I'm starting SRT and need to resolve bloating problems

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Carlos
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/5/2010 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm starting SRT on the 15th and have a bloating problem that I need to resolve.  My radiologist says I need to keep the bloating under control to avoid possible colorectal damage during radiation.   My GI doc said I have mild IBS that causes the bloating and can use simethicone (gas-x) as often as necessary.  Unfortunately the simethicone doesn't work consistently and I really don't have much control over the bloating.  I've eliminated some foods that seem to contirbute to the problem but I believe anxiety may be the biggest culprit.   Any thoughts or ideas  would be appreciated.
 
Carlos

F8
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3804
   Posted 12/5/2010 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos -- bloating has been a big problem for me too.  i do know if i eat less it helps. other than that i haven't had much success.  good luck to you.
 
ed
age: 55
PSA on 12/09: 6.8
no symptoms, no prostate enlargement
12/12 cores positive....gleason 3+4 = 7
HT, BT and IGRT
received 3rd and last lupron shot 9/14/10

Julietinthewoods
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Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 12/5/2010 5:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos, I was afraid this was going to be a problem for my husband as well, but he seems to be doing fine. He is strictly following a low-residue diet. Did your radiation team give you instructions to follow the same type of diet, and specific food suggestions? If not, ask them about it. It is also supposed to help prevent any diarrhea that can occur.

Just another thought: Do you chew much sugar-free gum? This can cause gas and bloating in many people who are unaware of the connection.

It may help to eat slowly, especially when you are anxious, and chew each bite a certain number of times before swallowing.

Have you tried avoiding all dairy products? Although not a residue issue, my husband can't eat ice cream at all without developing gas, so that is out for him until radiation ends.

It really is important, so I hope you find some answers. I wonder if a consult with a dietician might help?

Juliet

compiler
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Date Joined Nov 2009
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   Posted 12/5/2010 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I also have IBS problems, mostly severe constipation. I am concerned that this will cause problems should I need SRT.
 
Any suggestions on dealing with C (constipation)
 
 I've done the high fibre, prunes, stool softeners, treadmill exercise, etc. to no avail. I do need to drink more water.  Additionally, it is causing pain in the incision areas. I believe I had a tiny insignificant (perhaps even questionable) incisional hernia. It may have worsened although I don't see any huge bulges. Anyway, very frustrating. Maybe it will improve -- I have a week to go before my cruise.
 
In the past, it would last for a week to a month. It has been 5-6 weeks.
 
Mel

Julietinthewoods
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Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 12/5/2010 6:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel, have you tried using Citracel on a daily basis? In addition to following the low-residue diet, Carter takes Citracel every day. They started him on it about three weeks before radiation treatments began. The purpose is to prevent constipation that may occur from the low-residue diet. They specified Citracel, not Metamucil, which I believe may cause gas.

I think you're smart to try to get a handle on it now, before SRT (hoping you don't need that). And yes, lots of water every day. In fact, that may be the most important thing you can do.

Juliet

Carlos
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/5/2010 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Ed,  thanks for the reply.  I really would not be concerned about the bloating were it not for the upcoming SRT.
Juliet,  I have been on a heart healthy diet for many years.  No dairy, no gum, but I probably do eat too fast.
Mel,  My rad onc seemed to be more concerned about diarrhea than constipation.  He suggested I keep Imodium AD on hand.
 
I do have a little time to experiment.  I'm going to try gas-x on a pre-emptive basis.  I plan to take it with every meal and at bed time whether I need it or not.  This will be Plan A.  Plan B is a little more radical.  It envolves dumping my heart healthy anti-cancer diet. No more fruit, veggies, oatmeal, whole grain breads, and so on.  I will stick to the foods that have never given me a problem: Bacon and eggs with biscuits for breakfast.  For lunch will hit the Whataburger for a bacon cheese burger on Texas toast, fries and a coke.  Maybe I should have posted this on Mel's red meat thread (just kidding).   I am 74 and enjoy excellent health (low cholesterol, low BP & good weight) and could probably handle a high fat diet for a few weeks.
 
Thanks for the replies,  Carlos
 
 

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 12/5/2010 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos, at age 74, its certainly not going to hurt you for a few weeks to eat those other foods, if it helps the bloating problem. BTW, sound like a taste healthy diet to me, lol.

David
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Carlos
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/5/2010 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
David, The bacon cheese burger at the Whataburger is just about the best tasting thing ever.   My friends say it is instant heart attack, but what a way to go!  My dad ate bacon and eggs every day of his life and a lot of red meat.  He lived to be 92 but did loose his colon at age 50.  It never slowed him down.  Hope you are well on the road to recovery.
 
Carlos

Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 12/5/2010 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos,

No Whataburgers here in SC, but remember them when I lived in Dallas years ago. I don't mind the Hardee's Six-Dollar Burger ($3.99) as a local substitue when I need that serious protein fix.
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Julietinthewoods
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 12/5/2010 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos, the low-residue diet Carter is supposed to follow is just about the opposite of heart-healthy! He can still have olive oil, but our ordinary healthy eating is out for nine weeks. He can have no oatmeal (switched to Farina), no whole wheat bread or pasta, no raw fruit, no squash (even cooked), only cooked veggies (no broccoli or cauliflower), no beans, and no nuts.

His lunches have consisted of creamy peanut butter on white bread with jelly (no preserves!) and canned fruit. Guess he can do it for nine weeks, but he can't wait to finish and go out for Mexican food. I can't wait to go out just to stop fixing two different dinners every night!

The low residue diet can be constipating, thus the need for Citracel. They don't want you to be constipated, either. The diarrhea can be a side effect of the radiation itself, and they try to help you prevent that for your own comfort. We were told to have Immodium on hand. So far Carter has had no side effects at all, but it is still early in the game.

Also, many IBS patients are prone to hemmorhoids and you don't want that during radiation.

Good luck!

Juliet

Carlos
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/6/2010 5:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Juliet, thank you for the diet info.  Alas, you just about wiped out my food supply.  What about life's basics such as coffee, plain pasta, tomato sauces, fried catfish and hush puppies?  I suppose creamy almond butter (with dark chocolate) spread would be ok as well as grilled or blackened fish and shrimp.  Again, thanks for your help.
 
Carlos

English Alf
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2215
   Posted 12/6/2010 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Carlos,
I was put on a special diet before my SRT aimed at reducing gas and irritated bowel. The original info was in Dutch - this is a translation:

Tips for regular BMs:
- Adjust your food intake to ensure you have three regular meals a day
- Drink 2 litres (2000ml or about 4 pints) per day. And vary what you drink eg tea, coffee, water still fruit juices, milk, soup.
- Chew your food well or chop your food finely. And eat slowly
- Take regular exercise

Tips for reducing flatulence and an irritated bowel:
Avoid eating the following:
- Breads with nuts or seeds, black bread, muesli, cruesli
- Citrus fruits such as oranges mandarins lemons and grapefruit (I also stopped having marmalade)
- Pineapple, dried fruits such as prunes, apricots and figs
- Spicy foods peppers, garlic, curries etc
- Nuts, peanuts and coconut products
- Beer (including alcohol-free beer) sodas or any fizzy drinks.
- No more than four cups of coffee per day
- Pulses such as brown beans lentils
- Raw vegetables including: Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, asparagus, celery, mushrooms, cabbage, corn, paprikas, leeks, rhubarb, sprouts and onions. (note that in Holland Rhubarb is a vegetable!)

It is not a completely unhealthy diet as the following veg are allowed: endives, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, peas, paksoi, mange-tout, spinach, French beans, fennel, chicory and carrots.

It is also important to avoid swallowing air. Tips to help this include, eat slowly, don't talk while eating, don;t smoke and don't chew gum.


It was fairly simple to make these changes (I'm the cook) and I switched back a more normal diet afterwards, but as I am having so much gas and a fairly messed up bowel I might well try eliminating some of these things again.

You may need to check if Beetroot is okay for a different reason. Some docs may also tell you to avoid Beetroot so that you don't get the red/pink colour showing up in your pee!

I hope you find something that makes things improve
All the best
Alf
Born Jun ‘60
Apr 09 PSA 8.6
DRE neg
Biop 2 of 12 pos
Gleason 3+3
29 Jul 09 DaVinci AVL-NKI Amsterdam
6 Aug 09 Cath out
PostOp Gleason 3+4 Bladder neck & Left SVI -T3b
No perin’l No vasc invasion Clear margins
Dry at night
21 Sep 09 No pads daytime
17 Nov 09 PSA 0.1
17 Mar 10 PSA 0.4 sent to RT
13 Apr 10 CT
28 Apr 10 start RT 66Gy
11 Jun 10 end RT
Tired
BMs weird
14 Sep 10 PSA <0.1
Erections OK

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6949
   Posted 12/6/2010 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I had to give up any fresh vegetables, most fresh fruits, and coffee. Coffee was already on the endangered list because of continuing incontinence.
 
A lot has to do with timing of the food vs. timing of your treatments - "bad" food at breakfast was out for me, since my treatments were scheduled for mid-morning.

Carlos
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/6/2010 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Alf, thanks very much for the food list.  Adjusting my diet for a couple of months shouldn't be too difficult.  It looks like my usual trip to Mcguire's Irish Pub for fish and chips is ok, just need to cut out the pint of ale. 
 
142, thanks for the reply.  I do need to cut back on the coffee.  My 1st treatment is at noon but don't know what time slot will be available for the remaining  sessions.  With an early afternoon schedule I could just delay lunch until a later time.
 
Again, thanks for the replies.  Carlos

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7205
   Posted 12/6/2010 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos:
 
I'm not sure if just adjusting the diet before treatment is sufficient. I mean, if you start eating junk even for dinner, consistently, might that cause you bloating or other problems the next day?
 
Mel

Carlos
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/6/2010 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel,  You may be rilght about timing.  I still have a little over a week to experiment with Juliets and Alfs food liist and should have things in control before I start.
 
Thanks, Carlos

compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7205
   Posted 12/6/2010 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck. Carlos, are you doing the SRT with the Varian Trilogy RapidArc?
 
Mel

Carlos
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/6/2010 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel,  Yes.  The treatment facility has all new imaging and treatment equip.  Actual radiation takes less than 10 minutes.  They are busy at this center.  They start at 5:00 in the morning and stop at 7:00 pm.  My radiologist uses a Dana Farber/Harvard protocol for PCa treatment.
 
Carlos

Post Edited (Carlos) : 12/6/2010 12:37:44 PM (GMT-7)


compiler
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7205
   Posted 12/6/2010 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Carlos:
 
Please keep posting, especially about your experiences. I may be a month behind you.
 
Did you also indicate you had a catheter as part of the initial staging?
 
Someone else checked and they said they didn't do that (same equipment).
 
I asked but never got a firm answer.
 
Mel
PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (PSAf: 24%), PCA3 =75 .
Biopsy 11/30/09. Gleason 4+3. Stage: T1C. Current Age: 64
Surgery: Dr. Menon @Ford Hospital, 1/26/10.
Pathology Report: G 4+3. Nodes: Clear. PNI: yes. SVI: No. EPE: yes. Pos. Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. 100% continent by 3/10. ED- in progress. First post-op PSA on 3/10/10-: 0.01. PSA on 6/21/10--0.02. 9/21/10--0.06

Carlos
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/6/2010 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Mel, just one catheter for bladder contrast.  Their equipment provided good bowel imaging without a contrast agent.  The simmulation - planning images only took a few minutes.  No big deal.
 
Carlos
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