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Spinal-Injury.net : Bowels - Problems

 
  Bowels - Problems
The information below is intended to be a useful guide on potential bowel problems post injury.  Always seek medical advice in conjunction with reading this information

Stool is too hard (Constipation)
Do your bowel program on a daily basis until constipation resolves. Add or increase the dose of a stool softener (such as DOSS or colace). Add or increase the dose of psyllium hydro-mucilloid (such as Metamucil or Citrucel). Increase your fluid intake (this is essential if you are increasing psyllium) Increase your activity level and your intake of dietary fibre. Avoid foods that can harden your stool, such as bananas and cheese. 

Stool is too liquid or runny (Diarrhoea) Temporarily discontinue the use of any stool softeners. Continue your bowel program at the regular time and frequency. (If you are having accidents, increase the frequency of your program.) Try adding or increasing the dose of psyllium hydro-mucilloid (Metamucil, Citrucel), which adds bulk to liquid stool. If the diarrhoea seems to be related to an acute viral or bacterial illness, change to a liquids only or very bland diet for 24 hours (avoid milk, however). If diarrhoea persists for more than 24 hours or if you have a fever or blood in your stool, consult your Dr or health care provider.

A frequent cause of diarrhoea is a blockage or impaction of stool (liquid stool leaks out around the blockage). Evaluate whether you may have this problem. Have you had small hard stools recently? Or have you had no results from the past several programs? If you suspect impaction, consult your Dr or health care provider.

Frequent bowel accidents: Be sure your rectum is completely empty at the end of your program. Increase the frequency of your program (some people with a flaccid bowel may need to empty their bowels twice daily). Try using only half of a suppository. Evaluate stool consistency -- if it's too hard or too soft, see above. Monitor your diet for any foods that may over stimulate your bowel, such as spicy foods.

Mucous accidents: If you notice a clear, sticky, sometimes odorous drainage from the rectum, try switching from a suppository to a mini-enema, or using only half of a suppository, or try eliminating suppositories or mini-enemas completely and begin your program with digital stimulation only. Avoid hard stools.

No results in 3-4 days: Treat constipation as recommended above. If there are no results in three days, take 30 cc. of Milk of Magnesia or a single dose of an herbal laxative at bedtime. Do your bowel program in the morning. If there are still no results, repeat the dose of Milk of Magnesia or herbal laxative the next evening. If there are no results in the morning, consult your Dr or health care provider.

Rectal bleeding: Keep your stool soft. Be very careful to do digital stimulation gently and with sufficient lubrication, and keep your fingernails short. If you have known haemorrhoids, you may treat them with an over-the-counter haemorrhoidal preparation such as Anusol or Anusol HC. If bleeding persists or is more than a few drops, consult your Dr or health care provider.

Excessive wind/gas: Avoid constipation. Increase the frequency of your bowel programs. Avoid gas-forming foods, such as beans, corn, onions, peppers, radishes, cauliflower, sauerkraut, turnips, cucumbers, apples, melons and others that you may have noticed seem to increase your own gas. Try simethicone tablets to help relieve discomfort from gas in your stomach.

Bowel program taking too long: Try switching from a suppository to mini-enemas. Increase your intake of dietary fibre and add or increase the dose of psyllium hydromucilloid. Try switching your program to a different time, and be sure you schedule it after a meal to help increase intestinal peristalsis.

Autonomic Dysreflexia during bowel program: Use xylocaine jelly (available by prescription from your health care provider) for digital stimulation. You may also need to insert some of the jelly into your rectum before beginning the program. Keep your stool as soft as possible. If dysreflexia persists, consult your Dr or health care provider. You may need medication to treat or prevent this condition.

What does the bowel do?
Methods for emptying the bowel
Bowel programs
Bowel Management Tips
What to avoid
Bowel Problems
 


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Spinal-Injury.net : Bowels - Problems

 
 

 
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