Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Total Colectomy
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Total Colectomy

I had a total colectomy about 5-6 years ago (I don't have a bag)
the problem is that I am still having a problem using the bathroom without taking something to help me go.  I have and am taking medications for the side effects that cause diarrhea, I need to know what the problem could be and what I should be doing I am tired of taking medicine and laxatives for this problem. These problems started again about 6 months after I had the surgery.  The reason I had to have this surgery is because my large intestine was dead, they said it was the use of laxatives that killed it,  can the same thing happen to my small intestine?
What symptoms should I look for in with my small intestine?  I understand that you can't live without it.  I need some information and questions I need to ask my dr. when I go back.
I am currently taking Colchicine with laxatives at least 2-3 times a month with this,  is this good for my small intestine?
Please let me know as soon as possible.  Thank you for all your help.
I started getting constipated when I was P.G. with my oldest daughter (she is 34 yrs. old now) that is when I started taking laxatives.  I am now 53 years old.
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I, too, had a complete colectomy. I was 32 years old and had been suffering with profound constipation for over 15 years. My large intestines literally did not function. I was told that they were "dead." I used herbal laxatives for the fist year or two and then they simply stopped working unless I took more than recommended. Eventually I had to totally stop taking laxatives. Because I would never have a bowel movement naturally ( I never even had a physical urge...I never had stomach aches...only extreme bloating and discomfort) I began taking enemas every three days. During the following 12 years I went to MANY doctors who told me to drink more water and eat more fiber. It was ridiculous...I did absolutely everything I could to try and follow the "doctors" orders. However, nothing worked. I even had huge batteries of tests performed to try and find out what the problem was...all to no avail. The one thing most doctors agreed on was that my colon barely worked. Gee, that's what I had been saying all along. So, after giving birth to my second son  (using enemas every three days through both pregnancies) I developed even more profound bowel problems: I couldn't even pass the water from enemas out without walking around and pushing on my stomach. I thought I was going to die--the enemas were taking about 2 to 3 hours to clean out my system. It was awful....So, I went to a colon rectal surgeon, who performed a few nasty tests, which revealed that my rectum had come unattached inside and that there was a rather large rectal seal to deal with--which explained why I couldn't get the water and waste out.

I had to go with surgery. My surgeon discovered that my large bowels were not in place...that they were hanging in the abdominal cavity, having fused with my spleen, liver and that they had twisted over the years. On top of that my rectum had slipped down in my pelvis...causing it to collapse on itself. No wonder I couldn't go to the bathroom!

With a complete colectomy in place, I initially had runny stool for about the first 6 months. I didn't gain weight, but I felt very good. Now, 15 months later, I have actually been constipated a few times and rarely ever have loose stool. According to my surgeon and gastro dr., this in  and of itself is considered an anomaly. A rarity. I don't know why my system has slowed down, only that it has...I notice that the change in bowel movements is affected by my monthly period..the hormonal fluctuations. But, I'm still hanging in there.

So, to you Joyce, hang in there. I do not know why you are having this problem. Just know that you are not alone. I would encourage you to continue to see various doctors and try to find out what other alternatives you have. Take care of yourself and Good luck.
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I had all but 8 inches of my colon removed last year. Since then I have had a few problems also. The best way I have found when I feel I can't go is to eat lots of green vegatables.  gren beans, broc., turnip greens, lettuce, anything green. I usually I can eat a can of green beans and go in about an hour. Sounds weird I know, but it happens.  Roughage is also very good for you. Try eating alot of wheat. Hope this will help. The main problem I have is that I had gained about 50lbs from my colon not working, and now I go to the restroom, but I can't loose any weight. Got any suggestions for me.
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A related discussion, no bowel movement for 7 months was started.
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