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Getting regular

wifetojeff69
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2019

I'm actually not sure if iI have asked this or not but every since my husbands lower bowel resection he has had issues with being backed up. He will have  something I wouldn't even really call a bowel movement as it is not much, then he will not have any for a few days then he will start to feel more nauseated by this point, we have been giving him miralax daily which really doesn't seem to help then by the time the 3 day of no bowel movement he usually has to do 2-3 doses of milk of magnesia before he will finally go. All the while his stomach just noisy and uncomfortable during all of this until he finally has a decent movement to go back to this cycle all over again. It seems everyone has more issues have diarrhea so I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this lack of bowel movements and what they have done to get more'regular". We have already contacted his surgeon and he acts like he is surprised that he is having the issue and really gives no advise. We do have an appointment with his gastrointerologist but that isn't for another month.

We were considering trying metamucil but I know that is for constipation and diarrhea so I am afraid to use it and cause more stomach upset. Any suggestions would be great.

 

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 893
Joined: Apr 2017

Psyllium seeds are the same thing as metamucil, I think, just in a different format.  You might give it a try if other health conditions do not preclude it.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4857
Joined: Jan 2013

My bowels were all over the place during chemo.  One day I'd be running back and forth to the loo, the next I'd be all bunged up with nowhere to go.  I never did find a middle ground. 

Saying that, I know certain foods helped me and hindered me.  I like to keep a food journal and record not just what I eat but how it affects my body. 

Good luck!

Tru

wifetojeff69
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2019

Well this has been going on since his surgery, we have kept a journal and nothing makes a difference at all. It's almost like his stomach is in a constant hurricane, he did an emptying study and he digested qucker than normal however his gastro didn't seem alarmed, it's almost like everything leaves his stomach then sits in the next phasem=, he can take 2-3 full doses of milk of magnesia with a final good result and then other times it does nothing. We are going to get a second opinion because this is so frustrating, it causes him almost constant stomach upset and nasea. 

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 997
Joined: Aug 2013

I don't recall his level of mobility, but simple movement and activity have a positive effect on moving things along. Even exercise stuff in bed may help, changing positions, clenching and unclenching the abs, leg lifts, whatever he can do, he should try......................................Dave

nuc
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 2019

I second Dave's response, try increasing his physical activities, they will help to get the bowels moving.

Another option, as this works extremely well for my wife, is slow juicing beets, kale, carrots, and a zucchini together.  Drink a cup or 2 of that, (actually tastes pretty good) and she's in the bathroom very quickly!

HTH

Adam

Joan M's picture
Joan M
Posts: 380
Joined: Oct 2016

It usually works within 8 to 12 hours or overnight if you take it before bedtime.  I actually have more problems with the constipation than diarhea, so he is not alone in that battle. 

 

wifetojeff69
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2019

Thanks for the tips. He is pretty active, works all day on his feet, we go for frequent short walks nothing too far away since he isn't comfortable venturing too far from home. What I am learning is that he has LARS (Low anterior resection syndrome) and tenesmus, we are increasing fiber but we have had very little success but we've only been consistent with it for about a week. Does anyone here struggle with thsi? If so what did you do to help it?

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1976
Joined: Nov 2009

I had my rectum and part of my large intestine removed along with part of my small intestines back in April 2018.   After I had my ileostomy removed in June of 2018 and around November of 2018, I started getting these stomach pains which would increase throughout the day until I would vomit several times and then afterwards I would have diarreah.   I would get this almost every 6-8 weeks.  I would have regular bowel movements and then I may go every day but it wouldn't be of any substance until again I would get these stomach pains.  I have kept a log and brought it up to my doctors.  They believe I might be getting a partial bowel obstruction.   Therefore, they advised me to eat a low residue diet.   It seems to be helping me.   That means no raw vegetables salads, etc.  No nuts, seeds, fruit with seeds.   I cheated on the diet and I thought I was doing well but a week later I had the stomach episode again.

then there are other times that I hardly make it to the bathroom!   I feel that the bowel movement issue is making me gain weight, then lose some of the weight when I have an episode.

Wishing your husband Jeff well.

Kathy

wifetojeff69
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2019

Oh no I'm sorry to hear you are going through that. Sounds awful. My husband gets the stomach pains but he doesn't throw up it's like his stomach isn't digesting well and slow to exit, I don't know. It's sure frustrating trying to figure it out though. I hope you don't have a bowel obstruction and it gets better.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3327
Joined: Jan 2010

Is he drinking lots of fluids?  Dehydration can cause this issue.  Any thing with caffine in it can contribute to dehydration...such as coffee, tea and colas.

He also might try a stool softener, even if not suffering from hard stools.  Many today work by drawing the body's fluids to the intestines to help with passing stools.

A cup of hot water (as hot as can stand), will also help get fairly quick results.

Hope some of the suggestions on this forum help.

Marie who loves kitties

 

wifetojeff69
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2019

Thank you for responding. He seems to be on a cycle, He will not go for about 3 days before he will do something like dulcolax and milk of mag. and he get serious cramps but and most of the time he will go but then he starts clustering for hours where very little comes out, he is having a very very hard time with this severe spasm, cramping down by the connection, it's call tenesmus, and he will just start having these cramps where his bowls open and he has to go sit on the potty and if anything comes out its just a very small amount, but this pain is really hard to deal with.

We thought we were onto something last week he had a bad episode all sunday night through Monday, but then he had a fairly normal bowelmovement Tues and Wed. then boom back to this, it is so frustarting, he is getting so frustrated and feels like his life is over and can't ever do anything agian. I hate seeing him like this.

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 893
Joined: Apr 2017

Please encourage him to have hope.  There is a lot of adjusting to the new normal, but from my perspective, life is very much worth living.  One rule I have adopted is the "seven day rule."  That is any new strategy should be tried for seven days before deciding if it works.  Taking a supplement, for example, for a day or two does not tell you very much about its effeciveness, with all of the variations in day-to-day functioning.  Please encourage your spouse to hang on, try various strategies, and to try to optimize the joy available every day.

wifetojeff69
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2019

Thank you, I do encourage him to have hope every single day, on his good days, it's good, but on the bad days, it is bad. He has other health issues on top of this. One that came up right after his colon surgery was a neruopathy he developed. He started getting weakness, numbness and tingling in his arms, hands, and burning all over his chest. He got this once before about 15 years ago after a surgery and that had to be addressed before he could start chemo, that's most of the reason he is only doing the 5fu and not the oxiliplatin right now. I reasearch and research and I read him all of everyones replies and I know he finds comfort in knowing he is not the only one dealing with this and he has said he wished he could talk with someone here where we live going through the same thing. He has friends who have dealt with other cancers/chemo and they are very helpful but not in the down there area, I keep praying for him every single day. 

Thanks for the encouragement I see all of you on here doing well and it gives me hope for sure.

MeAndMine
Posts: 51
Joined: Aug 2019

 I know your husband appreciates you very much for all of your research and your help. I know your love and encouragement makes a difference! He’s strong and working hard at getting well. Everything is new and something we have to figure out along the way. Everyone here is so helpful with their experiences. I don’t have any advice as I am early in treatment and haven’t had surgery yet. I’ve been on both sides as caregiver and patient. Neither is easy but being a caregiver and having no real control over things was super hard. Hang in there. Prayers for both of you and your family. 

wifetojeff69
Posts: 38
Joined: Aug 2019

Thank you, I know he does appreciate the things I do and read to help he always thanks me. It's just so touch to watch someone go through this. 

Good luck on your surgery!!

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