You've reached Bowel Problems Part 2. If you'd like to read Part 1 first, click here.
That brings us to the next thing – try not to get too stressed out, especially about having a bowel movement. If you can relax when you're going to the bathroom, that will help a great deal in getting you to the place you need to be. Even certain emotions, like depression, can cause your digestive system to go out of whack.
Even after doing everything right, what if you're still constipated? You may need to go a step further and try stool softeners, fiber supplements, laxatives, suppositories, or enemas. The other side of the coin when it comes to this type of problems and MS is diarrhea and/or incontinence. Incontinence is very rare, but diarrhea can happen even when you have constipation.
If you become constipated to the point of having compacted stools, this can lead to other problems, like incontinence. If incontinence only happens occasionally, following one of the tips above could help restore your system to health. But this will take time and a commitment on your part. The suggestions are just that, suggestions. If you don't follow at least some of them, they won't work.
If you are one of those people where nothing helps, then your doctor may have to subscribe medication to help solve the problem. In fact, your doctor may see where certain medications are actually causing the problem.
If that's the case, he or she may suggest changing the dose or when you take it to see if that makes a difference. If that doesn't work, you may have to consider taking a different medicine that doesn't have bowel problems as a side effect.
When incontinence is the problem, which happens very rarely, you may need to wear protective underwear. They will protect your skin and your clothing and also stop any odor associated with this problem. So try not to limit the things you do because of this problem.
I know it's not the easiest or the most comfortable issue to deal with in your long list of symptoms. It is manageable, however. You may feel embarrassed, annoyed, or just plain angry that you have to deal with a problem like this. Just remember, you don't have to do it alone.
Talk to your doctor to see what their suggestions are. Follow some of the suggestions above. Whatever you do, don't suffer in silence, trying to figure it out all on you own.