Part 3 of this ongoing series is about a very non-pleasant but all-too-real issue for many people, not just those of us with FMS:
This is actually a topic that is discussed a lot.
Whether or not the body is retaining and reabsorbing toxins when we are constipated is a highly debated topic in the world of All-Things-Medical. As with most things, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Certainly, the colon is designed to hold fecal material, therefore it is unlikely to fail at this unless it ruptures. On the other hand, if the colon has too hold hardened stool too long, in large amounts, or both, it seems reasonable to believe it can become overloaded—pun really not intended that time—and possibly fail at keeping bacteria or toxins from being reabsorbed back into the body. For this reason, I do think we cannot dismiss that such reabsorption of harmful substances back into the body could certainly cause a fibro flare.
Strain and Discomfort
No need to see what the experts have to say on this one! We all know what it is like to have to strain to have a bowl movement. It can cause healthy people to be sore or feel exhausted, not to mention that this particular type of strain can lead to issues with heart! (I will not get into the physiology of this here, but the term if you are interested is Vagal Nerve Stimulation and it causes the heart to slow down, leads to heart attacks while on the toilet….)
The Actual Causes of the Constipation Themselves
Ironically—or perhaps just tellingly—some of the causes of constipation are things that can cause fibro flares in and of themselves!
We all know that many of our medications causes constipation as well. When we are in a flare, we tend to take more of some meds, therefore being in a flare can increase the likelihood of becoming constipated, thus forming a vicious cycle…
Many of the keys to this are actually covered above already, but some have not.
Was this “Not-so-Obvious-Cause…” a surprise to you or had you already identified it for yourself?
What suggestions or tips do you have to help avoid constipation?
I look forward to hearing from each of you! Everyone else is talking about it, so we might as well too! Do not be shy! ;-)
Meshea Crysup, fibroLIFE
While it is certainly true that I live with pain, fibro fog, fatigue, and mood/anxiety issues because of FMS, it is also true that in many ways my fibroLIFE© looks very much like the life of someone without Fibromyalgia (FMS). It is not that having a fibroLIFE© makes us overly exceptional. In fact, some people do actually have it worse than us and I readily acknowledge that. However, because of the “invisible nature” of FMS, every once in a while, I like to take the time to discuss what is going on in my fibroLIFE©. I do not do this for attention, sympathy, or any other personal benefit. I do it because I really believe the best thing we can do to increase awareness and understanding regarding FMS is to be open and honest about LIVING with and in spite of it. My goal is to help my followers not feel so alone, and hopefully pick up an idea or two. If those without FMS learn a thing or two along the way, that is, as we say in the South, “just all gravy”!
I have not been blogging much of late. As much as I love to write to help and stay connected to all of you, it takes energy and focus that I have not frequently had after attending to the priorities in my fibroLIFE©. Like you—like everyone-- I have to put taking care of myself first, then focus on my husband, family, home, etc. Not much has been left over of late!
Daddy has been very sick so I went home for a few days. That is a very long trip. While there, other than spending time with Daddy, I spent time with my son, other family members and friends. The stress of the travel, whirl-wind of visiting, and seeing Daddy so ill of course caused an increase in my FMS symptoms, but I did what I know works best for me: I rested as much as possible while there and once I got back home!
Speaking of home…
Everyone knows how it is when banks and insurance companies are not on the same page with a mortgage escrow account! If you do not know, I pray you do not find out! Hubby and I spent literally six weeks getting a mess resolved. Yes, that increases stress, which increases FMS symptoms.
It has been allergy season here in Mississippi, plus the end of summer/beginning of fall for us means hot and humid! We have been in the 90’s most of the time. We also had a string of thunderstorms for a few weeks. Yes, allergies, heat, humidity, and weather changes such as storms increase FMS symptoms.
We have now been in Mississippi nearly two years so I am working on actually finding doctors here rather than seeing the doctors I have had for many years back in Kentucky. Not only is it difficult to find doctors who understand FMS and work well with those who have FMS, but it is also emotionally stressful to start over with such important doctor-patient relationships. It has involved research, phone calls, obtaining referrals, making sure the doctors are in my insurance networks, etc. On top of that, there is a ton of paperwork to fill out once you finally get an appointment! Talk about increasing FMS symptoms! If I was not in a flare before I started the process, it will be a miracle if I do not go into one before it is all over!
Things have not been all bad, however.
First of all, I have become involved with the Vicksburg Civil War Roundtable group and the Historic Vicksburg Advisory Council. I am passionate about history as well as growing the ways we use “history as industry” to improve our local economy while bringing educational and cultural enrichment to others. Hubby is even going with me to our Confederate Christmas Ball! (Note to self: do all you can to avoid a flare and pray you are able to go to the ball!)
Secondly, I have met with a three locals with FMS who have asked for my help. It takes only a few minutes of listening to them for me to again know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am supposed to help others with FMS. That is indeed a huge calling in my fibroLIFE©! That resurgence of inner-knowing brings such a peace—such comfort—which helps make LIVING with fibro more bearable.
That is what my fibroLIFE© has been like of late! Certainly I left out a lot of things like the mix-up with Hubby’s prescriptions I had to get fixed, the time I have spent at book club, the evenings out with our friends and Hubby’s “young engineers” that we have taken under our wings, the trouble it was to get the right parts to get our kitchen trash bind back as good-as-new, plus there was laundry to keep done, floors to keep clean…
You get the picture! My fibroLIFE© is actually a very normal life, mostly. Good things happening, bad things happening, complicated things happening, exciting things happening, everyday things happen, etc. And I have been managing it, in spite of having FMS. How? Mostly commonsense things, but that does not mean they are necessarily easy things. They take time, dedication, motivation, encouragement, etc. Most importantly, they take personal responsibility on my part, as well as a hefty does of "self-love" which in turn leads to adequate "self-care".
No, I have not been blogging as much of late, but I have been LIVING my fibroLIFE©! And, as always I want to assure you that if I can do it, I know YOU can do it too! I am going to keep right on LIVING my fibroLIFE© openly for all of you—showing you sometimes rather than just telling you that it can be done—always in an attempt to inspire, motivate, and educate to help YOU minimize your fibro and your maximize LIFE!