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One of the problems many people face with muscular dystrophy is chronic constipation. My doctor has shown me a way to suspend over a bedpan with a lift which puts pressure on the lower intestine and causes the bowels to move more quickly

. lift

I on my own have used many herbal laxatives over the years with reasonable success. I first began having constipation problems when I was about 24 after a several week hospitalization because of phemonia. I first tried using a bulk fiber laxative to treat it which worked for about 8 to 12 months. After a while though the fiber in the laxative began to bind up in stool making it very difficult to pass. The problem with my intestines seems to come from the lack of strength and tone with my muscles not necessarily from lack of enough fiber. Although it is also necessary to eat a well balanced diet to me to maintain a bowel regimen. Next I began to use herbal laxatives on a regular basis as part of a regimen. A list of these medications their ingredients and how I have used them follows.


Herb-Lax:

Active ingredients: Senna leaf powder(Cassia angustifolia), 175 mg./tab. Other ingredients-Alfalfa powder(medicago sativa), anise seed powder(Pimpinella anisum), blue malva flower powder(Malva sylvestris), buckhorn bark powder(Rhamnus frangula), corn syrup solids, culver's root powder(Veronicastrum virginicum), fennel seed powder(Foeniculum vulgare), karaya gum, licorice root powder(Glycyrrhiza glabra), malt and barley extract, microcrystalline cellulose, rhubarb root powder(Rheum palmatum).

Indications: For relief of occasional constipation and irregularity. This product generally produces bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours.

Directions: Take 2 to 4 tabs. hs. I took 4 tabs every fourth night at bedtime.

Distributed by Shaklee Corporation, San Francisco, CA 94111

I started taking herb-lax when bulk fiber laxatives began to fail. I would use four tablets every third to fourth night and using a half of a dulcolax suppository the next morning. I gradually found it necessary to increase to a full suppository. Eventually this routine failed to work regularly, eventually completely. This would necessitate the use of a fleet enema on a regular basis until I found an alternative herbal laxative.

Aloe-Vera:

Active ingredients: Aloe ferox (aloe vera resin), 200 mg.; Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera leaf), 50 mg. Other ingredients: Fennel and Beet root.

Indications: For relief of occasional constipation and irregularity. This product generally produces bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours.

Directions: Adults and children over 15 yrs. of age- one capsule hs,prn,with full 8 oz. water,juice or other liquid. Not to exceed one capsule q 24 h.

Nature's Way Products, Inc.

America's Botannical Experts

10 Mountain Springs Parkway

Springville, Utah 84663

I first started using aloe Vera when herb lax began to fail. I started taking on capsule every third to fourth night and using a half of a dulcolax suppository the next morning. I gradually found it necessary to increase to aloe Vera to one and a half capsules and the dulcolax to a full suppository. Eventually this routine failed to work regularly, eventually completely. I went back to using herb-lax for about a year until it began to fail.

Cascara Sagrada:

Active Ingredient : 425 mg Cascara

Sagrada Bark(Rhammus purshianna)

Directions: Adults and children 12 years of age and over: Take 1 or 2 capsules once a day at bedtime with a full glass of water.

Nature's Way Products, Inc.

Trust The Leaf

Sringville, Utah 84663

This is the herb I currently use. I take two tablets every fourth night followed by a full suppository the next morning after breakfast.


Stool Softener:

Ingredients: Each tablet contains the following ingredients : Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinnate 100mg, in a base of Prune Powder,Fig Powder,Irish Moss,Mullien,Fenugreek,Apple Pecktin,Okra,Alfalfa Powder, Golden Seal Root,Ceyenne and Slippery Elm

Directions: Adults, for occasional constipation, one to tablets at night with a full glass of water.

I take two tablets a day crushed and mixed in half a can of Ensure( I have swallowing difficulties so crushing the pills and mixing them with ensure allows me to swallow the stool softener) everyday but my bowel routine day.

Naturade

Softex

herbs

Side effects:

All of my herbal mediations have caused the same side effects- Mild abdominal cramps. Mild to severe gastrol track bloating and intestinal distress. Relieved by lying down on my side with a hot water bottle on my stomach,taking simethicone and drinking camomile tea. All at the same time.

Diet:

Gradually over the years as my condition has progressed I have developed some difficulties in swallowing. So, slowly as my swallowing abilities became worse I began eliminating foods I had problems swallow ing. About a year ago I found it was necessary to change what and how I ate. Because of my difficulties in swallowing I began to put most of my food through a food processor.I also add gravy to most of my meats I was able to eat normally but chewing became laborious and when I swallowed certain foods(especially meats) I tended to gag on small pieces of it. As far as what I eat, I'm now able to eat allot more varieties of food and a much larger servings than I have in years. For roughage I buy fresh or frozen vegetables( currently green beans and carrots) cook them and put them through either a food processor or a blender with a small amount of water and a fair amount of margarine. Canned vegetables work very well prepared this way but they are very high in sodium. Also I discovered you can put salad through a blender by adding a good amount of olive oil along with a small amount of Italian dressing for flavoring. I've also added peeled tomatoes and cucumbers and alvacadoes to the lettuce from time to time. I also eat fish several times a week(mostly baked salmon steaks, fillets tend to have less oils than steaks). Between the olive oil and the fish I seem to get the oils in my diet that I was missing. The oils seem to help it maintaining normal bowel functions. Also, spaghetti sauce seems to help. Lastly drinking Ensure, With Fiber also seems to help out my bowel regimen.


Motion Bed:

Another problem faced by people who have severe forms of Muscular Dystrophy is the need to be turned frequently at night. I use a special type of bed called a motion bed which slowly and continuously rotates from side to side making it unnecessary for me to be turned at night. Before I got my bed I needed to be turned about every 1and a half to two and a half hours. I don't have overnight nursing care. So, not only would I wake to be turned, but a family member would have to get up to turn me. Now I only need to be turned when I need to stop the bed because of air leakage from my nosepiece (when the straps on the headgear loose their elasticity or when the seal becomes severely worn) or when ill or severely congested.

Click on image to download VR film to see how

the bed rotates

 

QT plug-in 1.x users press HERE

 

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