Why are things slwoing down 5 months after total colectomy for colonic inertia?

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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 5/27/2011 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a total colectomy for colonic inertia in January 2011. Everything was working well and I felt I had my life back. I was going 6-8 times a day almost like clockwork. I was/am still using psyllium husk powder on the advice of my surgeon to keep things firmer and bulky facilitating elimination. It does really help a lot! However, for the past few weeks things have slowed considerably on some days in spite of the fiber and drinking lots of water and eating fibrous foods. I'm often getting that familiar abdominal bloat that I hoped I was rid of. Miralax just causes diarrhea which aggravates hemorrhoids I've been suffering from since shortly after my surgery or doesn't help at all. It's tricky deciding on the right dosage to be effective but not too effective. I've used prune juice and it helps sometimes but it's hit or miss and not always totally effective. I don't want to fall into the trap of using stimulant laxatives for fear of totally screwing up my small intestine's motility. I was hooked on laxatives and enemas to make my colon work.

I'm concerned about this change as I read other posts where this has happened to others after this surgery. My question goes out to those who have experienced this too. What have you used to speed things up? Have your doctors explained to you why this happens? I live in rural Colorado and my surgeon is in California, I don't have any doctor I can see near me that can help me with this.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated! I'm getting scared and desperate!!! Also any advice on dealing with hemorrhoids from those who have suffered with that too, nothing is working very well. It's been going on for 4 months!

Thank you!

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 5/27/2011 2:25 AM (GMT -6)   
hi fit,

i'm so sorry to hear you're struggling again. unfotunately, what is happening to you right now is very common. the bowels are supposed to slow down after few mons post colectomy. not just for ppl with CI, but it also slows down for anyone who has a colectomy, cuz the small intestines adapts with time and starts to learn the colon's job. it never gets as slow as the colon, but it's totally normal for it to slow down.

i'm surprised at the fiberous diet you're on. i know for me and many others after a colectomy fiber can be a bit problematic. i'm no example, cuz i have inertia of my small intestine too, so fiber just makes me worse, but i've heard many have problems with fiber. maybe it was a good thing in the begining for you, but now that things has slowed down, maybe it's only bulking you more..?? i don't know, just a thought.

i think it would be worth to try cutting down on the fiber, take half of your usual dosage and see how it affects you. it is hard to find the right combination, i know, but don't get discouraged yet! you'll have to work on it, but i believe you'll be able to figure it out.

about the hemorhoids, if they are really bothering you, i think you should see a surgeon to give you a treatment for them. best of luck and i really hope things work out for you soon! keep us posted.
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy
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