Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
FREQUENT BOWELL MOVEMENTS AFTER COLON SURGERY
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FREQUENT BOWELL MOVEMENTS AFTER COLON SURGERY

MY HUSBAND HAD COLON SURGERY 3 YEARS AGO. HE HAD AN OSTOMY REVERSAL SIX MONTHS LATER. SINCE THAT TIME HE HAS EXTREEMELY FRQUENT BOWEL MOVEMENTS. HE GETS VERY LITTLE SLEEP. HE IS UP FIVE TO EIGHT TIMES A NIGHT AND IS IN THE BATHROOM ABOU EVERY HOUR THE REST OF THE TIME. HE WAS TOLD TO TAKE LEMOTIL. IT DOESN'T  HELP. HE ALSO TOOK METAMUSIL FOR A WHILE BUT THAT DIDN'T HELP. NOTHING REALLY SEEMS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. HIS LIFE IS VERY LIMITED BECAUSE OF THIS AND WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF ANY DOCTOR ANYWHERE IS WORKING WITH PEOPLE WITH THIS CONDITION. OR IF THERE IS A MEDICINE THAT HAS HELPED OTHERS IN THE SAME SITUATION.
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There can be various causes for chronic loose bowel movements.  This can include infection, various types of malabsorption syndromes, inflammatory bowel disease, or irritable bowel syndrome.

The test to comprehensively evaluate the colon would be a colonoscopy.  This can look for many of the major causes of loose bowel movements.  Stool tests should be considered to evaluate for infection and malabsorption syndromes.  

If negative, treatment can be optimized for irritable bowel disease.  Antispasmodic agents can be considered to start.

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_
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
THIS IS BLOCK GIRL AGAIN. I NEGLECTED TO MENTION THAT MY HUSBAND HAD HIS COLON REMOVED SO ALL HE NOW HAS IS HIS SMALL INTESTINE. IF ANYONE HAS ANY INFORMATION TO OFFERWE WOULD BE SO APPRECIATIVE. TNAKS!
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Avatar_n_tn
did he have a j-pouch created or a straight pull-through?

here is a web site for j-pouchers
http://www.j-pouch.org/

perhaps, if after 3 yrs, his small bowel has not acclimated enough to provide adequate control, he might consider reverting back to an ileostomy.  that would give him his control back and allow him to have a more active life.
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Avatar_n_tn
HE DOES NOT HAVE A JPOUCH. HE STILL HAS A RECTUM AND WAS TOLD THAT BECAUSE OF THAT HE DIDN'T NEED A J POUCH. HE ACTUALLY DID HAVE A J POUCH ORIGINALLY BUT DEVELOPED PARENTENITUS AND WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR A MONTH. WHEN HE HAD EMERGENCY SURGEGY BECAUSE OF THE PARENTENITUS THE J POUCH WAS DISCONNECTED. HE REALLY WAS UNHAPPY WITH THE OSTOMY AND DOESN'T WANT TO GO BACK TO IT. IT JUST SEEMS THAT THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WAY. WE DO KNOW TWO OTHER PEOPLE WITH THE POCH BUT THEY HAVE NOO RECTUM AND THEY ALSO HAVE DIFFICULTY. THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR COMMENTS.
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Avatar_n_tn
I APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS BUT IDON'T THINK THAT YOU UNDERSTAND. MY HUSBAND DOES NOT HAVE A COLON. SO A COLONOSCOPY IS OUT OF THE QUESTION. HIS PROBLEM EXISTS BECAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE A COLON. ANY OTHER IDEAS? THANKS
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Avatar_n_tn
don't worry about the term "colon"oscopy.  it's often called that even if you don't have a colon.  (I think mainly because insurance companies don't have any codes for 'ileoscopy'!) getting scoped can help identify or exclude possible problems.  he might want to get that done to make sure nothing serious is going on.  

has he had testing to see if his rectum is still functioning properly?

has he tried cholestyramine (Questran)?  that can help bind up bile salts and reduce diarrhea.  I know some other people have tried Detrol (tolterodine), the med for overactive bladder.  it has a side effect of drying out the gi tract and in some people slows the gut down.  antidepressants in the 'tricyclic' family can also slow the gut down (amitriptyline, trazadone, etc).  I took trazadone at night for quite a while to help slow my gut down during the night.  

he might want to discuss these options with his doc.  he should also get his b12 levels checked.  if he's had a j-pouch removed, he might be missing enough of the last part of the small bowel that absorbs b12 to cause a difficiency.  it's easily corrected by b12 shots every month or so.  

I'm sorry he was unhappy with his ostomy.  sometimes docs don't do the most optimal placement, especially if it's to be temporary.  not great thinking on the surgeon's part because a poorly placed and formed stoma can make life miserable.
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Avatar_n_tn
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR LAST COMMENTS. THEY ARE VERY HELPFUL AND GIVE US SOMETHING TO BRING UP TO HIS DOCTOR. WE ALSO SHOULD BE SEEING A GASTRO GUY, I GUESS. WE HAVE JUST BEEN SEEING THE COLORECTAL SURGEON AND HIS INTERNIST. THIS IS ONE IN MANY PROBLEMS HE HAS HAD SO WE GET CONFUSED AND OVERWHELMED. tHANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT.
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Avatar_m_tn
About two and a half years ago I underwent a total colectomy as a result of torrential rectal bleeding.  Shortly afterwards, I experienced up to ten motions per day - but the number has gradually dropped to about four.  The consistency is what might be described as "muddy/sludgy".  After each motion, I clean up with toilet paper in the normal way followed by an extra clean up with toilet paper dampened with soapy water in order to avoid soreness.  When away from home, a mild baby-wipe suffices.

I have also found that adding fibrous material to my diet helps to "bulk up" your motions and avoid what I would call "excessively liquid diarrhoea".  An excellent source of this fibre is organic bran which can be added to breakfast cereal and to semi-liquid foodstuffs during the day (eg yoghurt, pulverised fruit etc etc).  This seems to absorb some of the excessive water that passes through more quickly as a result of the absence of a colon.

Good luck!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have no large intestine as I had a total colectomy (straight pull-through) in 1982 at age 12.  I consistently have bowel problems and continue to have multiple bowel movements a day (to put it mildly).  I have no stomach pain associated to this however do have strong rectal pain when I have the urge to go.  This is not fun to live with and has not been a great way of life for me.  I am not on any meds...any suggestions?
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Had colonetomy in 2003 Can this help your backside? was started.
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A related discussion, Had colonetomy in 2003 Can this help your backside? was started.
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