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HELP trying to keep output thinner


Hi everyone. I have total colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis. Been struggling to keep my stool soft. I am about 3 months post surgery. Diet changes don't seem to be helping at all as far as keeping stool soft. 

No matter what I eat, how active I am, how much water I drink and how on top of my electrolytes I am I find my output too solid. I take iron supplements and I know they can cause constipation but they are non-negotiable because I am anemic (was pre-colectomy as well). 

Tried miralax, but it’s making me pretty bloated and gassy, and creating a lot of gut gurgles. Anyone have any other suggestions? Colace, smaller dose of miralax?

Thank you in advance :)

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I use Metamucil as my first choice as it seems to soften the stools without making them too loose. My GP prescribed Dulcoease, which is okay but previously the Dulcolax was far too powerful for me.

Best wishes


Reply to Bill

Thank you. That's what I was looking at as a next step. How often do you take it / when, and if you don't mind answering how much does it thin your stool?


Have you tried grape juice? Coffee ,and warm tea. and plenty of water keep my  output thinner; on the rare occasion that  I  need to have looser stool. 


One of the supplements you could try is magnesium, but I'd check with my doctor first.  It is good for lots of things, and also does loosen stool as a side effect.  My doctor has recommended that I take a dose every day, and that is one of the things I've noticed.  


Reply to delgrl525

Hi Terry! What kind of magnesium? There are a few different types. 

Emory xx

Reply to Morning glory

I haven’t tried grape juice. I drink lots of water and tea. Peppermint and green tea mostly. 

Reply to Anonymous

Hello nocolonstillrollintacira.
I only take this type of medication when there is a perceived 'problem'.  There doesn't seem to be any particular logic to when it might happen. About a year ago I had some problems and I took Dulcolax for about a month. After that I stopped and the problem has not returned. Before that  I would take Metamucil occasionally for a day or so just to stabilise the output to a softer consistency. It thins the stools from a solid or semi-solid to a soft paste.  However, as with most digestive things, what works for one person is not guaranteed to have the same effect for someone else.  Hence, it is best to try stuff out for yourself to see what happens. 

Best wishes



Hi again.  There are, as you say, several types of magnesium.  I was just taking the capsules that you buy in any drug store, 250 mg. daily is the usual dosage, but I discovered after getting my ileostomy, that the pills were coming out undisolved in my pouch.  I found powder form magnesium in a health food store, and that is how I'm taking it now.  I just mix it with water once a day.  The clerk in the health food store explained the difference between the two types of magnesium that are available in powder form, but it was kind of lost on me to be honest.  I think either one is fine.  They both have had the same laxative effect.

As for Metamucil, it is just psyllium fibre, and I'm not sure it's something that someone with an ileostomy would want to take.  I'm also not sure from your description, whether you have a colostomy or an ileostomy?  Metamucil is meant to increase fibre in a person's diet, and if it doesn't have a large bowel to move through, I wonder if it would be a good thing.  I'd also want to consult a doctor first.  Many laxatives on the market are meant for people with colons, and are not appropriate for people with ileostomies.



Me again!  I just googled your condition, and it looks like you have had your entire colon removed, so again, I would really hesitate to take any laxative that is designed to work on the colon.  With the exception of polyethylene glycol (sold as Miralax, Laxaday, etc) many laxatives are meant specifically to work on the large intestine.  Be on the safe side and clear it with your doctor first.



Hi there,

I have an ileo and I have a tendency to run thick . What works best for me and hopefully with help you is of course the water , also apple juice..skim milk( I drink a nutrition shake 2 a day)and chamomile tea .. have you noticed what makes you even more thick and what doesn't so much ? 

Reply to Beth22

That’s the tough part. There doesn’t seem to be anything that thickens me more so than anything else. Caffeinated tea makes my output thin, but I can’t use that strategy all day. 

Reply to delgrl525

Thank you Terry. 

Doc confirmed colace is safe for long term everyday use :)

Reply to delgrl525

Is it magnesium glycinate? Magnesium citrate? 

Reply to Anonymous

I take magnesium glycinate and a product called biocleanse by Plexus.  I just had a bit of a problem.  I dont know if it was the food w seeds, the raisin toast or if it was because I drank some champagne and didn't keep up with my water the same day.  I'll never do that again!  Can't forget the water since alcohol dehydrated you!  But usually taking those 2 products I don't have any problems.  Good luck!


The 250 mg. tablets I was taking, just say Magnesium on the bottle, and then listed on the back it says (are you ready for this?), Magnesium (Oxide, Malate, Glycerophosphate).  The powdered form I am now taking says Magnesium Bis Glycinate Chelate.  Maybe ask a pharmacist when you go to buy it, as the differences are not clear to me at all!




I drink hot coffee and plenty of water. It's the iron that is making your output so can also try a tablespoon of mineral oil--that will usually do the trick--not on a daily basis mind you, but you could....

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