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constipation after ileostomy takedown

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constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby Judy » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:15 am

Hi Friends, I had my ileostomy takedown in May 2009. I have done very will and have not had the bowel frequency that is common in our situation. But recently it seems that my recovery has gone in the other direction. I am plagued with constipation. This was common for me before the rectal cancer (my rectum was removed April 2008). Many times I sit and strain in order to move things which really worries me because I wonder if I'll blow a gasket somewhere. I'm not sure about taking stool softeners because I'm afraid that it will cause things to move along in such a manner that I won't have any control over it. I do drink loads of water, I am eating high fiber cereals and eating fruits and veggies. I'm taking short walks during my breaks at work. Any suggestions? Thanks so much! Judy
Judy
DX 3-11-2008, age 50
Surgery 4-10-2009, removed rectum,
1/15 lymph nodes, IIIA, temp. ileo.
28 radiation treatments w/5FU
8 treatments w/folfox,
3 w/o oxi
Reversal surgery 5-13-2009
NED - Praise be to God!
Judy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Maryland

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby Cured » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:42 am

Judy, my takedown was in March. I have made sure to intake plenty of fiber so, yes, it has resulted in more frequent stools - but manageable. I use Konsyl pfsyllium. I really don't need it if I eat too much high fiber foods. I think that high sugar foods result in harder BMs. Since most of my rectum was removed, and I was on a bag for 6 months it has taken a while for my system to get adjusted - but this has been so easy I have been amazed.

My doctor says that you cannot overdose on Imodium, so you will have a method to controll the opposite if that is what you fear.h
5-08:Stage 3 Rectal: 6/14 Nodes
Ace Surgeon Removed 90%Rectum & lots of Colon-Full Incision
Ileo Rev'd @6 Mos.
Radiation+5fu Pre-Surgery
FOLFOX 8 Cycles Done 1-09
Clear Scope 8-12; Clear CEA 6-14
Glory to God! Healed by prayers of many
Cured
 
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:53 pm
Location: 61 yr Male. I feal Great!

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby Lou » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:37 am

I had my take-down in Feb.
This is what works for me. I have Benefiber with Miralax mixed together in the am in a breakfast drink. Then at night I have Konsyl pfsyllium before dinner. Not perfect but it keeps things moving and bulks it up so I do not go sooo much.

Good Luck!!!

Lou
diag: 2-2-08
LAR 2-25-08
w/ temporary ileostomy
Tumor found early because of family history w/polyps and luck (feel extremely blessed)
reversal (CANCELLED!!!)
Breast Cancer DX:6-20-08
Lumpectomy 6-25-08
chemo & radiation done 12-08
Ileo takedown 2-09
Lou
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:51 am
Location: Atlanta Area

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby Surroundedbylove » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:46 am

Cured wrote: I think that high sugar foods result in harder BMs.


In my experience and from what I've read on various bowel management training programs, high sugar content should cause diarrhea rather than constipation. Perhaps increasing the fruit portion of your diet (except bananas) would help (or substitute some fruits for some of the veggetables).

I also understand that in some people cheeses can cause constipation so if you eat cheese you may want to experiment for a couple of weeks with an elimination diet.

Also, I understand that things like Miralax are safe to take as well as glycerin suppositories.
Surroundedbylove

Rectal Cancer @ 43, '08
Clinical: T3,N2a,MX (IIIB)
6 wks XELOX & radiation
LAR, colonic j-pouch, & temp ileo '09
Surgical: ypT3,ypN0,ypMX (0 of 20 nodes)
FOLFOX; XELOX
Ileo Takedown '09
Surroundedbylove
 
Posts: 3113
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:43 am
Location: Seattle

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby BrownBagger » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:48 am

The good news is that my bowel function is rapidly returning to its pre-cancer state.

The bad news is that my bowel function is rapidly returning to its pre-cancer state--which means constipation.

For now, I'm going with the flow (or lack thereof). Once I get off the chemo, I'm going to experiment with some laxative approaches to see if I can come up with something that will work over the long term.
Eric, 56
Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
Recurrences: (3/lung)
Major Ops: 5
Chemo Rounds (career): 74
Bicycle miles post-dx 10,316
Motto: Live your life like it's going to be a long one, because it just might, and then you'll be glad you did.
User avatar
BrownBagger
 
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Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby NWgirl » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:03 am

I took stool softeners in the early weeks, maybe month or two, following my take down surgery. All it does is make the poop a little softer coming out - it doesn't really speed anything up. I took it because the poop was so dry and hard it hurt coming out - the stool softeners really helped. I took fiber pills (just 1 a day) for a little while - but they did get things moving quickly so I didn't take them for long. Still, the fiber pills didn't cause me any lack of control.

My entire rectum was removed during my first surgery. Although my "push muscles" have returned somewhat, it is nothing like pre-cancer. I've learned to be very careful about the whole pushing thing - I seriously wonder if all that intense pushing and trying to get things to move in the early months caused my first hernia. I've learned my bodies routine - I'll poop just a couple of small poops at one time - and then I'm done - period. It doesn't FEEL like I'm done - but I can push for the next half hour or longer - and nothing will come out. I have a lot of "phantom" sensation down there - that there's still stuff to eliminate. And there probably is - but for whatever reason, it has to come out in its own time - and for me, that means more frequent and smaller movements. It's not perfect, but I can live with it and I rarely have accidents. That "phantom sensation" goes away once I've cleaned up and left the bathroom - so it doesn't last long - just while I'm sitting on the toilet. Weird, I know.
Belle - "Don't Retreat - Reload"DX 10/07 Stage III Rectal
Surgery 11/07; 27 of 38 nodes
Perm Colostomy 8/11
12/10 recurrence lungs & LN's
VATS Jan 2011
Radiation Oct 2013
Chemo for Life
2012 Colondar Model
NWgirl
 
Posts: 6325
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:24 am
Location: Battle Ground, Washington

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby Surroundedbylove » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:17 am

As I ate my morning breakfast and took my vitamins I thought of two more things that may help. If you take vitamins, check the iron content. Iron can cause constipation.

Also, I'm doing the MD Anderson bowel management training program and with it you drink 1 oz. of prune juice before each meal that you want to be followed by a bowel movement. Prune juice can be pretty powerful stuff to regulate constipation and I'm sure that's why it is only 1 oz. You might experiment and try 1 oz. before each meal for a few days and if that doesn't help try 2 oz. before each meal for a few days, etc.
Surroundedbylove

Rectal Cancer @ 43, '08
Clinical: T3,N2a,MX (IIIB)
6 wks XELOX & radiation
LAR, colonic j-pouch, & temp ileo '09
Surgical: ypT3,ypN0,ypMX (0 of 20 nodes)
FOLFOX; XELOX
Ileo Takedown '09
Surroundedbylove
 
Posts: 3113
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:43 am
Location: Seattle

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby Judy » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:54 pm

Hi Again, thanks to those who posted advice on constipation solutions. I think I'll have to cut the cheese...sorry...couldn't resist! I've been eating cottage cheese for lunch and perhaps that's the culprit. Also, I'll try prune juice which is not so bad to the tastebuds. There is so much trial and error on this road to my new normal. If these don't work then I'll try the drugs.

Has any body ever mentioned that you can buy a toilet-to-bidet conversion kit? We bought one for our toilet and that's the best thing I could have done for myself after the takedown. I wish I could have one at work. It makes clean-up easier and saves the back side from over wiping. The drawback, especially now that we're going into the winter months, is that the water is cold! But it's worth it for the clean up in those hard to reach areas.

Last question: where on this website do you fill out the info about your DX, treatments etc that are listed at the bottom of a post? I've looked all over the place for the form and can't find it.
Thanks again. Judy
Judy
DX 3-11-2008, age 50
Surgery 4-10-2009, removed rectum,
1/15 lymph nodes, IIIA, temp. ileo.
28 radiation treatments w/5FU
8 treatments w/folfox,
3 w/o oxi
Reversal surgery 5-13-2009
NED - Praise be to God!
Judy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Maryland

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby NWgirl » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:57 pm

Judy - in the upper left hand corner of the page, go to "User Control Panel" - then "Profile" then "Edit Signature"
Belle - "Don't Retreat - Reload"DX 10/07 Stage III Rectal
Surgery 11/07; 27 of 38 nodes
Perm Colostomy 8/11
12/10 recurrence lungs & LN's
VATS Jan 2011
Radiation Oct 2013
Chemo for Life
2012 Colondar Model
NWgirl
 
Posts: 6325
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:24 am
Location: Battle Ground, Washington

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby rscontreras » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:42 am

I had a severe case of diverticulitis which resulted in removal of 12" of my colon along with half of my bladder. I left the hospital with a colostomy. I had surgery 5 months later to reverse the colostomy, unfortunately it was not successful and I woke up in the hospital to find an ileostomy. The 3rd surgery for ileostomy takedown was successful, thank GOD!! I had a bag for 11 months. I have been battling with constipation for 3 yrs now since the takedown. I have tried high fiber intake, consuming ALOT of water, stool softeners and fiber pills. I find that my BM's are either few and far and either hard with much effort to pass or very soft and releases with a massive amount, leaving me with NO BM's for several days.
I wish this was not so and if anyone can offer advice on how I can hopefully attain "regular" bowel movements, I would be much grateful !
rscontreras
 

Re: constipation after ileostomy takedown

Postby jaynecwilliams » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:28 am

I had my take down 19 years ago, constipation is painful. I avoid foods such as potatoes and such to prevent this. My Dr. told me to chew food very well to avoid the dreaded blockages.
jaynecwilliams
 


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