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-   -   So how can I harden up my poop? (a bit too much TMI) (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=270669)

Edward The Head 08-10-2004 02:12 PM

So how can I harden up my poop? (a bit too much TMI)
 
I have a problem that comes up all the time for me lately. Whenever I have an athletic competition my nerves seem to do a number on my bowels. I've tried taking Imodium AD and that works, but I'd rather have something natural.

Since I have a triathlon this weekend I'd rather not have to worry about going 15 minutes into the event. There has to be a better way to take care of this.

I'm sure leiu has some good ideas, but maybe someone else does too.

CC 08-10-2004 02:55 PM

eat more fiber. bulk. cellulose. veggies and fruits. try metamucil - highly concentrated fiber. lay off the greasy foods.

GilaB 08-10-2004 04:35 PM

Aren't metamucil and other fiber supplements used to loosen the bowels? I know that when I switched to an extremely-high fiber breakfast cereal (for unrelated reasons), I had low-to medium-grade diarrhea for about a week until my body adjusted.

FilmGeek 08-10-2004 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GilaB
Aren't metamucil and other fiber supplements used to loosen the bowels? I know that when I switched to an extremely-high fiber breakfast cereal (for unrelated reasons), I had low-to medium-grade diarrhea for about a week until my body adjusted.


I was led to believe they're for regulating bowels. They harden when they need to, soften when they need to so stool is at a more "normal" consistency. If it's stress chemicals that are causing the problem, though, there's probably not a lot you can do. Of course, YMMV.

Khadaji 08-10-2004 05:52 PM

I had very soft stools since an operation a year ago. The Dr. recommended fiber supplements, which will add bulk to too soft stool and soften too hard stool. It did an OK job and is worth trying.

Cheese will also firm up the stool.

Balthisar 08-10-2004 05:58 PM

Isn't Imodium just clay? Pretty natural.

Qadgop the Mercotan 08-10-2004 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Balthisar
Isn't Imodium just clay? Pretty natural.

You're thinking of kaopectate. Imodium is also known as loperamide.
Quote:

Mechanism of action/Effect:

Loperamide acts on receptors along the small intestine to decrease circular and longitudinal muscle activity. Loperamide exerts its antidiarrheal action by slowing intestinal transit and increasing contact time, and perhaps also by directly inhibiting fluid and electrolyte secretion and/or stimulating salt and water absorption
http://www.drugs.com/MMX/Loperamide_Hydrochloride.html

Loperamide is an opiate, and works like codiene and other opiates to slow the bowel. But it seems to cause little, if any, mood-altering effect.

The Great Sun Jester 08-10-2004 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
Loperamide is an opiate, and works like codiene and other opiates to slow the bowel. But it seems to cause little, if any, mood-altering effect.

So you'd test positive for opiates if tested for some reason, right?

Qadgop the Mercotan 08-10-2004 08:12 PM

IIRC, loperamide would come up as an opiate only on the less sophisticated screening testing assays. The more sophisticated ones (which should be performed on the sample once a screening test becomes positive) should recognize it for what it is. And any federally mandated urine drugs screens (such as for the DOT drivers) should be able to exclude this drug.

Besides, if giving a urine sample for a drug screen, always report all medication used within the previous 48 hours, including over the counter medicine.

Rick 08-10-2004 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
But it seems to cause little, if any, mood-altering effect.

Speaking just for myself, not havig the runs alters my mood for the better. :)

Edward The Head 08-11-2004 09:00 AM

I'm guessing that I will have to try more fiber then. That may explain why when I was in Italy I actually didn't have this problem even though I was in a major competition. Lots of good pasta and cheese. I guess I'll find out this weekend if I have to change my undies at every transition.

OpalCat 08-17-2004 02:02 PM

I know how you feel. Since my surgery I have ...non hard poop. I try to minimize the oil in foods that I eat and that helps. I have always been wary of trying something like metamucil because I, also, was under the impression that it made your stool softer. If it doesn't do that, then I might give it a shot...

catsix 08-17-2004 03:56 PM

I find that cheese tends to bind things up if they become too loose.

No idea why, perhaps a doctor could explain it.

Jake 08-17-2004 04:53 PM

I find that lots of popcorn (fiber) helps me a lot.

NajaNivea 08-17-2004 07:45 PM

A couple of slippery elm capsules seems to solve the issue for everyone in my household, man or beast. I get it at Rite-Aid or GNC.

Nightsong 08-18-2004 12:19 AM

Try guava juice.

From the research I've done, it's high in fiber which (as others have mentioned) helps keep things... regular.

As a bonus, there's vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene and potassium in it as well.

(Plus, it takes a heck of a lot better than Metamucil!)

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