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Let's Talk Poop

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hey you awesome Semi-Colons!

I posted this info on the Constipation thread, and I thought this might be of interest to a wider variety of semi-colons. So I pasted it here as well. I mean really, how many of us have three bowel movements/day? But that's what's healthy. I didn't know that before I had colon cancer. And I surely didn't know healthy BMs were about a foot long and the size of a quarter! You mean they weren't hard little balls sometimes clumped together in agonizing sizes that you had to grunt and groan (or dig as in bdee's case) out that gave you hemorrhoids the size of W.C. Field's nose?? Or how about the skinny little pencil poops that you could only get out when you know full well the night before you had eaten the entire Cattlemen's Cut of Prime Rib?

While I don't have experience with chemo, I do have experience with constipation. Here is what I have learned over the past almost 8 years of colon cancer survival about the importance of digestive health:

1) Probiotics
2) Fiber
3) Digestive enzymes

PROBIOTICS help the intestinal flora stay balanced. You need the good bacteria in your gut, and chemo/drugs/antibiotics are going to throw your digestive system into an imbalanced environment...ergo constipation and/or diarrhea. UDO'S CHOICE is an excellent probiotic and his is called Super Bifido Plus Probiotic. His is 70 Billion Cells. So if you want to bring out the big guns use his product which you can find at vitamin/health food shops or they can order it for you. His helps constipation. It needs to be refrigerated.

FIBER is missing in the overly processed white bread world of the Standard American Diet (I am assuming you are American). I put ground flax seed (Barleans) in something every day whether it's my smoothies or veggie juice or sprinkled into oatmeal or cold cereal. Not only is it excellent fiber, but it has omega-3 oil AND is a super cancer fighter.

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES really help colon health and give our bodies a break. Obviously, if we're dealing with some kind of colon cancer (or rectal) there is a problem with our digestion. It's not always what we eat, it's what we digest (and how). I take a Super Enzyme made by NOW after every meal to help me digest. This really helps my "output" to be nicely formed and easy to evacuate. Rubber gloves need not apply. :-)

NOW also makes an excellent protein powder called Tru-Food Vegan that is FULL of fiber (18 g per serving!!!!) that is delicious in either juice or smoothie or plain water. Not only does it keep me REGULAR but it's full of other great stuff--protein, vitamins and minerals, EFA's and Antioxidants. I swear by it. And I promise, I don't sell any of this stuff. I have just continued to maintain my 7.10 year Stage III colon cancer-free survival (no chemo) by staying vigilant about my diet (I am NOT perfect believe me). So I have tried a lot on the market. This is food and not some fake fiber chemical product. I am allergic to psyillium (sp?) so I have to search for alternatives. This product ROCKS!

If you try any of this please let me know how it works for you cuz it sure works for me! I didn't know what a "normal" bowel movement was like until after colon cancer. When a nicely formed BM slid out with no effort I was amazed that THAT was how a properly working colon worked!!! I was 39 years old! How sad is that?? And I go more than once a day. A healthy digestive system voids the bowels for every meal so technically, we should be having three/day not three a week or month! HA! And notice I use the term healthy not normal because the two are not always the same. It may be normal for Americans to poop once a day but that doesn't make it healthy!

I hope this helps.

peace, emily the juice chick who poops

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Very interesting Emily, really.

Also, the average person farts (excuse me, passes gas) 18 times a day. My Mom always told me I was above average, I used to think she meant it another way.

Did you ever have a "Ghost Poop". You check the bowl and swear you pooped, but there is nothing there and no paperwork either! Now THAT'S spooky!

-phil, the guy who is impressed with emily, the juice chick who I thought didn't know SH1T!
;-)

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Be careful of sharts. They can be tricky buggers! HA!

peace, emily who knows Jack $#!T

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Farts are in, poop is out?

elizabethgd
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

I am still going through chem and radiation. (8 more days) stage 3 rectal cancer. diagnosed in April. I have lost a lot of weight and have trouble keeping things down. Hoping that after chem/rad I can pick my weight back up. Surgery supposed to be sometime this summer.
I was wondering when could I begin the probiotics etc...that you mentioned. Thanks for your information.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6440
Joined: Feb 2009

That is excellent information. Although I always went at least two to three times I day, I thought for sure I was never a candidate for colorectal cancer, but was I wrong. Never really was ever constipated and always had normal stools. I always ate a lot of vegetables so I wonder if that is why I was so regular - I probably eat more than twice the normal person in one day - just always have.

Just make sure it's ok with the doctor before you add anything to your diet.

Surprising what they consider a normal BM. At the rate they talk, I would think that a size of a quarter and a foot long would be a bit uncomfortable :) Let alone with these new efficiency toilets would it even go down in the first flush or multiple flushes - so much for conserving water :)

Kim

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Elizabeth,

Please consult a Naturopathic Doctor or Nutritionist in regards to probiotics and chemo. I am just a chick not a doc. :-)

I can't imagine why you couldn't start them anytime but it's better to check. Oncologists don't always know about nutrition though I can tell you that much.

peace, emily

serrana
Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2009

Great thread Emily
I am doing all the things you mention but not w/ those products so would like to compare my products with yours.Docs just don't help on this. I am tired of hearing " everyone is different".

I use the Ultra Dig Enz and Ultra Probiotics by Garden of Life, Jarro and Culturelle probiotics, and organic acacia soluble fiber from Heather's IBS website. I also take Creon the pancreatic enzyme ( for fat dig) and betaine hydrochloride ( for stomach digestive action)
I have done these all thru three long series of chemo Folfox, Folfiri/Avastin, Zeloda, and never had one onc object to what I was taking.

In addition to food sensitivities to lactose, fat, fructose and gluten, the digestive "juices" , more and more I am thinking that there is a peristalsis issue that is muscular involved and I am experimenting w/ some abdominal exercises too.
It is sure a challenge to get it regular expecially w/ a j-pouch learning its new role as a reservior. Still things are always better when I do this plan.
Keep posting
Serrana
Serrana

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

The peristalsis cannot be overlooked. Laxatives make for a lazy colon so they're not really a good thing to take on an ongoing basis. Sometimes I take a prduct by Renew Life called CleanseMore that helps with the perstalsis.

YOGA is also a great practice to have for regularity. That can get things moving as can getting a chiropractic adjustment.

Thanks for the input.

peace, emily

fedester
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2004

you are not just a chick, you are the "chick"

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hey Bruce!

YOU ROCK!

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

What a great thread! Before cancer, I had gradually moved to a bm oh, maybe twice a week, and it was WORK to get that done!...beautiful hemmorhoids... Anyway, after everything was said and done, I started experiencing normal bm's which brought back my childhood with tears in my eyes. I had forgotten what a normal bm felt like, sniff, sniff.. In the past month or so, I have been on a constant diet of antibiotics due to a raging infection from a spider bite. Of course, this has thrown everything out of whack. A good friend suggested probiotics and even after one day, I feel better. I can feel myself normalizing. So I am now going to fight yeast and flora imbalance with probiotics and some other stuff I can't remember the name of, per her suggestions. Who knew?

Kirsten

Wa
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2009

Wow, your input is amazing and just what I have been scanning the internet to try and find. I am a stage 4 rectal cancer survivor and also had an ileostomy reversal (Feb, 2009), but since then, I was rediagonsed and the cancer mets into my liver (2 tumors). I had a liver resection (Sept, 2008), underwent more chemo and am now Cancer free (March, 2009). But...I am still trying to find my footing nutritionally, so that I am not going anywhere from 4-10 times a day, anywhere from 10"-50", dime to nickel sized - I know, I know...way TMI!

What is your diet like...what do you eat that helps regulate you? I noticed you mentioned smoothies...I though I was supposed to stay away from fresh fruits & veggies due to them being ruffage and going "through" me? Baked chicken, bread and rice help. Wine and chocolate, not so much :-)

I went to a nutritionalist, but she was "straight out of college" and basically xeroxed a nutritional worksheet and "called it a day". I am hoping some of what you said will help me. I am willing to give it a try and see. It certainly CAN NOT be any worse then what I have been going through. On a side note, about 9 inches of my colon and 1/2 of my rectum have been removed, so there is little to no storage capacity for BM's. Please advise re: the foods you eat, as I would like to incorporate those as well. I am a big soy/tofu fan and am walking and practicing yoga too. Thx in advance.

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Wa,

Welcome. I see you're new to the boards.

My diet has changed over the years. There's my pre-cancer diet, my heal-my-cancer diet, my maintain my cancer-free status diet, my loosened-up diet, and my Triathlon Training Diet.

Let's start with my heal-my-cancer diet. I did this diet for 6 months--the same time frame as if I had been doing the chemo (which I didn't do). This diet was macrobiotic, vegan and purely simple:

fresh organic veggie juices with flax seeds, protein powder, and a "green" powder
fruit smoothies
brown rice
brown rice sushi (nori rolls)
steamed veggies
ezekial bread
tofu

After I got my first 6 month cancer free report I added things like wild salmon occasionally and enjoyed free range organic turkey on Thanksgiving--that kind of thing. Plus I added some "treats". (which for me still don't consist of any kind of refined white/brown sugar--ever).

So here's a sample of what I eat:

Sunday Breakfast (had them today)

vegan whole grain waffles
butter
strawberries
agave syrup

Lunch

ww pita bread
veganaise (like mayo)
sliced cukes
sliced tomato
avocado
sprouts
hemp nuts (for protein)

Bearitos Tortilla chips

Supper

piece of fish
steamed broc
lg salad with walnuts, scallions, carrots, cukes and Annie's dressing

Snack or meal at some point I have my 16 oz of veggie juice pretty much every single day.

Breakfast

Blueberry/banana smoothie
NOW vegan protein powder
flax oil

Lunch

black beans in ww tortilla
spinach
tomatoes
sprouts
Pace picante or Bragg's Amino Acids

Supper

Turkey patty
lg salad with the works
Annie's dressing with some flax oil squirted on
sweet potatoe

dessert
ww chocolate chip cookies made with barley malt/stevia or honey. The choco chips are grain-sweetened dark choc from my coop. This is a true treat.

If I haven't had a smoothie for breakfast I sometimes will have one as my dessert and with the frozen banana it's just like ice cream for me.

Breakfast

muesli soaked in almond milk
banana

Lunch

egg salad sandwich in a ww pita
cukes & tomato
sprouts

Bearitos chips

Supper

ratatouille on millet (totally YUM!)-- zucchini, onions and tomatoes cooked with garlic, simmered so it makes a nice broth to put on the millet.

ok, I gotta go make supper now. i am totally hungry!

Does this help? I tried to give you a glimpse into my diet.

It's not perfect. But I try. My husband laughs when I say I'm "cheating" cuz my cheat would still be considered health food to most. In the summer I may get some nitrate-free natural brats for the grill, or make my garbanzo bean pasta salad, and indulge in some potato chips. Yes, shocker. We all have some weakness be it a coffee addiction or ya gotta have a beer (I don't do either) but at picnics, I have been known to have some chips. I go in spurts of AAAACK! I can't eat that....to.....ok, I'm gonna have a few. But, you have to know, I didn't indulge at picnics until I had about 6 YEARS of cancer-free reports under my belt and know how to counteract them with balancing my pH.

I tell you this in honesty so you don't think I am making anything up. I really do eat this way. I'm not cleaning it up for the public. :-)

peace, emily the juice chip (I mean chick)

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Emily, I am new to all of this, I had first round of chemo Thurs.of last week and I was really interested in your menu... could you fax me a copy of it and where I could purchase these items. I wasn't sure of some of your abbreviations like ww? I would like to go the healthfood route. I am interested in all of the supplements you take as well. I can't have a bowel movement unless I take a stool softner. If I do then it takes forever and it will be one. It is driving me crazy! I had my colon resected in May 14th of 09 and just cant seem to get it moving. Any quick fix suggestions? Thank you so much, Patti

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Patti!

Try doing a copy and paste into a file and then print it off.

WW = WHOLE WHEAT

I purchase many of my items at my local coop (which, for me, is 35 miles away) and at my local grocery store (12 miles)(I live in the boonies). I'm finding that grocery stores are getting much better carrying organic and natural foods. You can always ask your grocer to start carrying items you need.

Find your local coop. They are usually staffed by folks who are a wealth of info.

Otherwise find a Whole Foods Market in your area.

My supplements that I take today are different than what I took immediately post cancer dx.

I have that listed on here somewhere. Do a search and if you don't find it let me know and I will try to get another one posted.

Quick Fix:

UDO's Probiotic
NOW digestive enzymes
Flax seeds in everything you eat just about
NOW Vegan protein powder (FULL of fiber--18 g! /serving)--add to water or almond milk or smoothies.

That should get you started. Drink lots of water and stay away from dairy products as they are mucus forming and plugging. Skip the meats since they tend to slow down the digestive system (there are exceptions to this--I have 2 friends who get diarrhea from meats).

hope this helps. If you have specific questions it makes it easier. :-)

peace, emily

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

----

grandma2selena's picture
grandma2selena
Posts: 200
Joined: Jun 2009

This is good information. I can definately relate to your description of before cancer diagnosis! Now though I never worry about constipation, as I have chronic diarhea. I got this from a secondary infection from the Chemo. That and no gall bladder really is no fun.

Debbie

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Emily,
Great info!! Thanks so much. This is good scoop for our entire family. Back in April our 12 year old, who has many special needs was hospitalized for seizures and constipation. We believe her seizures were brought on because her body did was not getting proper nutrition because she was not eating because she was so constipated. She has been on Miralax since but I really want her off it. We will meet with her gastro next week and I will tell him that this is the plan I want to implement for her. I think he should be pretty open, he is an DO not an MD.
Thanks for sharing your experience, recipes and great humor!
Aloha,
Kathleen

ps Dick and I have taken up Yoga and we both love it!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Sounds like your daughter is the perfect candidate for digestive enzymes and probiotics! Not to mention a good colon-cleansing carrot juice regime. :-)

Keep me posted what your doc says.

Bottoms up! Get juicing for her!

peace, emily

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4907
Joined: May 2005

Bottoms Up...only you Emily would come up with that line (well, maybe me too)
Are you familiar with Paul Nison? My bro dropped off a DVD of his about raw food and all that junk.

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Nope, can't joggle a Nison in my memory. I can with a Nilsson though.

I went to a Raw Foods cooking class at my coop and think it's a cool way to eat. Living in the tundra as I do up here in da Nortwoods, I enjoy my winter soups hot, doncha know.

peace, the folknik

krystle singer's picture
krystle singer
Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2009

Hi,
Ha! I wish that was all I had. Your info was very interesting and helpful. Really I thought one a day was perfect...until I got colon cancer. When I began having 10 or more a day, I knew something just wasn't right. At that point I had a colonoscopy and sure enough, things weren't right. I'm about 6 monts post-major surgery. I have had two minor colon surgeries--during colonoscopys since. I am still producing enough waste to start my own land fill, but I do feel pretty good. Also am producing enough gas to fuel the nation too.
I'm going to take notes from the other posts as well as yours and see if anything helps!

Krystle singer

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

haha. You could compost it rather than landfill it. :-)

Thanks for the laugh!

Seriously, the probiotics might help to rebalance your gut flora and help with the uber-output.

peace, emily

paulette S's picture
paulette S
Posts: 42
Joined: Feb 2009

i heard juicing was really good during chemo, any thoughts or suggestions on that?

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi paulette,

I am assuming you were asking me.....well, I don't have any personal experience with juicing and chemo, and not being a "professional" I can't tell you if it's specifically counterproductive for chemo, but my gut feeling is that if you can sip it down, then go for it. It's surely better for you than anything else you can put in your mouth.

What I've read on here is that oncologists tell cancer folks to eat whatever they want so in my opinion, the juicing is the optimal thing to eat (yes, you CHEW your juice so as to get the digestive juices flowing in your saliva) during ANY kind of health crisis.

Juicing is just veggies in liquid form that is easy for the body to assimilate and it's so full of nutrients that it's a no brainer to me.

Hope that helps.

peace, emily

ac
Posts: 84
Joined: Aug 2008

Paulette,

I was diagnosed with stage 3 sigmoidal colon cancer in last year. The doctors treated this as a rectal cancer and I had 5 1/2 weeks of neo adjuvant radiation and chemotherapy, surgery followed by another 18 weeks of chemotherapy.

During my entire treatment, I juiced everyday. I tried asking the oncologist and dietician at the hospital about juicing and the general consensus was it is fine as long as I did not take high doses of vitamin C (from tablets or intravenously). Juicing was fine from this angle. But do check with your doctors especially if you are radically changing your diet. I think they would generally be more concerned with you maintaining weight so be sure to keep a healthy balance between "eating anything" as my doctors suggested and maintaining weight.

I used a blender as opposed to a juicer for two reasons:-

1. The blender does not filter the fiber out of the juice. You will need to add water or natural juices as a base since there wouldn't be sufficient liquid otherwise.

2. It was easier on the wallet especially if you are thinking of getting a premium juicer.

I try to mix it up with my selections, eg. blackberry/acai juice, carrots, strwaberries, banana, brocolli. The general rule of thumb was to have as many different colored fruits and vegetables per serving to ensure that I had a good variety of different vitamins and nutrients.

I think juicing was really helpful for me since I had rather mild chemotherapy side effects until the last couple of cycles. Unfortunately, I haven't been as diligent in maintaining this regime since I stopped working from home.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Andrew

paulette S's picture
paulette S
Posts: 42
Joined: Feb 2009

yu for all your replies. i will ask my dr. next wk. hope everyone continues to be well

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi there,

I need to clarify that blending veggies is not "juicing" them. The point to juicing IS to separate the juice from the fiber so that your body does not have to do that. It's like pre-digesting the veggies. It take energy for the body to separate the juice from the fiber through the digestive process and the juicer does that step for you so your body can assimilate the nutrients and enzymes PRONTO! Think of it as IV nutrition rather than popping a horse pill that goes down to your stomach and takes time to be broken down and then gets into your bloodstream.

Blending veggies and fruit is a fine way to eat veggies but it's not juicing.

You can get a juicer for under $250. A great investment for your health.

The raw foodists are experts at blending concoctions and I'm sure you can find some great recipes for blending foods (and smoothies). But it's a different approach and I don't want folks to get confused.

Thanks for allowing me to clarify that point. :-)

peace, emily the juice chick

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

June 27, 2009 - 8:57am
"Green" powder
Hi Emily,

I am a caregiver and new to the boards. My husband was recently diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with over 11 liver mets. Immediately after diagnosis we bought a juicer and planned to change our diets (he decided to try the chemo but wanted to focus on nutrition also). His surgery went well but he became very sick afterwards - long story short - he has lost 32 lbs in just under a month. The are not starting chemo because he is too weak and want him to build up first.

Two questions - what is "green powder"? And, will juicing and eating the way you describe (sounds great to me) prevent him from gaining weight? Not sure if you can answer the last one.

I am concerned about the smoothies, milkshakes - SUGAR - he is getting right now. I feel like we are "feeding" his cancer cells, but we are also trying to get weight back on him.

Thanks for any insights,
Donna

PS I really enjoy reading your posts!

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Donna,

Sorry about your husband.

Go to your local coop or health food store and there are many products to choose from--Barleans Greens, Kyo-Green, Green Magma, etc etc. Green powders add chlorophyll, wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina and things of that sort that are wonderflly alkalizing. This is KEY! It's also a way to get some more concentrated nutrition into your body. I started with Kyo-Green and over the years have tried every product my coop carries. I now use a plain wheat grass powder that I buy in bulk so it's cheaper.

Just remember this simple mantra:

GREEN = LIFE

If you can get as many greens into your hubby as possible he will reap the benefits. I caution you to add the greens sparingly at first until he can build up his tolerance. They can be pretty strong and cause some nausea.

I also did smoothies with blueberries and almond milk and added protein powder, flax seeds and green powder. They were more of a treat for me so the focus should be on the juice. I also add the protein, the flax and the green powder to my juice.

Yes, you are right to be concerned about the sugar factor for the very fact that sugar is acidic and causes inflammation that causes diseases. ACS refutes that sugar feeds the cancer but it's known that cancer cells have more insulin receptors and "feed" on it. So any refined sugars should be gone gone gone.

STARVE THE CANCER!!!

I really can't answer the weight issue. I lost 25 pounds but I needed to. I think one's body regulates to a healthful weight and I think we, as Americans, are so used to "normal" being actually "fat" that anyone who's thin, people think are not healthy. I mean, you surely don't want him to have ataxia. So I don't know. I eat this way and am not thin at all. (dang).

Glad you enjoy my posts. I try! :-)

peace, emily

elizabethgd
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

Just wanted to add my thanks for your suggestions of food and diet. I am still below l00 most days.. but I keep trying. Thanks again.

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