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Bowel Disorders Message Board

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I am 34 years old and after MONTHS of pain and trips to the ER a surgeon did exploraroty surgery and found a part of my small intestines had twisted so much they were cut off from all blood supply and deteriorating. I had 36 to 60cm of my small bowel removed. I started recovering well, but then 2 weeks after the procedure I started having watery stools, and lots of them. I had gotten so dehydrated I couldn't get out of bed on my own. I have since gotten rehydrated, but the watery stool continues. Vegetables do not digest well and come out in whole pieces. Almost everytime I eat I end up in the bathroom within an hour or so. I know I'm not getting the nutrients I need. I lost 25 of my 115lbs. during my month in bed and have since put back on 10lbs., but I am at a loss on what to do. I have taken anti-diarrhea medicine, tried ampho-gel and take vitamins and aciphiliosis. I have intermitten pain all over which I assume is from the adhesions my Dr. purposely created so my intestines would not twist again. Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions. Needless to say, this has drastically altered my daily life and I need some help.
Sorry about all of your problems but welcome to Heathboards!

What country do you live in?? In the States -- we still use inches not centmeters mostly so I assume you don't live in the States. I am going to write like you live in the USA but the products that I mention may not be available to you outside the States??

You did not say but I know that with the type surgery you had -- you had to take alot of antibiotics and that can really mess up your friendly intestinal bacteria and cause diarrhea very much like you are having. It will and does cause malaborption problems.

You need to slow down your digestion using a water soluble fiber supplement like psyllium that is in Metamucil or Equate from Wal Mart-- It works well for diarrhea and I think the powder form is probably best for you right now because you mix it with water and it starts immediately absorbing fluid so stay away from tablets and capsules -- maybe later when your intestines slow down-- they will be OK. Please Drink enough water like the directions say!!

I don't know what brand of acidophilus you are taking but you may need other probiotics as well. I think Pearls put out by Enzmatic Therapy but you may need them several times daily. Also, Culturelle, Lactobacillus reuteri and PB-8 are all good brands that I use!!

All re-colonize your intestines that probably needs re-colonizing. Take them on an empty stomach is best and store in the refrigerator. Eat yogurt and drink Kefir. I like and use Stonyfield Farm yogurt or Cascade or Brown Cow. Helious kefir is OK.

When you first star taking the fiber it will form alot of gas because it digests and ferments but with continued use the gas will go away. So, start off slow.

The pain is mostly caused by spasms and cramping -- you need to start taking Magnesium and calcium supplement--- take it in the chelated form by Doctor's Best, Solgar or Kal -- they are chelated with a protein amino acid that is readily absorbed-- It's best to take them 3 or 4 times daily so you can get a higher absorption rate even smaller doses so they don't affect your BMs. The daily dose of Mag is 400mgms and Cal is 1000 mgms
For almost instant (30 min) relief from spasms and cramping -- you can take Magnesia Phos -- a homeopathic remedy that you can buy at health food stores--6X is OK repeat as necessary.

Let us know how you make out or If you have any Questions~!

I wish you well~~~Harry
Just wondering if you where given antibiotics at the time of your surgery?My last resection I was given antibiotics and developed severe diarreha a few weeks after the surgery. a quick call to my surgeon.He said I more then likely had developed Antibiotic-associated colitis caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile . This is very common in anyone taking antibiotics following surgery. A 10 day course of flagly. And i was doing much better. You also have to let your body become accustomed. to the loss of bowell.
Have you discussed this problem with your surgeon or doctor? If not please do and ask about trying Flagly. Things are not right with you and you should not be having these problems. Go back to your doctor and discuss this in depth with him.
Thanks for your suggestions. I do live in the states, I was quoting the doctor's measurements of what they removed. Do you think having 2 feet of bowel removed could cause short bowel syndrome? I was in the ER 2 nights ago due to abdominal pain and I went to the doctor yesterday and they put me on Bentyl to try to slow down my "hyper-active" bowels. They said they could feel my intestines moving around quite a bit. I have tried Flagyl, but it caused vomitting. They tested for C-Diff, but it came back neg. My doctors seem just as confused and frustrated as I am. I am scheduling to see a gastrointerologist(sp?) as suggested in the ER to see if there isn't some sort of parasite or other problem that they aren't trained to look for. Just wondering, will my intestines ever get back to normal and if so any guess as to how long it will take??
Its a good idea to see a gastro.. Did they say why you had the bowel twisting in the first place. I wonder if you could have either Crohns or Colitis. Good luck
I have had 2 1/2 feet of my colon removed and I know it's not the same as resectioning your small intestines. But, what part of your small intestines did you have removed??
I think some areas are more sensitive to your body absorption than others the last section should cause the least problems.

I have found that taking any broad spectrum antibiotic causes my intestinal bacteria to get out of balance and like me--- many people get diarrhea-- taking Culturelle a probiotic supplement really helps and even some people with IBS, Crohn's and UC are helped with probiotic supplements.
Diarrhea just washs out alot of beneficial intestinal bacteria-- I have seen 8 Gastro doctors in the last 12 years and not one has ever prescribed a probiotic supplement to help digestive problems I have had. But, an Occupational & Environmental Doctor(MD) put me on Nystatin and a probiotic supplement that really helped me.
I am like you 4 days on Flagyl makes me sicker that what I'm trying to cure. We are all so different!!!

The things I originally recommended for you -- I use with good results.

I wish you well~~~Harry
Dear Betsy

Just a thought...... as you mentioned that you've had a twisted gut, and that your small bowel is still moving around a lot - have you been tested for celiac disease ?

I had the same symptoms as you before I was diagnosed with celiac disease many years ago, and I was just lucky that I did not have any of my bowel removed.

I do hope you find the answer.

best wishes
peterson :)
No one is quite sure why I had a twisted bowel, especially at my age. My surgeon said I had the insides of a 90 year old. I had been suffering from constipation prior to my surgery and my intestines appatenly lengthened in the process. This took a lot of time to happen and I just didn't notice, I DO NOW!!!! Talk about going from one extreme to another! He checked my records last week and said it was more like 3 feet had been removed. He also stated that it would take about 6 months to a year for my body to adjust to the change. It was the middle of the intestines along with some of the last portion which now I have to have my B12 checked reguarly. Apparently my blood tests have shown ne signs of Chron's or anything. It's still frustrating though. Everything still comes out the day after I eat it. They have now put me on Lomitil, Bentyl and pain meds to try and slow things down, but they haven't really helped much. Thank you all for your input. Keep sending suggestions and advice, I sure need it!!!!

I think you have not been eating properly! It does not take much constipation to develop diverticular pockets in your colon and if you get them they need to be kept cleaned out with fiber that expands your colon-- a bulking agent.

A person needs 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily for their intestines to function properly. It needs to be a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber.

The soluble fiber absorbs fluid and bulks up your stool and the insoluble helps make the intestinal muscles contract and what you ate move along. The bulking up of soluble fiber will help keep the pockets of diverticulars cleaned out.

There is no fiber in all meat, seafood and all dairy products. But, yogurt is a good healthy food if you buy one that has many active friendly cultures in it like Stonyfield Farm, Cascade or Brown Cow from a health food store.

Insoluble fiber is contained mostly in fruits, veggies-jncluding leafy greens in salads, nut, seeds and bran.

Soluble fiber is all grains (the inside not the outside husk) like rice, oats, corn, barley, the same for beans, & peas. Also, root veggies like potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, etc.

It is a good idea to take a water soluble fiber twice daily like psyllium to get enough soluble fiber daily and drink enough water daily.

Thank Harry. Do you still eat seeds and nuts? I was told not to, then another Dr. said it didn't matter, but I still don't. Too afraid to. Salads bother me so I rarely eat them. I do love all veggies and root veggies. I will try to find a health food store in next town. I "wish" there was a daily sheet on what exactly to fix myself, it would be so much simplier that way. Do you eat raw fruits also? I thought it was too rough and eat only the canned ones. Do you eat white rice or only brown? I was told not to eat corn. Do you? I seem to have alot of questions, I know, but your comments are helpful. Are there any meats with fiber? Thanks every so much. Betty
There is a very little bit of diatary fiber in meat but not enough to make any difference. Your problem is you have too many BMs --- you are losing necessary nutrients that don't stay long enough to be absorbed.

Taking too many antibiotics can make the friendly bacteria in your intestines get out of balance and need to be re-balanced with yogurt, kefir and a probiotic supplement taken twice daily.

I have no restrictions on my diet except the thing that make a person gain too much weight -- I eat nuts almost daily and all grains including corn except popcorn because it is too fattening -- I eat rice daily -- but that what people in Charleston, SC do.

I also eat freash fruit --- apples, pears, peaches, grapes, cantalope -- some daily--- but until you slow your intestines down -- I don't advise it. Too much insoluble fiber.

You can do a search at the top of this page on Google about dietary fiber and find out alot!!

Harry, I think I should definately look into the probiotics you mention. I have scanned on-line for these and am looking into that. The PB-8, the Enzymatic Therapy Acidophilus Pearls and the Culturelle with Lactobacillus GG - you mention you have taken all those. Seems like they each do the same thing - provide the beneficial bacteria you need. I take it you have bought all 3 and only take one kind at a time.- not all 3 together.. or maybe you take one of this kind and the next day another? I have located a Health Food Store in a close by town so will go over to see about the Yogurt and also ask about this. Maybe once I get myself back in order, I might be able to eat the other things that I now do not eat. Sounds to me you are able to each about anything. I hope I can eventually.

This has certainly been a long road. Each time I think its under control, it goes crazy again. I know stress plays a huge factor and I have had some very stressful events lately i.e possible loss of my job, mom diagnosed with lung cancer. I know when I am under a great deal of stress, I can feel my gut knot up- and sometimes I think it prohibits me from "going" which in turn stops me from eliminating as I should- then infection sets in. Thats what I think. I know I have adhesions and I can feel right where my scar is when it starts to be sore -then I notice the swelling of stomach next and then it all comes to a head within the following 2 wks. Instead of waiting "to see" whats next, I certainly needed a different approach. Thanks for your advice.
Sorry about your problems-- stress is a big problem for many people.

Here is a short course on Probiotics.

Probiotics means --"in favor of life"-- they are very complex and are living bacteria or microrganisms that are extremely beneficial when taken by improving the friendly microflora in your gastrointestinal tract -- both in the small as well as large intestines!!

They include Lactobacillus, Bibidobacterium and yeasts.
There have been 56 Lactobacillus strains isolated, 30 Bifidobacterium strains isolated and many other types that are friendly. ALL do different things in your intestines. Some re-colonize your small intestine, and others re-colonize your colon to help digestion / absorb nutrients and some just pass through doing good stuff with alot beneficial effects.

Such as keep your intestines slightly acidic(pH) by converting food to lactic acid, & acedic acid-- keeping other bacteria in balance by killing off some and killing unwanted destructive bacteria as well as germs and improving your immune system---
Good health all begins in your digestive tract that starts in your mouth and ends in your rectum.

Lactobacilus acidophilus is only one type but entirely different from Lacto GG, and Lacto reuteri and the 8 different types in PB-8, Kefir has about 32 different friendly bacteria and yogurt can have from 2 to about 8 (most I have seen) ~~~only the Lacto acidophilus is the same in Pearls, PB-8, yogurt and kefir but all are made (cultured), processed, handled, differently to get to you!!

There are over 400 different bacteri that are present in a health Gastro system and the good friendly bacteria are in constant war-fear with the bad bacteria. Totally they weigh 3 to 4 pounds.

The objective is to keep them in balance-- to produce good digestion that reults in optimum health ~~~ not an easy task these days-- with fast processed and processed, mutated grains, harmone fed animals,, overly preserved food available to us. Some foods with shelve lives of not mere days anymore but years. Bread don't spoil in 3 days like it use to, when does milk go bad, fresh fruits & veggies stay fresh aolt longer, etc.

I take daily PB-8, Pearls, Culturelle, Reuteri , and 2 others--- also eat yogurt 3 times daily and drink kefir about 4 ozs every other day. And that is just the probiotics!!!

I just don't take 1 brand daily -- I have not found a magic probiotic pill like that? And, believed me I have searched.

Your GI system can readily get out of balanced and really just mess up ---with diarrhea & constipation, too loose BMs and too hard a stool, with antibiotics, too much salt or sugar, a poor diet ( too much spicy food, fatty food, etc), colas & other designer drinks, alcohol, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, medications of all types even birth control pills and stress. Many friendly beneficial flora decrease with age.

It is not an easy task to find the proper diet, and lifestyle to have a healthy life. WE all have our likes and dislikes. In August I have been married 50 years. So, I know what stress is--- I lived a life of it.

God Bless~~~Harry
It's coming on a year since I had my bowel resection done and up until a few months ago I was almost ready to end it all if I had to live the rest of my life with the cronic diarrhea. I 'm not sure when I started this thread that I had mentioned that I had a bi-lateral oopharectomy (finished off a partial hysterectomy from years ago) done 12 days prior to the resection. I went back into the hospital for a couple of days and they said there was nothing more they could do and started to think I was making up my complications. I'm not sure how you can fake diarrhea, but they couldn't figure out why I was still having such problems.

I had been watching Law & Order one day and a character was claiming menopause rage as her defense. As I listened to her I thought it all sounded very familiar, so I did some research on it and discovered that out of 37 symptoms I had all but 4. So I went to my OB/GYN and told him I didn't think the hormone patch I was on was working very well, and of the trouble I had been having. To my amazement, menopause can cause a whole world of problems including the diarrhea. I had many more symptoms that couldn't be caused from the other surgery. He changed my hormone medication and put me on Bellamine-S which is used for "nervous stomach" caused by menopause, amongst other things.

I knew within 2 days it was working. Now it hasn't stopped it completely, but it sure has slowed it down a bunch. Nuts and popcorn still don't break down and spaghetti sauce has too much acid in it, but it's a lot better from where I was before. Thank you all for your input and I hope we can all have healthier lives.

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