Bowel Considerations

How can bowel problems be diagnosed and/or evaluated?

Having a person with MS and /or family members provide a history of bowel habits, diet, and activity level is critical to diagnosing and evaluating bowel problems. Sometimes an abdominal X-Ray or abdominal CT scan (CAT scan) is necessary. An evaluation by a gastroenterologist might also be indicated. Gastroenterologists can use x-rays to help analyze the way the rectum and anus are working, make measurements of squeezing pressures of sphincter muscles, or use a very small telescope to inspect the lining of the bowel (endoscopy and colonoscopy).

Medications That Can Cause Constipation

  • Over-active or spastic bladder medications such as oxybutynin (Ditropan®), tolterodine (Detrol®) or others • Anti-depressants (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors such
  • as Prozac®) 
  • Anti-hypertensive (Medications to lower blood pressure)
  • Medications to treat heart problems
  • Medicines to treat heartburn or reflux disease
  • Painkillers (pain relief medications) containing codeine or morphine
  • Medications containing iron (like a multivitamin tablet, iron supplements)


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