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Changes in diet causing constipation ?

I've had internal hemorrhoids for over the past 2 months. I thought I could self-treat with numerous sitz baths, an improved diet, and more fluids. Prior to this, my diet consisted of Subway, pizza, tacos, Hormel chili, Honey Bunches of Oats cereal w/ skim milk, bologna sandwiches. Up until this point I was chewing 6 or more pieces of 2mg nicotine gum daily. My stool was fine... no problems, soft and good sized.

Then the hemorrhoids happened, at least this was assumed... see, I had two bloody dumps two days in a row and, thus, went to see a doctor at emergency care who gave a rectal exam and claimed I had minor internal hemorrhoids. For a month, I changed to eating bananas, pears, apples, raisins, beans, clam chowder + Benefiber, chili w/ beans, Kashi Go Lean Crunch! w/ skim milk, whole wheat peanut butter sandwiches. I supplemented that with a multivitamin. I was still chewing the same amount of nicotine gum. My stool was initially hard (about 25% of the content) and the rest of it was soft during this month. I couldn't figure out why my stool was initially hard... started taking Stool Softener. Tried that for 2 weeks, no change. I was taking sitz baths 4 to 6 times a day.

My condition actually seemed to get a lot better... and for 4 days in a row I had very little pain and easy dumps. So I canceled my appointment with the rectal surgeon. Then one morning... blood in the stool again. And again the next day. This was two weeks ago. So I got even more strict with my diet. Now I've been eating the same stuff (Kashi, fruits, beans, whole wheats, etc.), drinking 10 to 14 glasses of water a day (i.e. 5-7 bottles of water), and having a packet of 10g fiber oatmeal in the morning (whereas I used to eat nothing in the morning). I also stopped taking the nicotine gum.

And that's what I've been doing for the past couple weeks... and this week I started squatting to defecate. But here's the kicker: my stool has never been harder... CRAZY hard. I just had a slightly bloody stool this morning, and the same with right now (tonight).

So... my diet has been high fiber + water for the past 2 months (also sitz baths and stool softener). And currently, my stool has never been more hard than in my entire life. The first part of the stool comes out in small quantities. This is about 25% of the stool, but takes 90% of the time to pass. I have to strain to get it out, and it hurts. The rest is fairly soft and easy to pass. I defecate usually once a day in the morning and very rarely at night (which usually means no dump the following day).

Now this definitely sounds like constipation (on top of the internal hemorrhoids)... but I'm perplexed as to what would cause it... especially now that my diet is substantially better than it has ever been. I've considered the possibility that my intestines were cleaning themselves out, but not for 2 months... this is ridiculous.

I'm 25 years old, 5'9", and weight about 125 pounds. My metabolism is faster than most and I consume maybe 1500 to 1800 calories or so a day. It may not seem like much, but consider this: I sit in a chair all day/night (minimal energy usage) and I eat when I'm hungry until I'm satisfied.

If this sounds like any familiar stories anyone's heard about, I would love to hear feedback about it. Because I've been traversing the Internet looking for people in this scenario but cannot find anyone.
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replied May 6th, 2010
I can relate! Any luck with softer stools yet? My diet is nearly the same and I have pain and am bloated almost constantly... Let me know if you''ve had any luck with ANYTHING over the counter...
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replied July 5th, 2011
wrong GI flora?
I had a constipation problem with hemorrhoids for may years, until I got treated for a wound infection with Biaxin (a macrolide antibiotic). After that hemorrhoids remained, but stool has become almost prominently soft. I suspect a great deal of constipation cases are actually caused by a wrong intestinal flora. Once the bacteria were wiped out by the antibiotic, the problem was resolved.
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