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Can cervical stenosis cause GI problems?

hoffdnahhoffdna Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Hi everyone. Does anyone here know if it is possible for cervical stenosis (C5/6) to cause chronic constipation? All I read describes incontinence as a possible symptom, but I haven't seen anything about my problem.

Also, can the pain/numbness go UP? Mostly, I have weakness in my left arm and hand, but I have had half my face go numb in the past year.


  • If you are on medication it would be that?
  • I am constantly constipated and wondered the same thing, if you get any good data let me know.
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  • Ask your chemist/pharmacist what type if laxatives work best with your medication, I occasionally take tablets called henna B complex
  • I was on different pain meds for my stenosis and prior spine surgeries and it constipated me very bad. I even had to snake out the toilet a few times to unclog it. I took laxatives and stool softeners to help it a little.
  • hi, I have issues at my C5-C6 and also have left sided weakness and tingling. I have heard of bladder and bowl control being effected but I'm not sure of where in the spine that happens. Some have said cervical while others have said lower.
    If you are on medication for pain those do cause awful constipation. I get Senna tabs (generic) from Walmart. It is a vegetable oil laxative and have found it works great. None of the cramping like other stimulants. Up your water intake too and add watery fruits and leafy veggies.
    Hope that helps some.
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  • Thanks everyone, I didn't realize I had any replies, I guess I was expecting a notification email. Anyway, I am still suffering from this problem. I'm at my wits end. I had to stop taking all my pain meds, knowing that even one dose is a problem for me. So it's been almost two weeks, and I still cannot go. I take Miralax every day. I have taken 2 Dulcolax at a time, and still nothing. It's awful. Thanks anyway for the encouragement.
  • Try magnesium citrate. It comes in a small glass bottle in the same section as other laxatives. It's $5 or less. You drink it strait up or you can mix it with sprite or juice or whatever. It states your first BM should be in 6-12 hours. It hit me in about 45 minutes. I then had about 6 BM's over the next 10 hours. Hope this helps.

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
  • I did as you suggested after talking with my doc. The MagCitrate bottle took two days to work, and it was a partial success. My doc also put me on Reglan temporarily, until I can see a GI specialist. Wish me luck!
  • I started using Senna or Senokot with each meal. Did the trick! Also got to drink lots of water to keep the gut hydrated and fluid.

    I had a CT when my face went numb and we found a cyst in the macular sinus. Got that cleaned out and numbness and associated local jaw pain gone.

    I wish you the best.
    ADR Recipient and Advocate
  • Mag Citrate works well in the bottle for when you're really backed up but I also take a Mag Citrate supplement in pill form every single day. You have to make sure its Mag Citrate though not Mag Oxide or Mag whatever (there are many types). Start with 2 then increase dosage until you have regular BM's. Toxicity is very very rare (but don't take my word for it - research on your own). Magnesium is also a common deficiency that causes problems with nerves and bones so its something that is good for everyone regardless.
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