Constipation and Sickle Cell


tpMany sickle cell warriors have to take pain medications for sickle cell crisis. Unfortunately, one of the side effects is that these pain medications may cause constipation. Unrelieved constipation can be very painful, uncomfortable and lead to bowel impaction or other bowel complications. It’s important to ensure that you are having regular daily bowel movements. Dr. Oz recommends that you should have 1 BM every time you eat…so 3 BMs a day. A good bowel regimen helps to manage issues with constipation and promote a healthy GI system. The following is a collation of suggestions from the warriors on the Facebook page. Read the full post here.

If you are on pain meds, you should be doing one or a combination of the following. The goal is to be proactive and not reactive. Don’t wait until you haven’t had a BM for days to do something. If you take a pain pill or IV pain medicine, you should automatically ask your doctor to be put on one of the following or order it from the kitchen yourself. Most of them should be taken with lots of water to help flush out the wastes.

Natural Laxatives: Prune juice, Water, Olive oil, Coffee, AloeVera Juice, Hot/warm apple juice, Organic SmoothMove tea and other laxative teas, Epsom salt+water (nasty but works), green tea, Mineral Oil

Pharma Laxatives: Miralax, Oxypowder, Lactulose (may cause cramping and gas), Magnesium citrate saline laxative (personal favorite to cleanse the colon)

Natural sweeteners: Sorbitol (these are sweet, but do the trick) without the side effects of laxatives

Dietary Recommendations: High fiber diet, natural grains, fruits, and vegetables, FiberOne bars, Fish Oil, Greek Yogurt+Flax seed, sugar-free chocolate

Stool softeners and suppositories: Colace, Dulcolax, Glycerin

Want more tips? Click HERE. I think with all these recommendations  you are more than covered! Remember, if you are taking a pain med, reach for your bowel regimen at the same time. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the curve and keep things moving!


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