Constipation... s*&t doesn't happen!

I am sixty-four years old, six-foot one, one-hundred and seventy-five pounds, BMI is 23.5. I exercise at a moderately vigorous level every day (sometime I must walk with a cane). Three mile walk, one hour swim; nearly everyday, hand & bench weights and physical therapy are a must. Lots of gabapentin! Metformin, Imuran, and the standard old-guy meds for heart and mind.

Insidious anatomical neuropathies in the gastrointestinal, sympathetic and parasympathetic systems have roughed me up for the past many months with bladder spasms and once with a wicked and mean, many-months-long constipation that eventually gave me autonomic hyperreflexia ( a life-threatening constipation :( (!)

What would be an optimal diet for my life style and a what are some gentle laxative type medications?

This is a serious problem for me. Eating oatmeal three times a day... nah, don't think so. Any suggestions are appreciated.


I actually like oatmeal and I love homemade fruit smoothies full of berries. The smoothies help and I'll share my amazing recipe. However, I prefer to use a bulk forming laxative when diet fails. I take Fiber Lax (Calcium Polycarbophil 625 mg) a large pill that is OTC and okay for long term use, 1 to 4 large pills per day as needed.

I used to use Senna but I tested with a low potassium level and learned that overuse of Senna can leach potassium. Senna is very gentle and natural but keep that in mind.

During my infusions I receive Zofran for nausea and I sometimes need pain meds for headaches. This is when I suffer from the most constipation. My neurologist recently recommended that I try Miralax (polyethylene glycol 3350) in these situations. It is also OTC but was originally used for bowel prep for colonoscopy. I haven't used it yet, but my research indicates it would work well although there may be more discomfort than with the above products

Hope this helps,


I couldn't tolerate high fiber. It seemed to make me worse. What does work for me, is at least 4 cups salad everyday. Soups are easier for me to digest too. I buy organic when it's available and stay away from the dirty dozen when it's not. Walking after a meal helps too. Magnesium is linked to autonomic involvement and constipation. There's tons of information on it. I take magnesium citrate powder, Now brand, after meals. I would expect to see results right away if these suggestions were to help.

I've read insoluable fiber is best. And apple cider may help too.

I forgot about magnesium, thanks mabes. Your body will absorb magnesium during an Epsom salt bath. Soaking for an hour or so often does the trick. You can also drink a small amount of Epsom salt as a laxative.

I have problems with constipation, too and have noticed that a couple days after IVIG, things normal out and I have regular BMs and the closer I get to the next IVIG (every 3 wks), my GI system slows waaayyyy down leaving me bloated, gassy, sluggish, and cranky. Since you are on Metformin, I assume you are a diabetic and if so, you probably don't want salt based laxatives b/c that will stress your kidneys. You might google recipes for "fruit paste laxative", but regardless, run it by the doctor who manages your diabetes.

I had to spice up the food at times jalepininio , Louisiana hot sauce and wine.

It is apple cider vinegar, not apple cider. I use a lot of fresh apples and balsamic vinegar in my salads. Also, just remembered another idea. Biofeedback has great results for most autonomic involvement troubles.