I think when we become mothers, our metric for what warrants a doctor visit changes. I mean, once you’ve had a series of office visits that result in an actual BABY HUMAN, everything else sort of becomes mild in comparison, I guess.
But too many years of this kid-focused life and we begin to lose touch with not only how to measure our own discomfort, but we get older and it becomes harder to distinguish actual issues with general aging.
So, it’s no surprise that women who suffer from poop issues don’t always see this as a situation that warrants a dedicated trip to the doctor. But it should. Not pooping regularly is a big deal. (Link to post #1 “When Was the Last Time You Pooped?”)
Your poop issues might be bigger than you thought. It might be CIC—chronic idiopathic constipation.
Symptoms of CIC include: *1
Fewer than 3 bowel movements a week.
Difficult-to-pass bowel movements.
Not feeling empty after going.
But nothing is worse than taking the time to go the doctor, and paying the co-pay for the office visit, only to then receive advice you could have actually gotten on the internet. I’m looking at YOU “eat more fiber” and “drink more water.”
So let’s talk about how to have this conversation with your doctor—because let’s face it, this subject can sometimes be hard to approach.
Here are five ways to prep for your visit:
Track Your Food + Water Intake
Regularly offered advice for constipation relief is to eat more fiber and drink more water.1 Help your doctor REALLY understand what you’re eating on a weekly/daily basis. And be honest. If your doctor is armed with the right information, he or she will be in a better position to truly help you. I’ll go one better—take a picture of your grocery cart.
Bring Your Medicines + Supplements
Your doctor needs to know what else you’re taking. I’m a big fan of just bringing in the bottles of vitamins, supplements, and medicines when I visit the doctor. That way they can take a look at all of the ingredients and make sure that you’re not inadvertently taking something that’s causing your gastrointestinal distress, AND that anything he or she suggests won’t cause a reaction.
Keep a Poop Journal
I’ve gone to the doctor myself to talk about my constipation—and faltered when it came to the exact details of frequency and—ahem—poop consistency. Both are important to discuss. So start marking your calendar, noting when you go and how successful you were. It’s also helpful to note any information about timing and diet so as to help identify any patterns. History is important too. Has this always been a problem, or is it a recent development due to lifestyle/dietary changes or stress?
List What You’ve Tried
After you hear “eat more fiber and drink more water,” you may hear “get more exercise” and “reduce your stress.” (EASIER SAID THAN DONE, AM I RIGHT?) List what you’ve tried and how often you get to move your body. Have you used over-the-counter laxatives? How did it go? Are you dealing with either diarrhea or constipation without a comfortable middle ground?
Read About CIC and Trulance
Take a look at the symptoms of CIC and see if it’s a condition you should talk to your doctor about and read up on Trulance™ (plecanatide).2 Trulance is indicated for adults with CIC. *2 Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe.2 It is important to discuss the potential benefits and side effects with your doctor.2 You can create a customized doctor discussion guide here to help you. See additional important safety information below.
The goal is to find a treatment regimen that works for you.
What is Trulance?
Trulance™ (plecanatide) 3 mg tablets is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat a type of constipation called chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if Trulance is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not give Trulance to children who are less than 6 years of age. It may harm them.
You should not give Trulance to children 6 years to less than 18 years of age. It may harm them.
Do not take Trulance if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).
Before you take Trulance, tell your doctor:
If you have any other medical conditions.
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Trulance will harm your unborn baby.
If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Trulance passes into your breast milk. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Trulance.
About all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 4 weeks of Trulance treatment. Stop taking Trulance and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Trulance. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
You are encouraged to report side effects to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or you can report side effects to Synergy Pharmaceuticals at 1-888-869-8869.
- Thomas R, Luthin D. Current and emerging treatments for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation: focus on prosecretory agents. Pharmacotherapy Pub. 2015; 613-630.
- Trulance™ [Prescribing Information]. Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., New York City, New York: January 2017. http://content.stockpr.com/synergypharma/files/pages/synergypharma/db/147/description/PP-TRU-US-0175++Trulance+Prescribing+Information.pdf. Accessed July 25, 2017.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Synergy Pharmaceuticals. The opinions and text are all mine.