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I have been feeling pretty bad this last week. I have also lost 5 pounds....I have no appetite. I feel like something is really wrong with my bowel/esophagus? I just don't have the money right now to go have elaborate testing done....urgh


I was put on some new pain meds not long ago and was told that they would cause constipation.......and the doctor said to take an OTC remedy daily. I just have to wonder how good that is for my body? It was doing ok with me for a while but this last week I go from total constipation to diahrrea!! It is no fun at all. Plus all I want to do is sleep. I am lucky to get down some oats in the morning and I'm not even hungry for that - I just know I have to eat a little something when I take all my pills.


Do you have any recommendations on specific foods that might help as a laxative? Or what do you use for laxatives?




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Hi Sakar,


I'm sorry you are having such a rough time with this. Please check with your doctor about it. Generally the recommendation is to eliminate or cut down on laxatives if they are working too well. Chances are you don't need a remedy (laxatives) for a problem you don't have (constipation) -- especially since not everyone suffers the same side effects from medications.


See our page on Bowel Involvement for an array of possible treatments. Many people are able to control issues with very careful management of diet and exercise. Eating just some oats in the morning is a starvation diet, which can have disastrous effects on your health. So please get in touch with your doctor and back on track soon, and let us know how things improve.

Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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Guest Jennifer

I have the solution, which I got from my Dr.....

mix one part raw oats, one part prune juice and one part apple juice. I used natural brands of the juices and raw oats from the bulk section at the grocery store. I kept a mixture in the refridgerator and had a Tablespoon a day. It worked for me.

Hope you feel better.


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Thanks Jen,


I will have to try that........although I live in a very small town (2000 people) so our grocery store doesn't have a bulk section. But I will check into it once we go to the city sometime.



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I like the sound of Jen's natural formula! There are many things to help keep us regular. All foods high in fiber are good. You can find lists of these on the internet or in books on nutrition or cooking. The foods include prunes, sweet potatoes, grains and cereals, and most vegetables. I found that Graham crackers are a good laxative for me! There are also fiber supplements that some people find helpful -- there are several store brands that apparently work just as well. Drink lots of water!!! I'll bet you aren't doing that because you don't feel like it! With me, it's the first thing I forget to do when I don't feel well! Six to eight glasses helps keep you lubricated.


I'd also like to mention that sometimes when you seem to be constipated one day, but then the next day you have diarrhea, the problem is actually constipation. My doctor explained that you can get kind of blocked by constipation and then, sometimes, the feces simply flows around the blockage and comes out runny. This happened to me. In my case, there wasn't much of the runny stuff coming out, which was one thing that made me think that it was not actually diarrhea.


I know that the last thing you feel like dealing with right now is dealing with medical bills you can't afford. But, I have to tell you that I really think you simply must see a doctor now. Tell him or her that you cannot afford expensive tests at this time and ask what you should do. Maybe there is a social service agency that can help you to find help. I know there's got to be some help out there for you!


Did you go to the website that lists different programs to help pay for medicines? That would be a start. Didn't your parents help you pay for some medical bills awhile back? Could they do some calling around to the hospital and doctors' offices or something and find out what's available in the form of help for someone with a serious medical condition who needs help with finances. There has got to be something!


If all else fails, go to the emergency room. They have to see you whether you can pay or not.


I am so sorry you are having such a tough time. I am thinking about you and hoping that help is just around the bend for you!




Mary in Texas

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