James Ranka earned two BA degrees. One in Mass Communications; the other, Music Performance. He is also a photographer and photo artist.
Painful Chronic Constipation Began With Prescribed Opiates
I suffer from chronic pain.
Four bulging disks along my cervical area coupled with four degenerative lumbar region discs cause extreme pain that has been diagnosed as a chronic pain condition.
To help cope with the unending discomfort, my doctor prescribes the potent opiate analgesia, Norco. I take only the prescribed amount and never ingest more than what is obligatory.
Recently, opiates, even those prescribed, have come under media and even federal fire. My physician is bound by law to count my pills on a regular basis, ensuring I comply with one of the newly-introduced governmental regulations.
Scientific data validates that the use of prescribed opiates over an extended period produces chronic constipation.
I did not need research or studies from the scientific community to discover this truism, however. Over time, this blockage issue became a constant companion.
Online inquiries revealed many cures, most unnatural and many dangerous if used over extended periods of time. My bouts with constipation heightened my desperation. I discovered many answers to the problem such as:
- Water-absorbing laxatives
- Intestine-stimulating laxatives
- Magnesium citrate
- Epsom salts
- Enemas, and many others
Over the years I have individually used all of them when needed. On many occasions, the prescribed amount was not enough to solve my blockage problem. I took it on myself to ignore warnings and directions to take in much more than written on the product labels.
Severe constipation is extremely painful, and when evacuation becomes a screaming, over-straining, and extended time event, one will "throw out the book" for relief.
At first, the symptoms were intermittent. However, over time, they became unbearable. Even though the described methods always eventually worked, in May of 2017, they stopped working. I was in trouble.
I then began drinking two bottles of the strong laxative, magnesium citrate plus a generous helping of Epsom salts taken together for relief.
Having nearly reached a final breaking point, I noticed two bags of chia seeds sitting on my shelf. I then changed my tactics and decided to give the seeds a try. Why not? I had absolutely nothing to lose!
Raw Organic Chia Seeds: A Natural Constipation Remedy and a Miracle Food Rich in Nutrients
Raw Chia Seeds to the Rescue?
After reading an online article on raw, organic chia seeds and its many health benefits, I saw they were an excellent source of fiber. Although I tried most blends of over-the-counter fiber for constipation aids, none worked.
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As stated, I was desperate to defeat this waste elimination problem, so I opened the large bag of seeds and poured a heaping helping into a bowl. After adding enough water to cover the seeds barely, I brought a teaspoonful to my mouth.
My ignorance of this compound mixture quickly became evident. It is absolutely necessary for the seeds to soak in a proper amount of water!
With no hesitation, I spat the raw seeds from my mouth and began to crack the books on the how-to's of preparing chia seeds.
The learning process was straightforward, and I immediately mixed up a raw, organic chia seed delight. The taste was more than adequate and quite comfortable to ingest.
My 'recipe' consisted of:
- One part seeds
- Three parts water
- Raw stevia for sweetness
I later created a more sophisticated mixture, but the above-listed blend of ingredients served my purposes quite well at the beginning.
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Raw, Organic Chia Seeds: Up Close
Immediate Relief Not Coming
I ate the seeds for two days straight and although I did feel some 'movement,' I remained constipated.
I then prepared my usual mixture of Epsom salt and water and drank it down.
Six hours later, the by-now hallowed gates of relief opened to let me enter. I expelled the entire payload, and the feeling was glorious!
I stayed with my adopted chia seed regimen, stepping it up to twice daily. Two days later, with no additional additive, I experienced an even more blessed event. A two-day wait may seem a long time but consider I encountered periodic stretches of over eight days corked!
This one successful experiment convinced me I was on to something soothing and lasting.
Oh No! Not Again!
How Chia Seeds Relieve Constipation
Chia seeds absorb water within your intestines to form a thickening substance that gradually expands. This jelly-like squash softens the stool and enlarges its overall size. This action naturally stimulates the "push nerves" along the intestine to begin working. The congealed stool gradually, yet surely, makes its way to a final destination - your toilet bowl.
For the chia seeds to work, your consumption of water must dramatically increase. Any movement, such as slow, easy walking helps as well. Dust off the workout gear and simply begin. Thinking, "yeah, sure I'll do it, just not today," is a ticket to guaranteed chronic constipation hell.
If you have suffered under the wrath of this condition, know that the seeds will not begin to work immediately. Also, if the average, non-victim must ingest four grams for relief, you may need double that amount or more on occasion.
Initially, two teaspoons of Epsom salt mixed well with warm water may be necessary on top of the seeds but give it at least two days before resorting to this measure.
Finally, chia seeds worked for me. You may not be so fortunate. However, use them over a period of over two weeks before you throw your hands to the sky in total defeat.
- Eat chia seeds at least once every day—more if deemed necessary.
- Dramatically increase your daily intake of pure, clean drinking water.
- Add exercise to your sedentary life. If you regularly work out, find ways to improve your current activities. Remember to move!
- If you don't see results after two days, drink an Epsom salt solution.
- Find various and tasty ways to prepare chia seeds.
- When you feel 'the urge,' don't hold it in; immediately make a beeline for your closest dump facility
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on July 19, 2017:
Thanks, Peggy, So far so good. Although I am not completely rid of the effects, it's vastly improved. I agree with you - I prefer the natural methods over prescription medications. Maybe one day, medical science will discover a chronic pain answer other than opiates. Thanks for your comment!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 19, 2017:
We keep chia seeds in our pantry. I usually add a bit to yogurt and fruit or sprinkle some on salads with dressing. It is wonderful to know that using them regularly helped with your chronic constipation due to having to take opiates for pain.
There is a television ad currently shown advertising another type of prescription for chronic constipation caused by opiates. I would rather use natural methods if at all possible since almost all prescriptions have possible side effects. Glad that this one is working for you. May you have continued success!
James Ranka (author) from Port Neches on July 16, 2017:
Thank you, Louise! Years ago, a TV commercial showed up every year starting about Thanksgiving. The spot advertised a gimmicky gadget called, 'The Chia Pet'. It was a ridiculous, yet hugely successful "gift" featuring a small shape of a bald human head. The doll's head contained holes stuffed with Chia Seeds. The point of sale was this: Water it every day and watch it miraculously sprout hair. Ridiculous as it sounds, this pet doll made a small fortune for its inventor, Ron Popeil. That was how I heard about Chia Seeds, obviously via a very different context!
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on July 16, 2017:
Well that was interesting to read. I've never heard of chia seeds before.