Constipation - Ataxia or not?

I apologize in starting this distasteful thread but I would like to know your thoughts. I’ve had problems since my Ataxia has gotten “worse”. I now take Psyillium for bulk every day - once a day [rounded teaspoon] - which helps plus I take two pills of Solgar Magnesium Citrate pills. The MagCit makes things kinda loose and a little messy while the Psyillium keeps things solid. So, overall, together they work so I’m regular. I asked my gastro doctor if I can take both and he said yes. He also said to drink at least 7 glasses of water each day.

Do you have this problem also?


Chas, I too Have constipation/regularity problems. It makes sense for me that it is related to neurological conditions. Bowels rely on muscle activity to move stool through our digestive tracts. Many of us that have this condition share similar muscle/nervous system related symptoms including constipation.
A few things that help keep me “going” 1. I drink plenty of water, 8-10 glasses/day in the morning and with meals. Water keeps the bowel lining hydrated and lubricated. I have to pee a lot of course, but it’s better than being constipated. 2. Occasionally I have to take Docusate Sodium pills to soften stools. 3. I try to eat plenty of fibre rich foods and cereals, every day I consume 2 teaspoons of ground flax seeds, Flax expands when moistened and makes space in the bowel for regular food to pass through. I usually have flax on my cereal or on applesauce. 4. I know you are as physically active as possible, but remain active. Keep moving. A sedentary lifestyle and constipation go hand in hand. Physical activity helps keep stool in motion. I have a stationary bike which I ride for a half an hour each day to keep moving.
Good luck and may you have happy movements!


Bowel issues are commonly related as they are controlled by muscles and nervous system controls. As an added bonus, many of the drugs and vitamins also effect our bowel inner workings. It just keeps getting better doesn’t it? LOL. My doctors say to keep an eye on it for progression and try to manage the symptoms. When I need their help I just speak up. (Mine has gotten to the point of inconvenience for reference.)

Plenty of oil and vinegar dressing on salads. Fruit, nuts and seeds with oats for breakfast with soya milk and of course exercise.

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:slightly_smiling_face: Good points Patsy :+1: For those of us who aren’t very mobile it must be challenging to find a suitable solution :slightly_smiling_face:xB

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According to my GP some Ataxias can have colon muscle disruption issues.

:slightly_smiling_face: Interesting, I have pain myself but I’ve been inclined to put it down to adhesions, caused after an operation :thinking: xB

I drink Miralax in OJ or cranberry juice. If that doesn’t work, I request a suppository.

I found that Solgar Magnesium Citrate pills work really good. There are cheaper MC pills but they don’t work as well. The MC is a vitamin so it can be taken every day. However, always check with your doctor first.

Sorry to bring this up again but I’m having bathroom problems with this again. I do all the right things [fiber, water, exercise] but for the last month I’ve been working too hard to remove waste. It’s a good thing that my stomach muscles are strong because I’ve had to push quite hard. Shouldn’t have to!

I’ve been forced to take Colace lax and stool softener just to vacate but I still have to push. Pretty sure that I have some sort of impaction [sp?]. Seeing my gastro doc next week.

I’ve taken Dulcolax on occasion in the past for this problem but it causes very strong cramps so I don’t want to go that route again. I’m pretty sure that he will suggest Miralax which is not bad at all.

I had very good results with it. I take it daily.

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Chas, I too am suffering from constipation issues. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any good solutions to this problem. (maybe problems would be worse without proper diet, exercise, and water)? It is my understanding that: once the muscles responsible for moving waste through the bowel system quit working, none of the medications, powders, or supplements etc. seem to work. Some work by stimulating the muscles, and others work by pulling water into the stool.
My neurologist has referred me to a gastro specialist as well. So I will hear what he/she has to say, but I don’t expect any miracles.
Dulcolax if nothing else gave me cramps as well. It was unpredictable, in that you never really knew if and when it was going to work. Hence many accidents!
I have a herniated small umbilical appearently from pushing so hard.
Now I use Restoralax, and lots of H20. But it seems to be less and less effective.
Bottom line here may be that, there is no solution. We may have to struggle/live with constipation. I’ve preached this before, but a sedentary lifestyle and lack of water may be to blame. And I know these solutions to the constipation problems aren’t easy to achieve for ataxians.
My experience may be of no use, but I can assure you, you are not alone in this battle.
Please do keep us informed of your experience with the gastro doc.


Keeping well hydrated is something I often forget, it seems an obvious thing to remember to do but when water appears to want to make a quick exit… I’m taking Psyllium Husk capsules, and so far so good :slightly_smiling_face:xB

All I’m going to say right now is that Ataxia really SUCKS!!

I agree with you that Ataxia SUCKS. My wife’s uncle next door, had been diagnosed with metastatic Liver cancer. I will be surprised if he makes it more then few months. I am sure he will trade my Ataxia in a heart beat. Just a different perspective.

The thing that sucks the most in my estimation is that when you think you can deal with one part of it another bad thing happens and bites you in the a$$.

Shoaib: That really sucks!

Does anyone know if probiotics help with constipation?

Not sure, But they certainly won’t hurt.
I personally trialed some probiotics for a while and had no benefit.
I tried both the expensive kind and some less expensive gummies normally administered to infants. Both didn’t really show any benefit from a constipation perspective.
For me and most, constipation issues don’t really stem from how food is processed in my stomach, but more on the work of muscles and how they move food through the digestive system. This may be different for others, although, I suspect no matter which type of condition, constipation may be caused by the same muscle malfunction.
Food may receive all the correct digestion processes in our stomachs, however, they don’t seem to get the correct treatment when they get to the intestinal stage.
In this process if probiotics are introduced and help break down the food before it enters this stage, they may help. Try them to see, they won’t do any harm. (I don’t think).

Hmmm!!! Advertising…

I received this email today. I know it’s a SPAM but I’m seriously thinking of buying one bottle to see if it really helps. I am hesitant though because my present “therapy” seems to be working but not really as well as I would like. So, if one of you wants to give it a try I would love to see your post and how it works.

EDIT: I looked for user comments on this product and almost all of them were positive. I’m getting more inclined to try it.

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