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Bowel Disorders Message Board

Bowel Disorders Board Index


I hope this is not inappropriate, but I am desperate to discover the reasons behind my chronic constipation, and I cannot find a GI doctor who will listen to me.

I am a 52 yo woman and was abused as a child -- from age 4 on -- through anal penetration (including tap water enemas on a regular basis). I have suffered from constipation all my life. Incomplete evacuation, very thin diameter stools, a few cases of impaction. My anal sphincter feels very small and tight to me, although one doctor told me that it was normal and he observed no obvious scar tissue. He also said that the small diameter of my stools means that the upper parts of my bowels are compacting them, not my anus.

God, this is hard to talk about. I'm so embarrassed.

I have never been for a colonoscopy because of my fear. I know I need to go, but I keep putting it off, partly because I can't find a caring, sensitive doctor.

What I'm looking for now is not sympathy or pity, but information. Internet searches have just confused me. What terms might I use to communicate more fully with a doctor -- anismus, puborectalis whatever?

Also, is it possible that this constipation could be, at least in part, psychological? Due to the abuse?

Can someone help me out here? And let me know if there is something I can do on my own?

I eat a relatively healthy diet, high in fiber (whole grains, fruits and vegetables), and drink the recommended 8 glasses of water (actually decaf iced tea, very lightly sweetened) a day. I am rather sedentary, and am very overweight, but these issues came up many years ago when I was still slim and active.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]

I am so sorry you were abused in this way ! Have you ever sought out counseling regarding what you went through as a child ? I was abused but not in the way you were. it was inappropiate touch. Try to get a referral from your primary care doctor or someone you trust to talk to about this and understands what you went through.
If I were you I would try to find a woman G.I. doctor. They're usually more gentle and be more understanding. I know this is embarrassing but she really needs to do a rectal exam to she if she can feel whether there are abnormalities that require more testing. As far as the colonoscopy goes, the worst part is the prep more than the test itself.
I have had chronic constipation problems all of my life so I can understand the pain and misery that goes along with it. try taking a short brisk walk after meals to see if it helps kick in peristalsis. I use Citrucel in the morning and in the evening. it helps to maintain regularity and adds bulk to your BM's. Also, I eat a bowl of oatmeal with ground flax seed in it for breakfast every morning along with 6 stewed prunes or apricots. About 20 minutes after I eat breakfast I go sit on the toilet for at least 30 minutes to move my bowels. I use slow deep breathing exercises to help me go without straining and forcing myself to push out a BM. I found this to be a lot less painful than straining. It helps the anal and rectal sphincter to relax so the BM comes out easier. I now know I can't allow myself to go without my bowels at least every 48 hours. If I get to that point and haven't moved my bowels,then I use a glycerin suppository to help me to go and it doesn't hurt as much to go. If I go 72 hours or more without moving my bowels then it hurts a lot more to go and the suppository takes a lot longer to work. It hope this will be helpful to you like it has been for me.

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