Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Continual problems following colon surgery
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Continual problems following colon surgery

In January 2004, my colon perforated due to an acute case of diverticulitis.  Surgery was required, and a foot of my colon was removed with a small portion of my small intestine because my small intestine had looped over the hole in my colon.  Ever since my surgery, I have had constant problems with diahrrhea and intermittent abdominal pain.  I have a lot of gas on a daily basis and when I have a bowel movement, it is urgent that I get to a bathroom immediately.  My surgeon told me that I may never have a normal bowel movement again, but sometimes this is hard to deal with.  Do you have the same opinion?  Also, I read something about Colonix  on the internet, which is an internal "natural" body cleansing.  I was reading some articles about it and some people were saying that they were seeing even worms come out after a cleansing.  Would this benefit me?  Are they actually seeing worms?  Could this type of cleansing be safe for someone like me who's had so many problems?  Also, I've had a lot of problems with residual pain.  10 months following the colon surgery, precancer cells were found in my uterus, so I had a complete hysterectomy and appendectomy at the same time.  Due to these surgeries, I am wondering if my pain is scar tissue.  I am always afraid it's diverticulitis because when my colon perforated I didn't even know I was sick.  So subsequently, between my G.I. and Family MD, I've been on many antibiotics such as Flagyl, Cipro and Levaquin.  I am really concerned now about being on antibiotics, mainly because my mother almost died with a case of C-diff.  I'd just like to find some natural cures instead of the antibiotics.  How do I know if it's diverticulitis?  What's the risk of me getting Diverticulitis again?  I have so much diahrrhea, it's hard to know whether I'm "normal" or not.  Normal's pretty much out the window.  I feel like I should take stock in Immodium.  Could the abdominal pain be scar tissue?  CT scans I've had following surgery have been few and far between, but they have shown no infection in the colon.  I know these are a lot of questions, but I sure need some peace of mind.  Thanks so much!
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There is no data supporting the efficacy of colon cleansing.  However if you want to try this, you can discuss it with your personal physician.

To determine the cause of the chronic diarrhea, you can consider analyzine the stool for various causes of malabsorption, as well as evaluating for infection (i.e. parasites, bacteria etc.).  A colonoscopy can be considered to look for colitis.  

Previous cases of diverticulitis would put you at risk for future episodes.  A CT scan of the abdomen would evaluate for this possibility.  

Scar tissue from the surgery is a possible cause of the abdominal pain.  You can discuss this with your surgeon - or in conjunction with a second surgical opinion.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_b
7 Comments
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I'm sorry, I forgot to add, my gallbladder was removed in 2002.

Thanks!
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if you've been on a lot of antibiotics, you might want to try taking probiotics to restore the 'good' flora in your gut.  

a more appropriate way to get your bowel in good health would be to increase your fiber intake (which is recommended for diverticulosis and itis anyway).  that will help move everything out, and help regulate you (by bulking up your stool).  

try to avoid caffeine as that will speed up your gut.  sip your drinks since gulping means you are probably swalling extra air.  also try avoiding straws as they result in you swallowing more air (more gas).

oh, and yes, adhesions can cause ongoing abdominal pain.
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if it hasn't already been done, either colonoscopy or xray to evaluate the anastomosis (where the colon was sewn back together) would be a good idea: sometimes the area can form a stricture (shrinks to a small opening) which can cause the kind of symptoms you describe, and which often can be fixed with a simple procedure using a colonoscope.
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I also had a colectomy due to diverticulosis. Difficulty holding stool when you get the urge is definitely a problem @ times. I only feel rectal pressure & occ. abd. cramping when I need to go. To restore active flora to your bowel following antibiotics you need to eat yogart with active acidopholis, which most of them have. It will be on the label...sometimes it states active cultures. Eat at least 2 containers a day. I also found that after my bowel surgery I developed a milk allergy. Let's say I can use it for a laxative...LOL...it's not pretty. Esp. chocolate milk...Bad news!...Certain foods popcorn, corn & nuts continuue to bother me with abdominal cramping.
Many people I have spoken to complain of a dumping syndrome (loose stool immediately after eating) after getting their gall bladder removed...esp. with eating a richer food. I have that @ times but I had my gall bladder out the same day as my colectomy so I don't know which one is the culprit for that. I do know one thing, I am going to stay current with my colonoscopys because colon cancer runs in my family. It's not worth the risk. It's embarassing but I'll live & it beats the options.                    Good Luck, Jean
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Avatar_n_tn
I have also recently had colon surgery due to Diverticulitis and lost 8 inches of my colon.  I am having the same problems as I am reading here.  Soft stool and sore bottom is my biggest issue.  I am raw most of the time.  I am taking lots of fiber so that isn't the problem.  I do need suggestions on how to bulk it up so that I don't have to wipe as much.  I saw that someone on here mentioned probiotics for good flora.  Advocare has a product called Restore that helps keep you regular and has microflora bacteria which is the probiotics - for those who don't like yogart.  I have alos had the serious gas issues that have been mentioned, which I don't understand.  At times you can't tell if it is gas or if you really need to use the bathroom. Would Bean-O help this??  I am only less than 2 months from surgery but think I am also having scar tissue issues.  If so will the pain be a forever thing?  I would appreciate any feedback you have or solutions to these problems.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have also recently had colon surgery due to Diverticulitis and lost 8 inches of my colon.  I am having the same problems as I am reading here.  Soft stool and sore bottom is my biggest issue.  I am raw most of the time.  I am taking lots of fiber so that isn't the problem.  I do need suggestions on how to bulk it up so that I don't have to wipe as much.  I saw that someone on here mentioned probiotics for good flora.  Advocare has a product called Restore that helps keep you regular and has microflora bacteria which is the probiotics - for those who don't like yogart.  I have alos had the serious gas issues that have been mentioned, which I don't understand.  At times you can't tell if it is gas or if you really need to use the bathroom. Would Bean-O help this??  I am only less than 2 months from surgery but think I am also having scar tissue issues.  If so will the pain be a forever thing?  I would appreciate any feedback you have or solutions to these problems.
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Avatar_n_tn
Although I have not had any surgery I know that members of my family have and one in particular had their gall bladder removed. I know this person does incorporate the colonix program each year and it has helped them tremendously.
Personally, I have used colonix for 8 years now and it has helped me with my  list of medical issues. Initially I was skeptical but into the second month I saw major results and some strange eliminations through my bm's. For me it has changed my life for the better and has put me on the road of great health. I also work with a naturopath and we have found that I needed to eliminate several foods that turned out to be a negative for me. Now I am healthy and happy and colonix is part of my life. I will use the program once a year and sometimes 2 x.
I hope you found what works for you and let us know what that is. Good luck.
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