Managing one’s health while living with a disability requires much more than regular trips to the doctor and excessive amounts of medications. For those with disabilities, daily life can be a bit gross at times.
I believe that it is good to discuss theses issues. It creates awareness of what our daily lives are like and helps others experiencing the same struggles. Topics such as the one in this column should be encouraged.
In today’s column, I decided to talk about constipation. Most people who sit in wheelchairs eventually encounter problems with digestion and bowel movements. This happens for a number of reasons, including dehydration, certain medications, and a lack of exercise.
Until middle school, I hadn’t had any serious complications with my bowel movements. Granted, my disease progressed a considerable amount in junior high. This forced me to spend more time in my wheelchair. For example, I attended three classes in sixth grade and was still able to walk in my house without a mobility aid. By the time graduation came around, I had been put on a beta blocker for my heart and was exhausted by the end of my second class.
I clearly remember my first horrible bout of constipation. At the time, I hadn’t been able to relieve myself for about a week. I tried my best to get through class, but I was suffering. My digestive system was so backed up that I had become nauseous. I didn’t want to call my mom to pick me up, but I couldn’t take it any longer. Milk of Magnesia was the only thing that got me through that awful day. After that, my mom and I got serious about implementing more fibrous foods into my diet.
I began eating prunes in the morning to help regulate my stool. In this study, researchers note that prunes are more effective for constipation than psyllium found in over-the-counter medication. Prunes also have many more unrelated health benefits.
Miralax has also helped to alleviate my constipation. Fiber tablets make me feel like I’ve added one more medication to my endless arsenal of prescriptions. The simplicity of adding the Miralax powder to a drink makes the process less grueling.
Constipation is a common issue among many people, even those with able bodies. It’s a natural occurrence and therefore should not be embarrassing to talk about. If you find yourself suffering bouts of constipation, I hope these easy-to-use tips will help to alleviate your symptoms.
Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.