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Trying to quit smoking. Feeling week and constipated. What should I do?

Answered by
Dr. Charles S Narasi


Practicing since :1962

Answered : 693 Questions

Posted on Fri, 4 Jan 2013 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Question: Yes, I am trying to quit smoking, for the first time I really think I am ready, I have tried at least 7 other times already. But I get a week in and feel very constipated. I usually am a one a day girl. I have tried miralax, and this does work, but I don't want my body to become dependent on something like this either. Last time I quit, I struggled with constipation for 3 months, until I finally just gave in to smoking again. I have adjusted my health in the form of more liquids, cutting out grains, and increasing fruits and vegetables, none of these things have really helped to regulate me, the only thing that seems to have helped is something like miralax and cigarettes.
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 2 hours later
We see this fairly commonly in smokers.
First of all, I want to congratulate you for
making an honest attempt to quit smokong.
I am positive you will be successful.
Miralax, which is polyethylene glycol solution
has been in use for several years and and is
not associated with severe side effects other than
diarrhea.By adjusting the dose up or down, you can
get the stool consistency to normal.
I am glad that you are changing your dietary habits.
Make sure your liquid inyake is adequate.
If you have not tried a stool softener, may be worth
taking 1-2 daily at bed time with full glass of water.
I really wish you the very best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Charles S Narasi 12 minutes later
Hello, I appreciate this, however, I do not want to be reliant on miralax either. So, even if I use this in the process or as needed of quitting smoking, how long do I use this before discontinuing its use and giving my body the opportunity to take care of itself without the use of outside aids? I am not a heavy medicine user.
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 44 minutes later
You can safely use this for 2-4 weeks and then
taper off. You should do well.
Continue your dietary measures also.
Good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Charles S Narasi 11 minutes later
do you have any recommendations for stool softeners or should I just rely on miralax for now? If so, for how long should I be on the same stool softner? Should I, again, follow the same recommendations that you gave me in the prior response?

Thank you again.
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 2 hours later
I would recommend something like Surfak or similar
products that you can find in any drug store.
If this works then you don't need Miralax.
Good luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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Hello -

Wife is 65 years old and suffers from extreme constipation. She receives excellent medical care, UNC & Duke graduates, but neither her primary physician or her plethora of specialists seem to be able to offer practical suggestions.

Situation resulted from surgery in 2001 four “flat back” syndrome secondary to scoliosis. Nerve damage occurred during surgery with many negative outcomes, such as, chronic pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, some paralysis in right leg.

She manages well, in spite of, these difficulties and prior to surgery was high functioning in very responsible position.

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I understand this is a complicated medical situation, but I am interested only in the bowel management issues.

Any suggestions? Any recommendations? Any solutions?

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