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Metamucil and bran

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

There is so much knowledge on this discussion board that I am sure I will get good advice. My husband has Stage 111 rectal cancer and has had 4 cycles of chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiotherapy. He now has at least 2 more cycles of chemo but presently is experiencing cramps some evenings and frequent bowel movements (not necessarily watery) for which he takes Imodium. There are signs of narrowing but not a complete blockage. I have been told that unprocessed bran and Metamucil can help to bulk up the stools so that it comes more in one go than in several small ones. Does anyone have experience with this and can these two items help to cut down on the number of bowel movements? The cramps seem to come at around the same time in the evening but not every evening and do not seem to be related to a bowel movement, or lack of, or any particular food. He takes lactaid in case he is lactose intolerant. He does not find pain killers particularly helpful but, again, any suggestions would be much appreciated.


jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Dear Alison,
I sent a reply to Cully earlier, and even though it's sounds a little counter-intuitive, the increased fiber of Metamucil 3 times a day kept my dad's stool formed and allowed him to eat a fairly regular diet. He also ate Kashi cereal for breakfast and bedtime snack, and felt that helped also. He ate a fair amount of milder cooked veggies, like carrots, potato and sweet potato. Now that I am post-surgery and into chemo, I find roasted root vegetables irrisistable! He was advanced stage 3, with one year of chemo, but needed no radiation. Hope you find a diet that helps your husband.
Hang in there, Judy

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

Thanks Judy, I saw your earlier post after I had sent mine. What is Kashi cereal? I do not live in the US and do not know of it. Maybe I can find something similar. I do hope your treatment goes well.

Posts: 30
Joined: Nov 2003

Kashi is a high fiber cereal. My husband used psyllium (metamucil)treatments to bulk up his stool and regulate his bowel movements. He had a lot of trouble regaining bowel control after his surgery. The important thing is to build up the dose of psyllium gradually because you're building up to quite a large dose and to take it all at once could cause blockage and cramps. My husband hated the powder psyllium form and after awhile, he refused to drink it. I got capsules and gave him up to 10 or 12 capsule two times a day. There is a nurse who has a program on regaining bowel control from out of MD Anderson in Houston. I don't recall her name, but she was very helpful and sent me some information about using psyllium and diet to regain bowel control. You might also contact MD Anderson.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Alison: here is a link for posting your question-there is a lot of good toilet talk and references
regarding this issue. http://www.ostomates.org/
try also: http://www.ostomates.org/ And


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