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Female with constipation and family history of UC and Ca Colon

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I'm a 30 year old female. I've had constipation issues since I was a child, that got moderately better in my adult life due to lifestyle changes. Within the past year I've started having issues. I rarely, if ever, have the urge to go. All of my fixes that kept me regular seem to have stopped working (coffee, increased fiber and water, exercise). It feels like my bowels have gone to sleep. Most of the time my bowel movements come after a lot of effort to get anything out, or its pencil-thin strands. Often they float. Within the past year also I've stopped eating certain foods that began to give me terrible gas and stomach cramps (some forms of dairly and additives like sorbitol and inulin). I have a family history of colon cancer and ulcerative colitis. With my family history, is my experience now a cause for concern, or something I should continue to try and manage with lifestyle changes? I'm hesitant to resort to laxatives, but I'm about at my wits end.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: Hepatologist
 18 Doctors Online

Thanks for posting your query.
I am Dr.Ratnakar Kini and I am pleased to assist you.

Though you have a family history of colon cancer, it is less likely that the change in bowel habit during the past one year is due to development of cancer. It may be still due to functional constipation. A change is lifestyle, food habits might explain this change in bowel habits. Lifestyle changes and medications would be beneficial.

High fiber diet, lot of fluids, increased physical activity, fiber supplements ( like metamucil) or miralax would provide relief.

You may also consider getting your blood glucose level tested and also get a thyroid function test done. High blood glucose and hypothyroidism can cause constipation.

I hope that answers your question. Please let me know if I can assist you further.
Dr.Ratnakar Kini

Patient replied :

Thank you for your answer! I've been drinking 3-4 liters of water a day, eating high fiber foods, taking Metmucil, and exercising. I feel like if this approach was going to work it would have kicked in by now. I have not tried Miralax before. Is it non-habit forming and safe to use on a regular basis?


Miralax is a wonderful medication for treating constipaton. You can take miralax for relief from constipation.

No , it is no habit forming. It is a very safe medication and we prescribe it for even kids.

As mentioned in my previous post, get your blood glucose level checked and also get the thyroid function test done.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.
Dr.Ratnakar Kini

Dr. Ratnakar Kini
Category: Hepatologist
Fellowship - DM - TN Dr.MGR Medical UniversityResidency - TN Dr.MGR Medical University Medical School - Stanely Medical College, TN Dr.MGR Medical University
Dr. Ratnakar Kini and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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