Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Having trouble regulating my BMs

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Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby Luka » 18 Jan 2016, 11:23

I'm having so much trouble regulating my BMs. : ( I seem to alternate between harder and softer (too soft and irritating) stools. Some mornings I will have harder stools and then afterward will have loose stools that verge on diarrhea (they're really mushy and cloudy, but still partially formed... a Bristol stool chart 5 or 6). I'm not sure if I'm eating too much fiber or not enough. My last CRS told me to take Metamucil (1 tablespoon) in the morning and I'm considering that. Will that help me get more formed (less cloudy) stools? I heard it can make stools too bulky, but maybe that's what I need right now to have more formed stools. Does bulky mean too wide or just more stool?

The loose stools are really irritating the fissure and causing stinging and burning pain throughout the day when I get them. : (

I have a feeling I have IBS, but have never been officially diagnosed. It just seems like even if I eat the same foods all the time and drink the same amount of water, I get a different outcome in my stools each day. It's really stressing me out. I don't have any urgency issues. I go 2-3 times in the morning only.

I am taking Colace (twice a day), which is helping the harder stool in the morning. This was also recommended by my last CRS. Maybe I should only take one a day (either morning or evening).

Also, I drink a LOT of water each day and I'm wondering if I'm drinking way too much. I drink about 10-12 16.9 fl oz bottled waters a day. So, that's almost 200 oz a day or almost 6 liters. Maybe I should cut back?

It's so difficult finding what works for you. I just wanted to vent a bit, even if nobody has any advice. Thanks for hearing me out.
January 2013 - Diagnosed with fissure. Eventually turned chronic.
History of IBS and anxiety disorder, along with fear of using bathrooms other than my own caused it.
Tried Diltiazem, but eventually developed a rash.
LIS surgery scheduled August 26th.
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby chachacha » 18 Jan 2016, 11:56

I was shocked when my CRS suggested Metamucil for my diarrhea, but after looking into it, I discovered that it can definitely be used to firm up the stools. Unfortunately for me though, it only worked for awhile. After taking a certain dosage for a few weeks, I found that I had to up that dosage and keep upping it, to get the desired (harder) stools. So, yes, it definitely can be used to firm things up, and maybe it will work for you long-term, unlike what it did for me (I ended up at the maximum dose about three months in and then couldn't "back out" again). Luckily for me though, after LIS, I no longer had diarrhea.
Fissure since about 2007
Fissure diagnosed in 2011
Diltiazem for two years - didn't work well
LIS January, 2015
Hemorrhoidectomy December, 2017
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby Manitourose » 18 Jan 2016, 12:10

Metamucil (try to get the one without aspartame as it can trigger some people) helped me with my alternating patterns to an extent. Definitely made going to the bathroom a bit easier and more predictable.

It basically helps the stool be more properly formed and I didn't experience anything where it was too hard like Bristol 1 or 2 (pebbles). My hard stool was basically just difficult to pass. My stool in general, however, remained funny looking. I was passing mostly undigested foods since I didn't know I was struggling to absorb most foods at all in my intestines at the time due to celiac disease.

Have you been evaluated by a gastro doc to discuss your cloudy stools? Although IBS can seem to many doctors as "well it's functional, you'll have to deal with it..." there are doctors who care and can provide good suggestions from patient experience... from fiber supplements to probiotics to many other things.

I totally understand, dealt with very similar for years on end! Hang in there.
Oh and I think you're doing great with the water and everything else. It's just tough that is for sure!
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby Luka » 18 Jan 2016, 12:22

Thank you for your quick replies, guys. : ) I guess I will just have to try the Metamucil for myself in the mornings and see how I react to it. I really hope it works and doesn't cause too much gas. I always hear to start very slowly with it (like 1 tsp and working your way up) so your system gets used to it. I will give it a try!

chachacha - I'm sorry the Metamucil didn't work well for you, but I'm happy LIS cured you and your diarrhea never returned. I will give the Metamucil a try and see how it works for me.

Manitourose - No, I haven't seen a GI yet. Lack of good insurance has prevented me from doing so and I'm afraid of the expensive tests they might tell me to do. : ( I haven't even really talked to my GP about this possible IBS issue, either. I've talked to him about acid reflux/GERD, which I have a lot of trouble with. I'm not sure if that's related to the loose stool issue (can acid reflux cause diarrhea? I'm not sure). I do take Prilosec each day before dinner, but I don't think that's the culprit because I've been taking that for about 3 years now and never had issues with it before causing loose stools.

I'm having a bit of a flare-up of the acid reflux issues at the moment, which causes me even more pain since the acid tends to travel up my nose and burn my sinuses. Ugh, I'm a mess. : ( It just seems like no matter what I do, I can never find anything that works for me and that works for me consistently. It really is tough to figure out.
January 2013 - Diagnosed with fissure. Eventually turned chronic.
History of IBS and anxiety disorder, along with fear of using bathrooms other than my own caused it.
Tried Diltiazem, but eventually developed a rash.
LIS surgery scheduled August 26th.
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby chachacha » 18 Jan 2016, 12:38

I'm not sugggesting that your Prilosec is having any effect, but our bodies do change over time, and something that had no effect can suddenly do so. My diarrhea disappeared after LIS, I believe, because I switched from coffee to tea (this was never meant to be something therapeutic, but I just preferred to have tea while lying on the couch in the first few weeks after surgery). I had been drinking coffee my entire adult life (and I'm in my mid-50's now), and had only started having chronic diarrhea about a year before the operation. I also thought that I suffered from IBS, and tried all sorts of cures like several different, very-expensive probiotics, and eliminating a lot of different foods including those with lactose. I knew that coffee sometimes causes diarrhea, but refused to eliminate that because I had been drinking it for so long and simply couldn't believe that it was the culprit.

So again, I suspect that your Prilosec is not the reason for your diarrhea, but just be aware that our bodies, and their reactions to everything, can and do change over time.
Fissure since about 2007
Fissure diagnosed in 2011
Diltiazem for two years - didn't work well
LIS January, 2015
Hemorrhoidectomy December, 2017
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby Luka » 18 Jan 2016, 13:45

chachacha - That's a good point about our bodies changing over time. It's possible the Prilosec might be the cause of the looser stools, although I would think it would cause the problem on a consistent basis. Just a couple weeks ago, I was having more formed stool and no loose stools. It was perfectly formed (a perfect Bristol Stool chart 4!). I made no changes to my diet and have no clue how I was getting such awesome, formed stools that didn't seem to aggravate my fissure very much at all. Then all of a sudden, everything just changed again and I'm back to looser stools with harder/drier stools beforehand. : ( None of it makes sense to me. I do notice that my period really screws things up (it can either give me looser stools or constipation), which I just finished. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about that. Stress causes the same thing. Ugh, it just boggles the mind how bizarre our digestion systems can be at times.

I do notice that when I have a bad flare-up of acid reflux, my stools get a bit looser. I think there's a connection there and it's something I need to discuss with my doctor. The Prilosec never fully controlled my acid reflux and I may have to switch to another PPI. I get nervous about taking Tums because they can cause constipation if you take too many.

What kind of tea do you drink? Is it decaf? I've read the tannins in some teas can help diarrhea. I've never liked coffee and used to drink decaf green tea at night after dinner, but stopped last year.
January 2013 - Diagnosed with fissure. Eventually turned chronic.
History of IBS and anxiety disorder, along with fear of using bathrooms other than my own caused it.
Tried Diltiazem, but eventually developed a rash.
LIS surgery scheduled August 26th.
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby chachacha » 18 Jan 2016, 14:26

Just plain black tea, and yes, I think that adding the tea helped (tannins), as well as eliminating the coffee. A double-whammy of good!
Fissure since about 2007
Fissure diagnosed in 2011
Diltiazem for two years - didn't work well
LIS January, 2015
Hemorrhoidectomy December, 2017
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby Luka » 26 Jan 2016, 12:08

Just an update: I've been trying the Metamucil for the past week, but it hasn't really helped my loose stool problem that much, that I can tell. : ( Perhaps it's still too early and I'm not taking the full dose (only half, since I've read from multiple sources to start slowly with it). I have a bit of gas with it, but it's not too bad.

I bought the normal orange smooth powder version (not the sugar-free, since I have trouble with artificial sugar) and, frankly, I cannot stomach the taste very well. It also seems to flare up my acid reflux issues due to the orange flavor and the nasty taste. There's no flavorless version available? I couldn't find one when I looked at the store.

Also, has anyone on here tried the wafers? I've heard good things about them, so I'm willing to give them a try. Plus, I really could use the extra calories since I've lost so much weight. There's apple crisp and cinnamon flavors. I just don't think I can tolerate taking the powder every day since it makes me gag. I'd try the pills, but you have to take a ton of them a day and I take enough pills as it is.
January 2013 - Diagnosed with fissure. Eventually turned chronic.
History of IBS and anxiety disorder, along with fear of using bathrooms other than my own caused it.
Tried Diltiazem, but eventually developed a rash.
LIS surgery scheduled August 26th.
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Luka
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby chachacha » 26 Jan 2016, 12:53

I couldn't take the powder either (just so gross!), so opted for the capsules. They were very expensive at first, but after I found generic psyllium versions, and bought them in larger quantities (bottles of 300), the cost dropped dramatically. I can understand the desire to not take more though, if you already have to take a lot of other ones.

And I don't take a ton of them, just 2 in the morning and two at night.
Fissure since about 2007
Fissure diagnosed in 2011
Diltiazem for two years - didn't work well
LIS January, 2015
Hemorrhoidectomy December, 2017
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Re: Can Metamucil help loose stools, too?

Postby Luka » 27 Jan 2016, 12:29

Thanks, chachacha. Yeah, I agree that the powder is gross. Yuck! I think I might be sort of getting used to it, though. Maybe it was just I was expecting it to taste better the first time I tried it and was pretty disappointed it tasted so artificial.

I take so many pills as it is, so I'm hesitant about the pills. But it's good to know you don't have to take so many of them at once like I read for the Metamucil capsules.

I picked up the Metamucil cinnamon wafers and am going to give those a try.

Still have the loose stool problem. : ( Maybe I'm eating too many veggies or too much fiber? My breakfast consists of oat bran, half a banana, 4 prunes, and some apple juice. Lunch is a cereal bar with fiber in it. Dinner consists of split pea soup, veggies, chicken or salmon, and brown rice almost every day. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I will continue with the Metamucil to see if it helps eventually.
January 2013 - Diagnosed with fissure. Eventually turned chronic.
History of IBS and anxiety disorder, along with fear of using bathrooms other than my own caused it.
Tried Diltiazem, but eventually developed a rash.
LIS surgery scheduled August 26th.
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Luka
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