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TOPIC: What can my wife do to go to the bathroom regularly?

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March 9, 2010 1:08 PM
Hi. I am writing for advice on what my wife can do to go to the bathroom regularly. She is doing WW and is staying in her points. She doesn't eat all her 35 flex points, usually only dips into them on the weekend. We have tried for the last month increasing her calories, thinking maybe since she wasn't eating all the flex points is why the weight loss stopped but unfortunately all she's done is continue to gain weight. She is 5'1 and was happily having consistent weight loss. After the holidays she gained a couple back but went right back to what she was doing with no loss. We started adding more of her flex points in and she keeps on gaining weight every week. She's been eating more for 3 to 4 weeks and after last week is up 8 pounds since December. She is going to see a doctor if things don't get back on track. She is going to eat how she was a few months ago when it was working and not try to eat those flex points unless she's hungry. She definitely shouldn't be gaining as much as she is for the little amount her intake has increased. One thing that is a problem is after she eats out on the weekend sh'ell usually have a bowel movement over the weekend. Then she may not have another one until the next weekend. She usually only goes once or twice a week. Could that be why the weight is gaining even though she's eating healthy? She is going to eat how she did when things were working and stick with that. What can she do to help with the bowel movements during the week that won't cause weight gain. Someone suggested flax seed oil. Has anyone had luck with that and how do you use it? Also, if anyone else has had this problem and knows what we can do to help I would greatly appreciate any advice to help my wife . She really is getting frustrated and I don't know what to do to help her. She eats Activia I think. I know not going but once or twice a week has to hinder weight loss. Thanks.
Edited by sean23 On March 9, 2010 1:47 PM
March 9, 2010 1:10 PM
whats her fiber intake like? she should be getting at least 14grams of fiber a day....
March 9, 2010 1:14 PM
She needs fiber every day and lots of water. If she can't get the fiber all in she should try the fiber tablets to substitue. Good luck smile
Edited by kksam On March 9, 2010 1:14 PM
March 9, 2010 1:14 PM
She should definately check her fiber. Make sure she is getting at least 14 grams a day. Also make sure she is drinking enough water

I just went to the doctor for the same issue and found out I had some blockage.

I had to take Milk of Magnesia every 6 hours for 3 days then I have to take 17g of Miralax every day for 1 month.

She may want to check with a doctor it could be as simple as a diet issue or as complicated as blockage.
March 9, 2010 1:14 PM
Oh my! Once a week? That doesn't sounds fun..

It's hard to say really, without knowing how old she is, what she eats from day to day, and what kind of exercise she does, but I'd say most important thing right now is to get that bowel movement more regular, at least every other day, although most people say once a day or more is ideal. Make sure she's getting lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. And drinking enough water, that's key.

I don't know if she's even actually gaining weight, persay, as in actually body mass, whether it be lean or fatty tissue, I'd guess the back up in the bowels is to blame. She'll probably drop quite a few pounds of waste weight once her bowels start moving more regularly.

If the nutrition is sound you should probably see a doctor, bowel problems are serious!

Best of luck, and my condolences to your wife, hopefully it'll get straightened out soon! flowerforyou
March 9, 2010 1:15 PM
I have this problem for a long time. Lots of greens in a day and 8-10 pitted prunes per day. Works like a charm. I go every day now. It used to be that if I flew away on vacation or business trip, I would not go at all. Not good and can be painful. Try the prunes.
March 9, 2010 1:16 PM
PS daily adult fiber is at least 25g, not 12g, for some reason MFP adjusts your fiber to your calories, but I believe most on here agree it's like sodium and shouldn't exceed (or drop below) a certain number regardless of your daily caloric intake. If you eat less you still need the same essential nutrients, so you need to eat better to keep your body happy =)
March 9, 2010 1:17 PM
Go to your goals, plug in her information & see what her fiber intake should be. Great sources of fiber (or just to help with the plumbing) would be any kind of nut but mostly almonds, onions, garlic, etc.
March 9, 2010 1:20 PM
Hi, the most common cures for irregularity are benefiber or other fiber supplement, drinking lots of water, and avoiding cheese. As to the weight loss I think weight watchers gives too many calories for women over 40, because their metabolism just goes on the blink. You didn't say how old she is, but it is unfortunately normal to gain weight for almost no reason after 40. It never hurts to check with a doctor, though, especially for some good tips. Good luck! J
March 9, 2010 1:22 PM
Thanks for the advice. I will have to check her intake. She stays within the guidelines of WW but I am not sure how much that is. When you talk about prunes, do you mean prune juice, or just eat them?
March 9, 2010 1:25 PM
Make sure your wife checks with her doctor, most of all. One of the women that i work with has a similar problem. Her doctor recommended taking an acidophylis (spelling?) tablet every day, and eat one container of Activia daily. You can get the acidophylis from the vitamin section of most stores - it's a supplement that aids in digestion. She hasn't had a problem in a few months now and is very happy with the results. She also drinks a lot of water. Hope this helps.
March 9, 2010 1:39 PM

I know not going but once or twice a week has to hinder weight loss. Thanks.

Really? Because I go about twice a week and I'm doing just fine. wink

"Regularity" is a hugely relative term. Twice a week is regular for me.

If she's *uncomfortable,* she should see her doctor about it.
Otherwise, she may want to try to get in 25g of fiber each day and be sure to drink plenty of water to keep all the fiber moving.
March 9, 2010 1:43 PM
I take Yerba Prima Colon Care

It's a high fiber natural supplement. Works great! That with lots of water!
Edited by lvfunandfit On March 9, 2010 1:43 PM
March 9, 2010 1:48 PM
I know is sounds odd...I've had the same issue...I increased my proteing intake...I workout alot, and eat right, I just felt bloated all the time....since increasing my protein intake I go more often!!
March 9, 2010 1:56 PM
For a quick fix - she might try Miralax - it's very gentle and will help to bring more water into the colon - which should help her get rid of what's she currently holding onto.

After that, I agree - she should be eating plenty of fiber and drinking lots of water.

For the record - WW isn't right for everyone... it's not the program that it once was. Last time I was on WW - I gained 30 lbs and I did not cheat on the plan. It's not just about the number of calories - but the QUALITY of the calories. She should be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
I know on WW it's easy to rely on the WW frozen dinners - make sure that she's watching her sodium intake as well. Good luck!
March 9, 2010 2:01 PM
I think that you might need to take your wife to see a doctor. A couple years ago I had the same problem, couldn't go to the bathroom, gained a lot of weight and I was also very tired, and moody. So I went to my doctor because I just knew something was wrong with me. He had my thyroids checked and low and behold I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was taking all kinds of laxatives before that and it is just not worth all that time spent on the toilet it did no good. I was told by my Dr. that one bowel movement per day is normal. Actually about 3 different Dr. let me know what was normal and what was not. This is just an idea because you want more than just a quick fix.
March 9, 2010 2:26 PM
My son had a problem & was only going to the bathroom about once a week. I started giving him PlumSmart Juice by Sunsweet & he is going reguarly now. It tastes MUCH better than prune juice & better for your body then meds like Miralax. My son would not even go near the prune juice. It works after drinking 8 oz. a day for a couple days.
March 9, 2010 2:34 PM
What are your wife's exercise habits? I have found that exercise has a tendency to wake up my colon, if you know what I mean. wink Perhaps if she increased her exercise and/or her exercise intensity, it may help out with her regularity - in addition to the other suggestions, of course! smile
March 9, 2010 2:44 PM

whats her fiber intake like? she should be getting at least 14grams of fiber a day....

I recently heard that we should get as much as 27 grams of fiber a day!!! Metamucil is a psyllium fiber that definitely helps!!! Although I have never had trouble with bowels, I take it 2x daily....a doctor told me it wouldn't hurt, but it sure helps!!! Best to you, Rick
March 9, 2010 2:50 PM
i agree with the PRUNES, even my kids love them, we dont eat a lot of sugar, prunes taste really sweet to us.
March 9, 2010 3:30 PM
She needs to make sure she's doing things daily and regularly to keep her bowels moving- fiber (at least 25 grams, Metamucil 3x / day), fruits and vegetables, some sort of healthy oil, probiotics and lots of water. Daily exercise is good as well as it keeps things moving.

There are some other tips on this site:

"Avoid constipating foods and drinks, such as white flour, cheese, fried foods, sweets, salt, beef, pasteurized milk, all junk food, wine, carbonated drinks, and coffee. Certain berries with a large amount of seeds, such as strawberries, huckleberries, raspberries and blackberries, should be avoided, too, as they have a tendency to constipate."
March 10, 2010 7:24 AM
So funny, I seem to be in exactly the same position as your wife. I was losing great all fall (and actually, for a whole year) and now suddenly, for about three months I could barely lose a thing. Or it was down 1lb one week, up a pound the next. Bah!

Here's what I've been doing (and I've been losing again lately so it seems to be working!)

- Basically doubled my water and vegetable (fibre) intake.
- Cut out a lot of processed foods (canned soups, bottled salad dressings, these little weight watcher 'mini bars' that I liked, etc.)
- Swapped most of my bread and pitas and granola and stuff for more natural carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.
- And the biggest thing: started paying attention to WHEN I was eating my points. You mentioned your wife sticks to her points during the week and only uses flex on the weekend, which is exactly what I was doing, and I think it was part of my problem. There is a thread in the stickies called 700 Calories a Day and Not Losing, which describes a woman who eats 700 calories MOST of the time, and then has occasional days where she eats above that, and she can't lose weight. I believe this is an extreme version of what I was experiencing. For me I was eating about 1200 calories/day through the week, but ALSO burning about 500 calories (most days) on exercise, (and not eating any activity points), so my net calories during the week were more like 700. Then on the weekend, i wouldn't work out AND I would eat closer to 1600-1700 calories. I think my body was being deprived during the week and overloaded on the weekends, and it was just NOT conducive to losing. My body was holding onto all those calories from the weekend.

So what I do now is track my calories on here and make sure I eat back my exercise calories on the day I earn them -- and make sure my NET calories don't drop below 1200. So I'm not necessarily eating more OVERALL, but I am eating more on the weekdays and less on the weekends. It took a couple of weeks (of gaining, boo!) but it seems to be working now.
March 10, 2010 7:57 AM
I definately think it's best to check with a doctor. I will say I have hear that chia seeds are extreamly high in fiber and you can add them to your oatmeal or just about anyting. I will say a prayer for her that all is well and she will be looseing again. Good luck!
March 10, 2010 8:05 AM

Never mind- I read some more and their website answers my questions!

It has really helped and it does so much more than promote regularity. I take the powder form and mix it into my protein shakes.
March 11, 2010 12:29 AM
Please don't discount a visit to a trusted doctor for a better assessment - as bowel problems can be serious.

There are a lot of posts about fiber on this thread - there's a site called that differentiates between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Supposedly, soluble fiber is key for keeping the digestive system regulated (for people with IBS - and - I've heard a similar dietary approach can really help others with finicky systems).

From what I understand - soluble fiber provides enough "bulk" in the colon to get things moving through- AND - it also helps with the opposite extreme of constipation. Insoluble fiber (such as leafy greens, some veggies and nuts) as well as high fat and dairy items can actually trigger constipation in some people if the soluble fiber is missing. As long as soluble fiber is included in the diet, other foods with insoluble fiber can be better tolerated and enjoyed.

The site mentioned above has a list of soluble vs. insoluble fibers - Soluble includes carrots, mushrooms, oatmeal, white rice, white potatoes, papaya, etc. They're generally foods that are thought of as starchy - but the fiber contribution is crucial to keeping the gut happy. Soluble fiber supplements can also be purchased and dissolved into liquid - they're tasteless and don't thicken upon dissolving - virtually undetectable.. So the trick for your wife could be to try increasing her soluble fiber and making sure that every insoluble is preceded or accompanied by the soluble.

I'm not highly educated on this issue - but the information presented on this site resonates strongly with how my doctor advised me to eat - and my functions are now in proper working order. Hope this is helpful...


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