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11 year rectal cancer survivor. multiple trips to bathroom daily. looking for solutions via food & alternate pain therapy.

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2003

My husband had chemo, radiation & surgery in 2001. His intestines are often blocked or just the opposite. He takes mineral oil or Imodium depending on the situation. When he has too many trips to the bathroom in a day, the pain sets in. The pills he takes for the pain ease that problem, but cause others. I'm looking for an alternative (drug free?)therapy for his pain that would not have unwanted side effects. I'd also like to find a list of foods/beverages and their effects on the intestines. (whether they firm or loosen things up) We bought a bidet seat for home and a travel bidet he takes to work that have helped a lot.

God bless you all! Thanks.

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

My husband had ulcerative colitis for years. His life revolved around chronic diarrhea. Psyllium husks worked well for him. This is the ingredient in Metamucil. People think this is taken for constipation only but it works well for diarrhea too. If constipated it will loosen the stool, if stool is loose it will create a binding affect. My husband took two Metamucil tabs there times a day. If doing well, twice a day. You can also get just psyllium husks at a bulk food store and mix it with water. Tastes awful but is cheaper than Metamucil capsules. Also, pro-biotics (acidophalous etc...) taken with meals will help restore the good bacteria in his intestine. Takes about 2 - 3 wks before you notice an improvement. With the psyllium, it should help right away.

Good luck,

The psyllium husk (even in the form of Metamucil capsules) is considered food vs. medication.

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

First up congratulations on the 11 years. Second commiserations on the state of your digestive system. I am nearly at 15 years . I was colon so did not have radiation just surgery and a year of chemo. I had irritable bowel before ca and still have it.
I take proton pump inhibitors every day to protect my stomach otherwise I constantly suffer from ulcers. I have up to ten bms a day. If I take too much imodium I suffer much much worse so I tend to try to eat things that pass easy. I always start my day with rolled oats , they bulk up and stop me feeling hungry thru the day. I eat fruit tho I try to avoid the very acid ones. Things like cherries and berries are good. I tend to avoid nuts as they tend to upset my system. Fish and chicken are ok. I love red meat but don't over do it. I love cheese but find that if I eat it I will suffer. I avoid opiates {codeine} and just take standard paraceteamol for pain. It does not help much but at least it does not constipate me like codeine. I avoid alcohol as it upsets my system. I have tried going to the doctor for help but they are not versed in long term cancer survival. To them diahorrea is just that and constipation likewise and the common treatments just don't work for us. The Bidet idea sounds really good I just never leave home without my tube of savlon cream. I wish I could be of more help, sometimes I feel like putting a blackboard in my loo and making a list of things I should not have eaten,Hugs Ron.

Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2012

AS777 What diet is your husband doing?
I was going 20 times a day, until my onc put me on a diet chart and I started noticing what food sent me to the bathroom and what food made me go once a day. Stay away from high fiber diet and start with a low residue diet. Perhaps he should go vegan, even stopping milk and dairy products to see if it works. Watch the documentary "Fork over Knife" and Read the book "Life over Cancer" which discuss a great deal about diet and nutrition. My husband makes soup for me and food with lot of herbs and turmeric (cancer beater), and no spices at all. I am doing great with that.

Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2012

My onc has been working with me on side effects of treatments. She has just started me on colestipol Hcl 1 gm. She said that it should help with the frequency and diarrhea. I am still trying to figure out how much to take . She suggested 1-3 tablets twice a day. It seems to constipated if I take too much. Good luck !

Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

So good to know that some docs help patients with these issues. Hope things improve

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