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Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction


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I would love to know the answer to your question. I have had something for 12 years that causes my intestines to just stop, causing massive gas bloating. I'll be okay for a few months and then it "hits", and I am short of breath and miserable for about a week. I use Milk of Magnesia, and it does cause a bowel movement, but the gas doesn't move!

How did you get the pseudo-obstruction diagnosis?

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Hmm... interesting. I'd be curious to know more about getting this type of diagnosis. I have tons of GI issues that bother me, to the point that before I was taking Pamelor, eating would always make my symptoms at the time worsen (including triggering migraines). The migraine neuro was flabbergasted when I told her this, seeing as how the norm is for not eating to be problematic!

I tend to have frequent gas/bloating, and slow motility that is generally inconsistent. The GI stuff was so bad, I originally suspected it was causing the migraines, as they increased as the GI symptoms did. All that a colonoscopy/endoscopy found was mild hiatal hernia, and absolutely nothing else. Also tried an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, 1/8 mg, and I had a horrible reaction to that. (Felt angry for no reason, felt like tons of cotton was shoved in my mouth, and more). I wanted a gastric emptying study, but as usual the doctors didn't see a reason to do one. (How about tons of symptoms that can't be explained yet?)

I've generally used herbal bowel aids, as they tend to be gentler yet still effective, and some are less prone to causing dependence. Never been given any drugs for the bowel symptoms. Of interesting side-note, when I do take Sumatriptan for migraines it generally makes my bowel function more regular. (This is not super surprising from a pharmacological perspective, as the gut contains more serotonin receptors than anywhere else!)

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I had all the tests colonoscopy, (had polyp) abdominal ultrasound, and cat scan (fibroids, that I already knew I had), etc. I had horrible pain in my abdomin. I eat black licorice candy every night, just about 10 small nibs, and that keeps me regular. If I get really bad cramping, I use urogesic blue. It's a smooth muscle relaxer for bladder spasms, but it works on the bowel, as well. I went on vacation with my husband for a week, and forgot about my licorice, even though I brought it, and I was immediately bound up. Then I started up again, and I'm fine now. It works for me!! ;)

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There are motility tests (for example: manometry http://www.biomed.ca...f/51/51_541.pdf) which are used to test whether your bowels have motility issues. My POTS doctor says there are a number of gastrointestinal disorders that can be caused by autonomic nervous system problems. If you think your bowels work too slow or too fast, you can perhaps ask your doctor if he/she would schedule you to have bowel motility testing done. I have not had these as the gastroenterologist said I did not need them as it was obvious my bowels move way too slow. I would still like to have at least the small bowel manometry. I had a small bowel follow through, which I was told takes most people 1.5 hrs, it took me 6.5 hrs. It also took 4 days the barium left my system (and that was with the use of colonoscopy prep laxatives). I was told that the barium usually is out of your system in about 2 days. I had a colonoscopy to check for crohn's and the doctor said that my bowels were contracting weakly which he says is causing my severe constipation, severe abdominal pain and nausea.

When I saw my POTs doctor (which was before I saw the gastroenterologist) and told him of my abdominal issues, he suggested that I might have pseudo-obstruction. He said because the autonomic nervous system controls the bowels, it is possible that sometimes, it can cause those nerves not to work right, causing a pseudo-obstruction which are episodic in nature and are hard to see because there is no mechanical damage.

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