Best way to fight difficult constipation?

I am taking an anti-inflammatory drug to help me recover from my recent hernia operation. Its caused me to be heavily constipated.

What I wan to know is they say you can 2 maximum strength ex-lax pills. What would happen if I would to double that?

Is there another way to relieve difficult constipation?

(please no jokes)

Moderator Action

Medical questions are best suited to IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

It would be best for to ask your doctor this question considering you been ill.

If you hadn’t recently had surgery I would advise: Drink one or two cups of hot, black coffee, first thing in the morning - no other food yet! On an empty stomach.
But since you have had surgery, you should get a doctor’s advice instead, don’t mess around with Web advice, too dangerous.

Did you already take the Ex-Lax as directed? Two doses 12 hours apart with no results after 18-24 hours?

Increase your water and fiber intake. You should be drinking a couple liters of water daily if you’re taking a constipating drug. Add a psyllium husk fiber supplement like Metamucil, but with that your water intake should be even more. Eat a salad, the kind with greens.

Increase your water intake.

Effective and safe.

Now I’m going to be more direct.
Did your doctor RECOMMEND Ex Lax?
Ex Lax is specifically NOT recommended after abdominal surgery.
Stool softeners (ducosate for example) ARE recommended after abdominal surgery.
And don’t go crazy on the water. Moderation in everything.

If your Dr. said use Ex Lax, then go for it, otherwise try a stool softener.

Eat some fruit.

Especially dried fruit. Snack on some dried apricots or apple rings.

Exactly. Prunes!

Dates are delicious.

Hot bath followed b a swing in a hammock or a rock in a rocking chair. The hot bath relaxes the muscles, the rocking/swinging nudges things into motion.

It’s easy, it’s pleasant, no drugs, and very effective!

Thanks for the great advice.

My doctor said if I want to I can take magnesium citrate. I looked into it and its not as totally nasty tasting as it used to be.

Miralax is the same thing patients are given before colonoscopies just in a smaller dose. You can take it several times a day until you poop.

Until you try to get out of the hammock in a hurry. :eek:


You could do like I’ve heard of certain senior citizens do, and basically stir a tablespoon of miralax into your morning coffee.

Senior citizens and people who have had abdominal surgery. I was on Dilaudid for three months* and would have been terribly constipated without Miralax. It’s the best option I’ve seen. The fiber suggestion is actually the opposite of what you want. After abdominal surgery a low-residue diet is recommended to keep the stool from bulking up too much. Smaller and softer is what you want. :slight_smile:

  • It wasn’t as fun as it sounds. I was in so much pain that I never got loopy from it. I got functional, at best.

Yep. Ex-lax is a stimulant. If it kicks in, you’re going to be straining to pass bricks where bricks are not meant to go.

Do anything you can to soften up the stool. Docusate, Miralax, mineral oil and so on. When I had my kids, Colace (one brand of docusate) was included in the stuff they gave me at the hospital. I was stunned they didn’t have it available on request when I had my gallbladder out 6 years ago. I made my husband buy me some, and I added as much fiber as I could to my diet (that may or may not be appropriate for the OP).

If things are really backed up, an oral version may not be enough and you may need to go with an enema or mineral oil suppository. Don’t do that without checking with the doctor.

I’m surprised at anti-inflammatories causing constipation - I don’t think of any of them doing that (unless you’re on something that also has a narcotic in it?).

That is my mistake. It WAS the anti pain meds with the codeine in them.

Sit on a piece of cheese, and swallow a rat.