any help would be really greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
 levi91 - Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:07 am

Hello. I have a similiar problem. First off I normally have a bowel movement everyday, if not every 2 days. Todays is the 7th day without having a bowel movement. I've went to my doctor and he told me I should take ClearLax. Well its been 3 days since then and that hasn't worked. I've also tried another kind of laxative but I'm not sure of the name. Besides not being able to go, when I try, I end up with a little blood on the toilet paper and it hurts when I try to go. Kind of like it is swollen. I've looked in the mirror and nothing is visibly wrong that I can see. Abd when I sit, I can sort of feel it. Also, ever since this started 7 days ago I have had fevers and headaches on and off. This makes my nights unbearable with tossing and turning, sweating, being cold, etc. What should I do? I just want to feel better, to feel normal.

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