What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

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heiders33
Posts: 347
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby heiders33 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:50 am

For the past six months or so, I've been dealing with diarrhea-like cramps almost every time I eat something. Dr. Kemeny's NP told me it's probably soft stool and to take Metamucil to firm it up. I've been doing that, and I also take Imodium if the cramps are really bad. That usually works, but to be honest I don't want to depend on Metamucil and Imodium the rest of my life. I do drink green juices 2-3 times a week and try to have a lot of fiber in my diet. The strange thing is, it doesn't seem to be a particular food that triggers it. It can be anything from a burger to a piece of toast to a piece of fruit. Also, it usually doesn't result in full blown diarrhea - it seems to be merely the act of eating and the activation of my bowels that induces the cramping, but my stool usually just comes out soft (not liquidy). Do I need to double down on the fiber? What are other ways I can prevent or reduce cramping without taking medication? Are there better fiber supplements out there besides Metamucil (which has aspartame in it)? Does anyone else have good methods for firming up/slowing down while maintaining a healthy diet? I.E., I don't want to eat mashed potatoes every day.

My history is in my signature. TIA in advance!
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer T3N2M0
MSS, KRAS G12D
6/17: 28 days chemorad
9/17: LAR/loop ileostomy
10/17 - 2/18: XELOX six rounds
3/18: reversal
5/18: CT liver spot, blood counts normal
8/18: Abnormal PET, CEA 2.4
9/18: liver resection/HAI pump
10/18: Clear CT/sigmoidoscopy
10/18 - 4/19: 6MO FUDR/5FU
7/19 - Clear CT

boxhill
Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:40 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby boxhill » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:45 am

You can buy plain psyllium husk and just mix it with water. It's just blah to consume with just about no flavor: not difficult or revolting like some things (I'm looking at you, barium contrast! :D )
F, 64 at DX CRC Stage IV
3/17/18 blockage, r hemi
11 of 25 nodes,5 mesentery nodes
5mm liver met out
pT3 pN2b pM1
BRAF wild, KRAS G12D
dMMR, MSI-H
5/4/18 FOLFOX
Neulasta 6/28
7/9/18 CT NED
11/20/18 CT NED. Enlarged spleen.
12/20/18 Liver MRI 5mm liver met? and 2 lymph nodes in porta hepatis
12/31/18 Keytruda
6/5/19 Triphasic CT LN and spleen normal, Liver node stable
6/28/19 Pause Keytruda, predisone for joint pain
7/31/19 Restart Keytruda
9/10/19 CT stable

heiders33
Posts: 347
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby heiders33 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:34 pm

Oh thanks, I will try that! I took Metamucil today and had no cramps all day despite eating a lot. So presumably that would work.
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer T3N2M0
MSS, KRAS G12D
6/17: 28 days chemorad
9/17: LAR/loop ileostomy
10/17 - 2/18: XELOX six rounds
3/18: reversal
5/18: CT liver spot, blood counts normal
8/18: Abnormal PET, CEA 2.4
9/18: liver resection/HAI pump
10/18: Clear CT/sigmoidoscopy
10/18 - 4/19: 6MO FUDR/5FU
7/19 - Clear CT

NHMike
Posts: 2200
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby NHMike » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:08 pm

I take Nopalina for fiber. The ingredients are Canadian Flax Seed, Wheat Bran, Oat Bran, Edible Cactus (Opuntia Ficus), Senna Leaves, Psyllium Husk, Apple Fruit Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Pineapple Fruit Extract, Grapefruit Fruit Extract. I tried Psyllium Husk alone and it didn't do anything for me. I've tried Nopalina in the bag and in capsules. The bag doesn't work for me but the capsules work quite well. They are also quite convenient. I just take four with water and also take Slippery Elm. The Slippery Elm helps to move food through my system more quickly.

I get small bowel obstructions from time to time and the effects are somewhat similar in that I get cramps which feel like pressure. They can last for up to two days and they will produce watery stool - basically as if the large intestine just let everything through without processing it. The obstructions showed up five months after reversal and this is about the limit to when scar tissue develops. The effects of the obstruction showed up in a CT scan when I went to the Emergency Room. That might be a possibility from your surgery last year.
6/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/17: 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 4.5 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/17-9/17: Xeloda radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8; 5/1 2.8; 5/29 3.2; 7/13 4.5; 8/9 2.8, 2/12 1.2
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/17: 2.7 2.2 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/17: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
CapeOx (8) 12/17-6/18
7/18: Reversal, Port Removal
2/19: Clean CT

TinaFish
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:11 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby TinaFish » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:36 pm

Are you referring to tenesmus? I have a rectal tumor too, and my tenesmus began after my first chemo. It's horrific. As soon as there's the tiniest bit of poop in my rectum, my body wants to get it out. I'm on the toilet 20-30 times a day. And that's when I DON'T have tenesmus! When I do have tenesmus, I'm on the toilet for hours, with my body involuntarily pushing out the last drop of poop that it feels! My butthole gets sore, my butt muscles get sore, all I can do on those days is take a Norco and knock myself into a painless sleep.

BUT I'm still trying to figure out the perfect balance and doseage of Imodium, Bentyl, and Lomotil. These things help me very much, but you have to be careful - they will constipate you!

Buscopan is a life-saver too when you're feeling stomach problems.
F 45, single mother to son, 7 and daughter, 3
DX: stage 4 Rectal Cancer June 2019
Tumor Location: ? cm above anal verge
Tumor type: Adenocarcinoma
Tumor size: 5 cm
Tumor grade: ?
TNM code: ?
Stage : Stage IV-B
# of cancerous lymph nodes: ?
Mets: Numerous mets to liver, lungs
CEA: 22 in July; 11 as of August 15
MSI status: MSS
KRAS/BRAF status: KRAS mutation
surgery: TBD
Ostomy surgery: TBD
Radiation therapy: TBD
Chemotherapy : CAPEOX+Avastin, 6 cycles, with CT scans after 3rd and 6th cycle.

Caat55
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby Caat55 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:30 am

heiders33 wrote:Oh thanks, I will try that! I took Metamucil today and had no cramps all day despite eating a lot. So presumably that would work.


I like you sometimes get cramps which I can't blame on any particular food. Diet isn't helping to thicken things up like it did with the bag. I have been taking psyllium capsules I buy at costco, one or two depending on what my day looks like and access to bathrooms. They seem to be enough.

Susan
55 y.o. Female
Dx 9/26/17 RC Stage 3
Completed 33 rad. tx, xeolda 12/8/17
MRI and PET 1/18 sign. regression
Surgery 1/31/18 Ileostomy, clean margins, no lymph node involved
Port 3/1/2018
Oxaliplatin and Xeloda start 3/22/18
Last Oxaliplatin 7/5/18, 5 rounds
CT NED 9/2018
PET NED 12/18
Clear Colonoscopy 2/19

heiders33
Posts: 347
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby heiders33 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:42 pm

I will try the psyllium husk powder or pills and see if that works. I will say that my stool is not watery, just slightly soft (although sometimes I get pellets). I really do think I just need to up my fiber intake to firm things up.
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer T3N2M0
MSS, KRAS G12D
6/17: 28 days chemorad
9/17: LAR/loop ileostomy
10/17 - 2/18: XELOX six rounds
3/18: reversal
5/18: CT liver spot, blood counts normal
8/18: Abnormal PET, CEA 2.4
9/18: liver resection/HAI pump
10/18: Clear CT/sigmoidoscopy
10/18 - 4/19: 6MO FUDR/5FU
7/19 - Clear CT

Jachut
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Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby Jachut » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:06 am

I hate to say it but this has been a constant companion for me in the ten years since my ultra low anterior resection. Just diarrhoea cramps, a bit like period pain every time you eat.
My bowel movements are also more often than not completely liquid.

I have tried every combination of diet, fibre, immodium, you name it but its just how I am now. What I hate the most is that I also get gas after I eat and have about an hour of being rumbly, gurgly and farting. So embarrassing.

The things that help ne the most is staying clear of lactose - to the nth degree, NOTHING that has any milk products at all, and of course no actual milk, cream, cheese etc. That at least goes a long way to preventing the diarrhoea. But yes, everything that goes into my mouth causes things to start moving which results in cramping. But its not horrendously painful so I just put up with it. I should mention I have a colostomy.

heiders33
Posts: 347
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby heiders33 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:13 am

Susan and Jachut, it's good to know that you both go through the same thing and that this isn't unusual. I was just out of town and tried Metamucil capsules, but those didn't seem to help much (although it may have been because I was eating more since I was on vacation). I'm back home and doing Metamucil powder and that seems to work much better than capusles to firm things up and prevent cramping. So I'm going to buy organic psyllium husk powder and see how that goes.
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer T3N2M0
MSS, KRAS G12D
6/17: 28 days chemorad
9/17: LAR/loop ileostomy
10/17 - 2/18: XELOX six rounds
3/18: reversal
5/18: CT liver spot, blood counts normal
8/18: Abnormal PET, CEA 2.4
9/18: liver resection/HAI pump
10/18: Clear CT/sigmoidoscopy
10/18 - 4/19: 6MO FUDR/5FU
7/19 - Clear CT

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henry123
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:25 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby henry123 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:20 pm

Besides medicine like imodium , fresh aloe vera gel from plant works really well for me some times.
Just fillet a large aloe vera leaf and eat raw gel , not green part.
You can add gel to your green juice too.
Important : do not consume green part as it causes diarrhoea.
46yo M msi-high Lynch +ve
5/16 lap AR 14/21 L nodes +ve
T4N2M1
7/16 Capox 9 cyc
9/16 cea 2
1/17 550
PET CT mets in lung & peri
iri+ avast fail
3/17 10577
4/17 regro fail
5/17 cea 28800
5/17 CT inc in size of mes nodes ,onset of multi nodules in liver
6/17 Opdivo start
7/17 26754
8/17 5623
9/17 497
10/17 52
11/17 12
CT all clear exc a nodule in Lung. liver norm
1/18 3.6
4/18 2
Aspirin start
6/18 1.5 CT clear
12/18 1.1 CT Clear NED
6/19 .9 CT clear
9/19 1.2
Vegan yoga juicing
Still on opdivo

heiders33
Posts: 347
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: What can I do about diarrhea-like cramps?

Postby heiders33 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:11 pm

Thanks Henry, that's interesting.

I have to say, my cramps are not always predictable. I had bad cramps this morning, and I hadn't eaten since about 7 pm the night before - and this was around 8:30 or 9 am. I had to go to the bathroom when I got to the office. I had taken my Metamucil powder that morning, but the cramps were so bad that I decided to take an Imodium. I'm starting to wonder if it's really the Imodium that helps and not the Metamucil, because I was fine the rest of the day. I should try to go without Imodium for a while but I'm worried about dealing with too much cramping. Maybe I'll try cutting out dairy too, although like I said before it doesn't seem to be a respecter of food.

Is long term regular Imodium use bad for you?
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer T3N2M0
MSS, KRAS G12D
6/17: 28 days chemorad
9/17: LAR/loop ileostomy
10/17 - 2/18: XELOX six rounds
3/18: reversal
5/18: CT liver spot, blood counts normal
8/18: Abnormal PET, CEA 2.4
9/18: liver resection/HAI pump
10/18: Clear CT/sigmoidoscopy
10/18 - 4/19: 6MO FUDR/5FU
7/19 - Clear CT


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