CONSTIPATION AFTER COLECTOMY

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Amey
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 7/15/2007 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone still struggle to have a BM after your total colectomy?  Without Sorbitol laxative and prune juice I do not have a BM.  The only problem with using Sorbitol is that it depleats my electrolytes.  I take 4 potassium a day and 4 magnesium per day, but I still end up in the hosptial with low electrolytes. 

Can someone tell me what they use to have a BM after the colectomy?  Miralax does not cause me to go and I have tried 10 Dulculax and I still did not have a BM. Any ideas?
 
Thank you..

Gulfbreezer
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/16/2007 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Milk of Magnesia is working for me. I only take a half dose and use only regular strength. It works every time. My doc has also suggested Colace, I have not taken it yet but will if I need to.

Amey
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 7/16/2007 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
How often do you need to take MOM for it to work? How much do you need? I recall taking this months ago but it did not work for me. I would not mind trying this again. Also, have you found a difference between the Philips MOM and the generic? Or do they all work the same?

Thank you

april417
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 7/20/2007 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   

Amey

I have not experieced that, just going too much. Not sure which is better.

I posted some of the problems I am having now.  I hope someone has

ideas. 

I hope things get better for you.

April


Stuck42Long
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 250
   Posted 7/21/2007 8:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Amey, I too began to suffer with "constipation" after my total colectomy.  I actually hate using that word and never thought I would have to use it again and don't - I'd rather say slowed transit time.  Everything was doing wonderful up until the six month post-op point and then it was like "poof" going from six to eight times a day to maybe once every three days.  In reality, this isn't what I consider "constipated" compared to pre-op and going only once a month if lucky is constipated. 
 
My surgeon did advise pre-op that once the small intestine gets used to taking over the roll of the colon - slower transit time is a possibility.  Of course when this happened I began to freak out, as anyone who's walked in our shoes would do.  I contacted the surgeon and he ran a few tests to confirm nothing other than something normal was taking place.  He explained that it's possible that my small intestine could be lazy and placed me on MiraLAX.  At first it did NOTHING for me and then I really began to worry.  It seemed at first that the MiraLAX was only giving me excessive gas and bloating (again) and that was it.  
 
Then after taking it for about five or six days straight things began to move, thankfully!!  Nothing like I moved immediately and six months post-op, but things moved again daily!!  I also take magnesium supplements and stool softeners too, which seem to boost the MiraLAX.  Have you tried drinking apple juice and sugar free candy?  These things can get things going as well - sort of a switch the routine type of thing.
 
Aren't you posting in the Total Colectomy thread for Colonic Inertia?  I though I saw your name there.  I posted there last night, the first post since the end of June.  I was on it daily trying to support and encourage those with so many fears and concerns, however, things in my life began to get very hectic which has keept me away for several weeks.
 
Have you contacted your surgeon regarding your slowed transit?  If so, does he/she have any plans to run tests to determine all is OK?  Don't give up on the MiraLAX quite so soon.  I still feel very blessed that I have the bm's I have (each one actually) even if I go once a day, which in the real world, is actually "normal"
 
I hope this info helps!!!
 
 


Robin
 
God is SO good - His blessings are endless! 
Trust in Him with all your heart!
Know He's in control over every situation you face!!
 
 

Post Edited (Stuck42Long) : 7/21/2007 9:10:31 AM (GMT-6)


Amey
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 7/22/2007 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for the suggestions. Robin, I have tried Miralax and it did not work for me. When I take Miralax I begin to feel a great need to have a BM but nothing will come out. My stomach gets huge and distended; however, I just cannot move my bowels. I can only move things that are liquid through my bowels. I am not sure if this is typical of everyone who has had a colectomy but, I believe that I have a problem with my rectum and the doctors do not seem listen to me when I tell them. If my stools have even the smallest consistancy, then I cannot pass them. So, all of my foods have to be mashed like a baby and the foods have to be extremely light and mushy...(eggs, applesauce, jello, ect.). I cannot eat meat, wheat or dairy. My problem is mainly that I cannot get things to pass unless I drink tons of prune juice to make my stools feel like water. I tried taking Miralax (2 scoops) 3 times a day and I did this for 9 days and nothing happened. I gained 12 pounds and the pain in my stomach was incrediable. I called my GI specialist and asked him what to do because he was the one who suggested the Miralax and I wanted to know if he had any more ideas for me. The GI specialist's nurse called me back and told me that the doctor did NOT have any new ideas and he did not have any suggestions for me. This was about 3 months ago. Since the, I have been just trying things on my own. Currently, I eat very little because I cannot get much to pass and I drink Sorbitol mixed with prune juice.

Stuck42Long
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 250
   Posted 7/26/2007 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Amey, I'm so sorry that you're going thru all of this - my heart goes out to you!!!  I know that feeling of being bloated and my belly being distended all too well since I began using the MiraLAX again.  I'v regained almost all of the weight I lost immediately post-op, however, the MiraLAX is at least helping "somewhat".

Have you touched based with the surgeon who did your colectomy?  When I began to slow down I contacted mine and he checked to make sure there wasn't any issues with the rectum.  It appears that I have a "lazy" small intestine now (in his words) and I guess the MiraLAX sort of wakes things up a bit for me.  I will tell you that I don't think my bm's have any real substance to them - even after I do have a "watery" bm, I still feel "unemptied" 

I'm just hoping and praying that the MiraLAX continues to work.  My surgeon did tell me that he could remove what "very little" colon I have left, however, that would be a last ditch effort. 

I don't know if this helps, but I do feel your disappointment and how you must feel so discouraged, especially thinking the colectomy would solve the issues you're going thru all over again.


Robin
 
God is SO good - His blessings are endless! 
Trust in Him with all your heart!
Know He's in control over every situation you face!!
 
 


Amey
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 7/26/2007 5:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Robin,

When I read your words, I felt like I was reading from my own journal. My doctor said that I too have a "lazy" intestines. I have also gained weight but it is not food weight because I cannot eat much. I gain a lot of water weight and then I have to bike about 20 miles a day to sweat off the water. I know it is water because when I bike I lose about 4 pounds, but then I gain it back when I drink water through the day. I hold water because I do not urinate AT ALL. And I do not urinate because my intestines is pulling too much water in because Sorbitol forces water to be pulled into my intestines. It is a horrible cycle. My surgeon told me my next option is to get a bag. I am not even sure what that means exactly. So, I posted a question about this under the forums "new topic." Hopefully, I will get some responses to help me. Have you ever thought about getting a bag and by-passing some of your "lazy" intestines?

Irish_Mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 7/26/2007 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
The first thing I must say is that I really feel for those of your that are still having problems after having the surgery. If I end up in the same situation it will be my worst nightmare. What causes this to happen to some people but not others? Is it because they also had small bowel issues prior to the surgery? My problem is with the descending colon, but since I had a previous resection, everything but about five inches is going. He's leaving the small amount of colon to help prevent a large number of loose stools.
Breast Cancer at 36. Diagnosed in 2000. Bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Status post colon resection, but now heading towards a subtotal colectomy in September.
Son diagnosed with Crohn's at 17 (now 20). Taking Asacol and 6MP with Prednisone and Rowasa added during flareups.


Stuck42Long
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 250
   Posted 7/26/2007 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Amey,

Boy, you surely are having some major problems.  Was your colectomy done for Colonic Inertia?  Also, how long ago was your surgery (forgive me if you've posted it and I didn't see it).

I can't even imagine not urinating AT ALL!!  That cannot be healthy!!  Especially since you bike 20 miles a day, you must be, or at least should be, losing a lot of fluids.  So, there isn't anything other than the Sorbital that can help you in obtaining a bowel movement? 

I'm guessing that when my surgeon mentioned removing what very little colon I had left as a last resort - that may mean resorting to a bag - he didn't come right out and say that - this is my assumtion. 

Boy, there is so much I do not know, but I'm assuming that they would somehow close up your rectum and disconnect the small intestine from it and change the colectomy to a colostomy. 

At this point in the game I'm not ready for that and I will continue to find ways until there are no more before I would even consider the bag.  But then again, if I were in your shoes and living the quality of life you're living - my opinion might be different.

Whatever you decide to do and the direction you wish to take, may it give you a better quality of life than what you're living now.  I would like to keep updated on what you find out in your search for answeres.  My e-mail is availiable in my profile if you would like to keep in touch. 


Robin
 
God is SO good - His blessings are endless! 
Trust in Him with all your heart!
Know He's in control over every situation you face!!
 
 


Amey
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 7/26/2007 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Robin,
My surgeon never said that I have CI; he only said that I had no motility in my intestines. As for when I had my sugery done, I had my first colectomy in 2001. The surgeon did not make my anastimosis wide enough for anything to pass and the surgery left me very ill. I spent 4 years vomiitting until 2006 when another surgeon opened me up and widened the anastimosis. So, I am not sure if I am suppose to count the first colectomy or the second. I

Thank you for the wonderful concern. I will keep you posted after I see my GI specialist on Wednesday.
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