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Having trouble with bathroom stuff

jmaddox915's picture
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2009

I am looking for suggestions on how to help regulate my bathroom visits. I can't seem to find a happy medium. I either go all day with very small bowel movements or I am constipated.

I was taking Miralax everyday but got where I was in the bathroom alot. I backed off to a couple of times a week but now I am on the constipated side.

Any ideas or things that may have worked for you would be greatly appreciated.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

I wish that I could offer some help, but my problem is usually the opposite. I might get constipated for several hours, but when the levy breaks I'm even afraid to close my bedroom door in case I have to rush to the bathroom. At 53 years old, I have to take at least one pair of incontinence pants with me anytime I leave the house, just in case. Lotomil will usually help out, but only after a couple of hours and taking several pills after rushing to the loo.

Do you eat fresh fruit and vegetables? Leafy vegetables are pretty good to fight constipation, but the side effect could be diarrhea. It gets to be a very unpleasant trade off.

As with any side effects, talk with your doc and see what they can offer to help out. During the two weeks between visits, I make notes about what to talk with my onc about so that I won't forget something.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6545
Joined: Feb 2009

Maybe only take a half capful and see if that helps. I'm taking that everyday, but still get constipated plus with my hernia it all sticks right there. Would rather much have the runs than constipation though. I'm miserable if I'm not cleaned out, but I'm the same way that once it starts coming I'll be running to the bathroom until my bowels want to quiet down. Just today we were at a family function and right after eating the bathroom was calling me big time. Hubby had to take me home and spent an hour back and forth to the bathroom. It's a terrible cycle.


thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

If you figure it out, write a book and make lots of money! lol

I could go 20 times in a day or three. Two years after surgery, and a year after chemo, I still go 3 at the low and 8 at the high. I keep a fairly consistent diet, and exercise.

It is the new normal.
Best Always, mike

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

For me it's all in the food.

I Exercise my abdominals and I use my kids potty and squat. It really helps with good exacations.

Be patient, and find what works for you.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I have to take Miralax twice a day, every day. It helps, but I still fight constipation constantly. I'm really trying to walk more, because that helps, and the best thing for me is to drink LOTS of water.


bspangler47's picture
Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2010

I totally feel the same way. There are days I am fine, others fight constipation, and others it is just like turing a facuet on. I drink my gatorade then water. I cant wait for August to get here, to my bag back on hopefully


Posts: 1255
Joined: Apr 2012

I think it is a problem we all have. Just to varying degrees. I wicsh you lock in finding your solution!

Posts: 1255
Joined: Apr 2012

I think it is a problem we al have. Just to varying degrees. I wicsh you lock in finding your solution!

Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

A while back, someone posted about coconut water and how it helped with bathroom issues, especially if it's the result of being dehydrated. I think it's worth trying.

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Onc gave me a script for this and I started taking 1 every morning and lo and behold...it did the trick! I tried many many many things and nothing was as consistant as this. Onc said it was the Codiene??? anyway, I took it daily even after I stopped taking Folfiri I still was poopin 8-10 times a day but this stuff got me to 1 daily "formed" poop. Now I don't take anything and all good with just diet. Good luck!


Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

that never ceases to amaze me is how open we (cancer patients) are to talk about things that would otherwise not be topics for conversation. My best friend Laura usually starts a convo with "hey Doc, how's your bowel movements been?"

son of hal
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2011

Well, I cannot begin to give any advice on the subject being only 1 week post takedown but I was curious whether you are taking a pro-biotic. I've just been through probably the most miserable four days of my two-and-a-half year cancer journey. The tide changed within hours of starting on a pro-biotic juice drink. There is more to the story but it made me wonder how many people take pro-biotics after their takedown and if they do, what form (liquid, tablet, or yogurt).
Take care, CJ

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I did take probiotics but didn't find any difference with them- I did capsules and has been probably my only real venture into the more complementary treatment options. I am 8 years post op and still have to regulate bowels mainly through diet- it really is just a matter of finding what works and doesn't for you then balancing it all out. I'm still learning but it does slowly improve.


Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Excellent point, Steve. Last fall I was on several antibiotics and developed the worst case of diarrhea I've ever had in my life. It lasted at least a month and was very painful and messy. It was to the point that I started wearing incontinence pants for the first time in my life and had to sleep on a plastic sheet, just in case. I was taking all sorts of anti-diarrhea drugs, including morphine based peragoric (what they used to call laudanum about 100 years ago) and none of it did any good. Finally, one night while watching TV in bed and feeling my guts tie themselves into bowline knots, probiotics came to mind. I got a big carton of Greek yogurt and some acidophilus the next day and within a few days it had cleared up.

What was a real "Yay me!" time was during all of that, I did the 1.5 mile hike up a mountain to go to Timpanogos Caves in the Wasatch Mountains. Simply gorgeous!

Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2011

Good Morning,

Yes, yes, I understand the problem all to well too.
Food definitely is my culprit. If I eat high flour products or products with yeast, it seems to cause me trouble so I try to stay away from alot of pasta, yeast breads, white flours and even wheat flours too. I eat Ezekial sprouted bread as toast and that works otherwise the others constipate me. I also believe that carrot juice really helped heal my insides ~ fresh carrot juice with green apple. I also notice that if I eat 1 cup organic yogurt everyday that seems to regulate me as well. Tomatoes cause me big problems running to the bathroom. Lettuce causes me problems with running as well but I tolerate spinach very well and that actually helps me. I do not tolerate meats very well or milk products very well but I do tolerate some instant dry milk and chicken or fish.

Good luck to you on this. I think it is somewhat of a trial and error but I do believe strongly in the carrot juice blend, low white flour/yeast combination and Ezekial bread to help me keep it all together.


Posts: 30
Joined: May 2012

I'm having exact same problems, I take colace it doesn't help much. I had my resection on March 28. I also have a lot of butt pain and when I get up from sitting awhile it feels like my insides are gonna come out. I can't eat a variety of greens because I developed a blood clot in my leg after surgery. The only good thing right now are sites like this where a person can find out we share the same symptoms which is a little comforting. I got a port put in today and boy does my neck hurt, so pain lower and upper..fun. I am missing my grandaughters graduation and probably my nieces wedding in July cause I can't sit for too long or be too far from a bathroom and never know how long i'm gonna be in the bathroom. oy veh!

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