Last 4 years have suffered 21 episodes of intestinal blockage which they assume is caused by radiation fibrosis the result of radiation received in 1963. Local doc's are afraid to mess with it and possibly make it worse. Anyone have any idea how to prevent this from happening or how to stop the process before it gets to dehydration, muscle cramps, and unconsciousness. At present when it starts I get into the gatorade and pediatric electrolytes plus Levsin, Phenagren, Bentyl, Donnatal and Acetaminophin W/codeine for the stomach cramps, Vomiting and diarrhea. The episodes last from 12 to 24 hours and don't seem to have any specific trigger. Any ideas out there?
I know abdominal adhesions can form at any time, but, um 35 years later? have you seen a GI and been evaluated for strictures: colonoscopy, barium enema, UGI w/ small bowel follow thru, ct scan, etc? even if it is adhesions due to the remote history of radiation, the frequency of your obstructions warrants treatment, even if just lysis of adhesions. I would recommend going to the nearest university hospital that has a good GI department.
as far as coping with the obstructions, you sound like you are doing the right thing. I follow a pretty strict low residue diet and eat small frequent meals. when I do feel an obstruction starting, I usually use the OTC liquid supplements (Boost, Ensure, etc). gatorade has too much sugar in it for me and tends to speed up my gut transit time which definitely doesn't help the situation. you might want to talk to your doc about something other than the codeine, since that can be quite constipating, usually more so than other narcotics.
Thanks for the response. Yeh 35 years later seems like a stretch. My doc calls radiation the gift that keeps on giving. Had all those tests but still no solution. Plan on a visit with the doctor soon to see if we can get this sorted out. I'm trolling for ideas to put on the table. Going to a university hospital is one that I will put out there. Thanks.
good luck with the doc visit. have they done motility studies? the only other thing that I have run across that results in repeated obstructions where there is no identifiable underlying disease, is something called chronic pseudo obstructive disease. which I think is a motility disorder.
take care, and best of luck in trying to get this straightened out.
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