This is my first post and it's a rant. I've just had it. I've been constipated for many years because of the medication I take. I'm bloated so much that sometimes I don't even want to walk. I'm sure you all know how uncomfortable it is.
I recently had good results from my colonoscopy, so that was good news.
Over the years I have taken fiber, laxatives, fiber, laxatives... same song and dance, right? I try not to take laxatives more than once every 10 days or so.
At the ER with a blockage a few months ago, they gave me an enima. I had never had one before. Now I use one sometimes twice a week. It's the only thing that really works.
I'm at the point now where I just wonder if I can have some colon removed. My mom had gastric bypass surgery and they removed part of her colon, so it got me thinking.
Do people get this done for cronic constipation? I'm not talking about getting a stoma... just having part of the colon removed. Would it help?
Cookietime, what types of medication are you taking that results in the constipation?
Yes, people do have their colon removed because of constant, unremitting constipation, but it's a drastic step and it's typcially only done when the neural input the the colon just stops working for some reason. But it's not just the loss of a part of the colon, it's typically the whole colon. Unless you've lost the neural input to just part of the colon from something like Hirschsprung's (so the colon pouches out and can cause a large obstruction due to the pouch) they usually don't remove just a part. I believe that's due to the fact that the colon doesn't have a wonderfully abundant blood supply. So when a portion of the colon has to come out, it depends on where your blood supply is located. They have to take that into consideration otherwise you're have tissue die-off. And since the 'whole' of the colon is involved in water reabsorption and compaction of the feces, if you're chronically constipated, the whole colon is typically involved.
The colon is a source of water 'reuptake' for the body, so without a colon you probably would have massive amounts of fluid loss which will also mean a lot of stool. The other thing that is known about the colon is that the bacteria in the colon make some short-chain fatty acids that we need and we take it back up into our bodies - we evidently can't get it in a lot of other ways. So by losing the colon you would be at a loss.
Is there any way you could 'supplement' with stool softeners or miralax each day?
Thank you for replying to my post with answers to my question. I take Effexor and that is what has caused the horrible constipation. But there are other factors that make me a complicated case. Getting the doctors to help me is quite a struggle.
I guess that would mean having a stoma? That would be devastating to me and definitely not worth it.
Taking stool softeners or Miralx on a regular basis doesn't work for me because I build up a tolerance right away.
Is it dangerous to use an enema so often?
About the fluid/water re-absorption... I am thirsty all the time. I feel dehydrated no matter how much water I drink. That is why I'm so glad for the electrolytes. It's the only thing that makes me feel hydrated.
Just this year I found out I have a Pituitary tumor. Everything is out of whack. I'm taking Bromocriptine for Prolactinoma and it is helping.
Interesting about the fatty acids. I take cod-liver oil every day ... see here: http://www.nordicnaturals.com/index.php?
I know the small intestine has serotonin and EFAs are part of making the serotonin. When I took 5-HTP it moved everything out and I think it's because I had enough serotonin in my small intestine. But the 5-HTP was too harsh on my stomach.
Can anyone relate to my particular complex health problem with the tumor, anti-depressant, and constipation? Another thing is that I have very low cortisol level and I just really suspect I have Hypothyroid but the docs look at the numbers and tell me I'm fine even though I have gained so much weight and now have a big double chin just over the year that I was diagnosed with the tumor.
It if were not for the fact that I have faith that "God is good all the time" I would have given up.
If you have a pituitary tumor, why aren't the doctors recommending removal? I would certainly look into that before having a portion of my colon removed. Is there any other med aside from the effexor that might work better for you?
I had a sigmoid colection a few years ago. I had a two-pronged problem similar to yours. Chronic, life-long constipation (I am 44) that led to my colon being extremely redundant. My air-contract barium enema films (ACBE) looked like that back of Shirley Temple's head. After a lifetime of constipation, my colon just got stretched out to unimaginable proportions. On top of that, I had a belly full of scar tissue that was obstructing the intestines in several places.
Colectomy (resection surgery) is no guarantee of normal bowel function, but it does help. If you have a severely redundant colon, that means the waste has much farther to travel, thus resulting in more water being removed from it, thus harder and more difficult to pass stools. As far as abdominal surgeries go, colectomy isn't the worst, but it isn't the easiest either.
If you click on to the "ask a doctor" section of the gastroenterology part of this forum and you scroll back to August 2007 you will find a posting from "mifegr" who relates her story of chronic constipation and her G.I. specialist's advice for a total colectomy. In the comments section of that posting I have replied on several occasions (in fact I think there are 18 messages on the posting). I suggest that you read through all the messages and you may obtain some additional information (including any other comments you can find under my "Medhelp name" of Morecambe elsewhere on the site).
I'll keep watching the comments section of this posting in case you would like to ask me for any further information based on my own experiences.
I read the posts in 7/07. After reading your post, even though it is a serious surgery, it is good to hear that you came through it well. An encouragement for many people, to be sure. I also linked over to the What Would Jesus Eat website and read about Milk Thistle. I'm going to start taking this because I also have been diagnosed with a fatty liver.
One wonders how a person can go so many years taking laxatives everyday and not get the help they need. But hey, I'm 41 and have suffered constipation for all these years and I don't know anything about Peristalsis or redundant colon which I now am wondering about. Would the colonoscopy show either of these conditions?
I have seen the "Colondar" that shows 12 brave women under age 50 that have had their colons removed. They look happy, thin, and healthy. I wonder if they have stomas.
I would go through the surgery (although not a stoma) to not have constipation anymore. Oh to not be bloated! To have clothes fit me! To be able to move around without a huge skin-tightened belly!
Reading the posts by Mifegr, I also want to have a test for Candida. I take pro-biotics, but I do also crave sugar.
I guess what I need to know now is how do I find out if I have a condition from being constipated all these years, and if I do have something, or good chance of developing it... then talking to my Gastro doc about a partial colectomy.
Getting a doctor to do the colectomy would be a challenge unless I have a diagnosis. Not wanting to have one of those conditions, yet not wanting to suffer for more years of constipation.
Hi - my understanding is that the necessity for a stoma depends on the "geometry" of the remaining intestines after the excision of the total/partial colon. I was told that there was only a 2% chance that I would require a stoma - and I was lucky. Even if you may require a stoma, ask your surgeon if this will be temporary. I suggest that you also ask him/her whether a stoma is less likely with a total colectomy rather than a partial colectomy.
Maybe you have to take the bull by the horns and ask your G.I. specialist if the drastic step of a total colectomy will guarantee to cure your discomfort and then, if positive, say "go ahead and do it".
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