Bloating from enemas? Normal?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 6/12/2008 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I have pretty bad, chronic, IBS-C and from time to time need to do a saline enema. Why is it that when I do one, I get very bloated (typically from the waist down) and retain fluid and look pregnant? I mean, I can't squeeze into some pants the day or so after I do one. I have "fluid rolls" hanging over my underwear!! I feel so @##$# fat! Then it takes a day or two for it to go away. Is it just me? Any solutions? Help!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 6/12/2008 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I use saline enemas from time to time and I find that if I expell the small pocket of air above the solution until it almost bubbles out at the tip and then insert, I don't feel as bloated as if I had just inserted and expelled the liquid. You could try this. My colon surgeon said if I find enemas help me (I struggle with multiple daily bm's, sometimes D from having my sigmoid and 15 inches of my colon removed, due to cancer, 9 years ago), I could use a "recipe", but I've since lost it. It was much milder than a saline solution. I want to say it contained tap water, small amount of Wesson oil and a third ingredient but I just stayed with the Fleet's saline ones. I use them only once or twice a month but if I regularly used enemas, I think I would ask her for this recipe and give it a serious try. I don't even know how you go about finding enema bottles (do you reuse them or pitch after use?)......but she seemed to think a homemade one would be much milder on my gut.

Hopefully someone else will post and give you more answers.


Post Edited (Marsky) : 6/12/2008 11:53:59 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/1/2008 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I’m the SME (Subject Matter Expert) on giving enemas. I have not had a natural BM in years. I cannot poop at all. I’ve tried EVERYTHING and every DRUG and lots of DOCTORS. Fast forward to 15 years of enemas. It’s either that or the doctor’s said I could have my colon removed. I opted to have the enemas. And so for 15 years, they have not harmed me at all. Two months ago, I had a colonoscopy and the doc said I was clean as a whistle. When I first started to use the enemas, I used the saline kind you are describing, the kind you buy at the drugstore. It used to give me gas and I would feel bloated and not feel empty. Then after a while, I would use 2 of them. After a while, it got expensive and I was buying a lot of them. Finally I decided to buy one from this website: I use plain ole warm tap water. I fill the bag up and I release only the amount of water I want to. I now use more water than the 2 bottles of fleet enemas that I bought from the drugstore. I never feel bloated because I feel completely empty. My stomach is flat. Enemas really changed for me when I went from the store bought fleet ones to my own enema bag. Huge difference. And think of all the money I save!

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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10382
   Posted 8/1/2008 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
The salt in the saline enemas is absorbed in the colon, causing your body to retain water. Used frequently, saline enemas can also cause irregularities in heart beat because they upset the body's chemistry. Plain warm water is safe and should cause fewer side effects.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
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Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/20/2013 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I have IBS-C and have tried water enemas and they cause severe bloating. I have noticed that filtered/boiled water does not cause that. I also do the coffee enemas which are better as well.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 442
   Posted 6/20/2013 10:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok so I was just about to post about this. So I bought a package if fleet enemas. The first one I did and held it in for at least 5 minutes. But I felt horrible the whole day. So today I tried one. I emptied majority of it out and replaced it with water. I warmed it before using it and squeezed the air out. It went in much easier. But I couldn't hold it in long enough. What is a trick to holding it in? I stayed in the bathroom just in case but I could only keep it in maybe 2 minutes if that. I don't feel as bad as when I used the saline solution but I have had gas all day. But since I couldn't hold it in the only thing that came out was the water. I'm really constipated too right now and very miserable.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 6/27/2013 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there, I see I replied on this thread but years ago, back in 2008! I still no longer use saline enemas on a regular basis and have only had to implement them if I had taken too many immodium (if traveling, or in a social setting when faced with near accidents). Immodium usually has that effect on my touchy gut - but the day after I took it. Odd.

Since 2008, I've noticed there is an enema called Naturals. I believe they are manufactured by Fleet's. But do not contain saline. They are very, very mild. I think I know why they were created but let's not go there. Perhaps you would like to try these Naturals' enemas, they're very gentle. Do not cause bloating or GI upset for hours after using.

There was a time when one of my doctors wanted me to try and encourage my body to have one big massive output (like the old days before I had my lower colon removed), by eating a bowl of bran cereal, drinking several cups of strong coffee, and then using a suppository. The thinking was to retrain my bowels to do this each morning. I felt - miserable! But the suppository did do it's thing. Perhaps that's all you need - a simple OTC suppository? They also make pediatric dose sizes, which are very mild and if you tried a ped dose, it might just be a gentle nudge to get things going for you.

If I had to choose 2 things I've tried that have worked very well for me (granted I am not in your constipated shoes but do experience dumping, and messy, putty like stool out put that can go on for days), these products have had the most lasting positive effects for me:

Colace, 50 mg - an OTC stool softener. 50 is the ped dose, I take two a day, my GI tract seems to prefer two doses spaced out over 24 hours. Odd I know but this schedule works for me. 50 mg is found at Walgreens and CVS Pharmacies, can't find it at Kroger's though. Do not get the Peri-Colace, too harsh.

Renew Life/Ultimate Flora Probiotics - found in the fridge at health food stores, better than eating organic yogurt (which doesn't hurt but you'd have to eat a gallon of yogurt to receive the total amount of beneficial probiotics in this product). 50 Billion and 80 Billion Count varieties seem to have the most success in people who suffer from IBS issues. Pricey product - but so worth it.

You did ask if there's a way to keep the enema in, when I did them, I knelt on the floor, rear up high, sometimes after one went in, I'd sink my face down to the floor and turn it sideways, I could feel the saline going in further. If I could manage to hold them for 5 minutes, they did an amazing job. I usually felt great - later, not initially of course. When I did them to encourage normal output eventually, I took in a glass of water and saltine crackers to munch on, to replace the salt I might lose with the saline. Both seemed to help. Pretzels help in a pinch if out of crackers.
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