Short chain fatty acid enemas

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 11/12/2007 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been reading some old posts and came across a recommendation to try short chain fatty acid enemas for rectal bleeding when the rectum is disconnected from digestive tract. I found article in NEJM that states "A condition known as diversion colitis frequently develops in segments of the colorectum after surgical diversion of the fecal stream; it persists indefinitely unless the excluded segment is reanastomosed. The disease is characterized by bleeding from inflamed colonic mucosa that mimics the bleeding of idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease, and it may culminate in stricture formation."

Where do you purchase short chain fatty acid enemas? Can they be purchased or do you make them? If so how? Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated.

My son's GI simply tells us that the uncontrollable rectal bleeding is due to his UC. But if it's actually caused by a short chain fatty acid deficiency in the rectum because stool is no longer passing through it, I would like to try to remedy that before removing his rectum and all chances for j-pouch later.

Thank you very much.


Son 8 yrs UC pancolitis, unresponsive to meds, subtotal colectomy with ileostomy7/07. Retained small portion of rectum and sphincter muscles for j-pouch option in future. Uncontrollable rectal bleeding now. Treating unsuccessfully with cortifoam emenas 2x daily.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 11/12/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry that I have no information for you. I hope you find some answers to help your son.
Ileostomy 8/2007
Revised Coletomy/ Reset Anastimosis 2006
Revised Colectomy/ Obstructions 2005
Sub-total Colectomy 2001
Prov. 16: 20 Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
Zelnorm, Colace, Motilium, Citrate of Magnesium, Nexium, Amitiza, Potassium, Magnesium, Miralax, Milk of Magnesium, Corgard, Glycerin Suppositories, Sorbitol, Bentyl, Senokot

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 11/13/2007 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry to hear that your son is bleeding from the rectum. I don't know anything about fatty acid enemas, so I can't help you there, but have you done a Google search on the subject? Has your son ever had UC in the rectum? I had Crohn's in my rectum, so there was no chance of saving it for a j-pouch. Please keep us posted on what you find out, and best wishes to both of you.
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06. In remission since surgery.
Pain-free, med-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 11/13/2007 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   

I just did a Yahoo search for your topic "short chain fatty acid enemas" and several hits came up --- you might want to do some researching that way.  I didn't go into reading them, but they were exact matches.    I hope you find the info you are looking for.  I hope also that your son feels better and you can get the bleeding under control very soon. 


Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 11/13/2007 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Peggy, Cecilia, and Amey so much for your responses. I have been searching Google and Yahoo on the subject extensively. Lots of matches but they turn out to be discussions about the subject. Lots of talk, but no source for the suggested remedies. They've defined what this is, it has a name, they know what causes it, they know what the colon is missing and what it needs, yet they all stop short of providing sources for obtaining the treatment. It seems they don't have something yet to address it.

We have a consultation with his surgeon tomorrow, I will mention this to the surgeon and see what he says. I'm not expecting much, but who knows? I let you know how it goes.

At this point the priority is keeping my son happy and confident with himself, not struggling with his health and the pain and then on top of all that trying to keep him happy and confident. Having pretty much put the "diversion colitis" question behind us, we're looking forward to rectum removal, embracing Liam (his ileostomy) as a permanent member of the family, and helping my son to grow and get on with the rest of his life.

Thanks again for all your input and your help. It means soooo much. I'll keep you posted...


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 11/15/2007 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   

I have done the short chain fatty acid enemas in the form of butyrate enemas for proctitus. If the rectum is inflammed and bleeding then adding butyrate enemas will sting a bit. The PH of the butyrate solution is not adjusted unfortunately when you get it so anything like that applied to mucus membranes will hurt a bit. If the steroid foam enemas are not helping then consider switching to entocort enemas. You'll have to wait till the inflammation is a bit settled before attempting to use the butyrate enemas. Also think about using procain or xylocain enemas that will numb the rectum and quell inflammation then perhaps you could use the butyate so the person doesn't feel the slight stinging from the butyrate. It's really not that bad at all. But butyrate is essential as a fuel source for those cells down there to stay healthy so it's worth the effort.
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