Hi. I had ulcerative colitis for years and about 11 years got a j-pouch. My father has glaucoma. A year ago, I was sent to a specialist after my routine eye exam was flagged. I was then told to come back in six months, which I just did. My eye pressure keeps going up. I have now been told to come back in three months. I finally asked for literature and started reading about it. I am now upset with myself because I didn't do that a year ago, but I have to move on from here. I see one thing that is mentioned is not to lift weights due to straining. 


I do NOT lift weights but I strain almost every single day, in fact multiple times to empty the j-pouch. I am now very very concerned about this. I am trying to reach the doctor to talk to him about it but they are a huge office and so far, he has not had a chance to call me back.


I am also trying to figure out how not to strain. It's complicated. I try and release as much waste as I can when I am home, so I can then shower and stay clean for some time. If I don't do that, I tend to get lots of irritation in the anus area, which is it's own devil. Also, I am very active and out and about so I try and make it so I am not running to the bathroom as much when I am out and about. So, I am sure  I over strain.


My questions are:


Has anyone else found a link with straining and glaucoma and UC or chrons? (I mention chrons because there was talk that I had that too, although I try not to worry about it/think about it cause I have a J pouch! And it might have just been the result of one test done one of the many times I was hospitalized many years ago. )


And, what suggestions might some of you have on avoiding straining? But emptying? 


I could go on and on about various foods and what happens or doesn't happen when I eat them, but that's not the focus at the moment. I have also found that sometimes certain foods do one thing but other times they don't.

Thanks in advance for any and all answers/help/suggestions and feedback.


Original Post

Drink lots of water to keep your stool on the thinner side.  Look into buying a Squatty Potty.  Both my son and husband have a jpouch.

I don't have jpouch but I have Glaucoma and it is very genetic. My father, brother and sister have it too.


I know this post is old, but I was looking up straining on here tonight, because this issue concerns me as well. I find that Metamucil is extremely helpful. It makes the stool thicker, which makes me need to strain a lot less and also makes it easier to pass gas, which can be difficult for me.

I've noticed that a lot of people seem to prefer having thinner stools because they feel that makes it easier to go. But I don't understand that. For me, the thicker and more solid it is, the easier it is to go and the less I have to strain. It's like when it's solid, the sphincter muscle has something to grip onto. It's like the difference between trying to pick up water with your fingers vs. picking up ice cubes.

I think this problem happens because the small bowel doesn't have the same kind of muscle actions that your colon has, to push out the poop when you're ready to. Instead, you only have your sphincter and outer abdominal muscles to compensate. I find that it helps to get off the toilet and walk around for ten or 20 minutes to go do something and then come back for a second time. And I always push in my lower abdomen with my hand to help move things along. It gives the muscle something to push up against, which is helpful.

If you're going to do the Metamucil, start with two glasses a day and increase it to three, if two is not enough. You have to find the right balance. If you don't drink enough of it, then it just won't help. But if you drink to much, it will actually make you have to poop to much. So you have to experiment and find the amount that works for you. Two-three glasses a day is usually enough for me. 

Hey Melissa111: Thanks for the reply. Gosh, I had even forgotten ALL about the J-Pouch group... I rarely come on it.. I should look at it more oftne. Thanks for that explanation. It makes a lot of sense to me and I feel the same way...the thicker and more solid it is, the less I have to strain. When I strain, I get really really dizzy and feel like I will pass out. This happens many times in a day! It is exhausting. Wow, getting up and walking around. I should try that. But that too is exhausting. Clean yourself all up and then walk around and then go back in the bathroom. Also hard to do if you are at someone's house, at an event with very few bathrooms, share a bathroom with boyfriend (Me!) ... it's all so exhausting anyhow but beats having bloody and painful ulcerative colitis.. I have to always remind myself that.


I have a horrible aversion to Metamucil. I had to use it for so many years. I think I would just throw up even from opening it up and smelling it.


But you are reminding me that I need to eat my SMART BRAN more often. It's made by Nature's Oath. It's a cereal.. it's a high fiber blend of Wheat, psyllium (that is what is in Metamucial) and oat bran. It has 17 grams of fiber per serving. I sprinkle it in yogurt, soups, hot oatmeal and I keep meaning to make muffins with it!!!  Or pumpkin or bannana bread... Once in a while, I eat a small bit plain but it's pretty dry. I suppose if you also ate a strawberry or some very juicy fruit, like a good peach, you could put some in the same bite.


I Just need to remember to eat some EVERY day. That's the issue. I have a box here at work, but forget!! I JUST put some in yougurt and am eating some as I type this.


I get the cereal at Whole Foods and I have seen it in some of the health food stores but not at regular supermarkets.


Try it. I swear it's ONE HUNDRED MILLION TIMES BETTER than Metamucil. Just typing those words is making me have post traumatic stress syndrome over it!!!


Thanks again for reaching ou.


Re the Metamucil, I too dislike the taste. It's so sweet even the 'no sugar added' version. I prefer straight psyllium husks. Things are so much more difficult if I don't use it faithfully (four x per day for me).For me thin stool causes many discomforts (not emptying in a satisfying way and therefore straining as well as burning and irritation). If it's the texture however, psyllium is not for you. I think you can get it in wafers which might make it easier to take regularly. They can also be carried around with you. Just thoughts. 

Anyone thinking of investing in a squatty potty (not sure what they cost) could also look at small plastic step stools in the kids' section of department stores, or IKEA, or even a Dollar store, or a hardware store. Little kids use them to boost their height to reach the sink faucets. Like a booster seat! All you need is a small stepping stool, or even block of wood with the right dimensions to raise your feet a few inches when sitting on the toilet. Not sure if it would still work for people with no colon. I think a squatty potty works by raising your feet, and pelvic area, a few inches to open a certain muscle, which we no longer have. If a squatty potty works for anyone with a j pouch, please say!

melissa111 posted:

Personally, I found that the wafers didn't work as well for me, for some reason. Maybe I didn't drink enough water when I ate them?

I remember trying the wafers a while ago.. they didn't work for me either and were so dry and such a horrible experience.. I swear if I were to try them or to try the Metamucil, I would have such post traumatic stress disorder!!!

melissa111 posted:

I don't know about that, but I do find it helpful, sometimes, to sit sideways on the toilet. I think it stretches things open.

I suppose that is easy enough to try although we have such a small bathroom... there's no room on the one side and the other... I'd be up against the sink but still.. Hmmm.

In regard to straining and wishing not to; whilst sat on the toilet and in need to pass a motion; try blowing your nose!

Yeah, sounds weird, I know; and it may not work for everyone but it’s  worth a shot.

i don’t have issues emptying my pouch, nor do I need to strain but on one occasion whilst sat on the toilet, I just happened to blow my nose; and whilst doing so, without any conscious effort from myself, I opened my bowels, so to speak.

I’m able to blow my nose in normal circumstances, whether sitting. standing or lying down and without fear of accidents.

Dancing Girl posted:

I will try this today!! I am always interested in how others are coping. Thanks I'll report back!!!


I don’t need to blow my nose to use the toilet; I just happened to blow my nose whilst using the toilet and in doing so, I noticed the effect on the J pouch 

You are going to laugh at this.. last night, I tried to WHISTLE while sitting on the toilet. I was straining and I remembered a posting here in The J Pouch Group, so I tried to whistle. IT DID NOT WORK. I couldn't even WHISTLE while straining. So, this afternoon, I decided to write and mention that and I see you said to BLOW YOUR NOSE!!! HA HA!! That made me laugh. I remembered the wrong thing. Well, I think that's only the SECOND time in my history of having a J-pouch.. some 13 or 14 years... I can remember laughing about it! I once laughed when I read in the group that someone said their pooping sound reminded them of a TRUMPET!!!  



Anyhow, I will try BLOWING MY NOSE later today and give a report!!!  Thanks fo the laugh though!!!


Add Reply

Likes (0)
Copyright © 2019 The J-Pouch Group. All rights reserved.