View Full Version : Toxins possibly generating in large intestine??
12-31-2005, 04:20 PM
For Dr. Wise -- a doctor in a very highly regarded hospital told us that old feces clinging to my son's bowel due to constipation and low motility caused by his SCI may be be releasing toxins into his system. The doctor said this possibly could explain the miserable feelings he is having almost constantly -- including bloating, headache, hearing his own voice echoing in his head when he speaks. X-rays have shown that material is still in his bowel even after he has had a bowel program with seeming good results. I'm having trouble finding corroboration for this possibile condition on medical sites on the web. Do you believe that old feces can build up in the walls of the large intestine, generate excesses of "bad" bacteria, and release toxins that cause problems in other parts of the body? If so, what should my son do to "cleanse" this build-up away?
12-31-2005, 06:17 PM
No, I have seen no scientific evidence for this. From what I know, the idea that you absorb toxins from your bowel due to constipation is an old wives tale, and led many mothers to dose their children with laxatives and give them enemas unnecessarily back in the early 20th century. I would want to see some scientific studies published in reputable journals.
You will see this belief promulgated in some holistic health practices which promote the use of colonics and other procedures, but I would not recommend them, esp. for someone with a SCI. You bowel is not designed to empty completely after a bowel movement. The rectum and sigmoid colon should empty, but your stool for tomorrow will still be in the ascending or transverse colon. In ABs, transit time is 12-24 hours, but in people with SCI, 72 hours is not unusual, and is not unhealthy.
If he is having a large formed stool every 2-3 days, I don't believe this is the cause of any other health problems. Excessive gas can be caused by diet (try eliminating one food at a time to see what the problem is) and sometimes can be helped by taking Beano with meals, or taking medical charcoal capsules.
12-31-2005, 07:50 PM
You will see this belief promulgated in some holistic health practices which promote the use of colonics and other procedures, but I would not recommend them, esp. for someone with a SCI.
Just last week during the wee hours of an insomniac morning I watched another shyster hawking another Kevin Trudeau-like "health" book. Or was it the seaweed guy selling some pills? Hmmm.. Anyway, this guy claimed that some people walk around with 20 pounds of old toxic feces lining their intestines! And he said it with a straight face. It makes you think of those old Drano commercials where the sides of the pipe becomes narrower due to a buildup of gunk! That's not how the bowel works. :)
old feces clinging to my son's bowel
That description may have been a slip of the tongue by the doctor. He was probably just talking about constipation and perhaps mis-chose those words trying to explain it.
If you're concerned about your son's slow GI tract and constipation perhaps every once in awhile give him a couple (maybe 3) laxatives at bedtime and have him drink plenty of water or eat lots of watermelon in order to clean his system out. Then maybe a Dulcolax suppository or Enemeez in the morning (say after 8 hours) if things haven't begun to move. Just be prepared for a long night or next day full of diarrhea and probably some sheet washing/bleaching.
The bad thing about taking laxatives is they throw your regular bowel schedule off track. But like Nurse KLD says there's really no need for cleansing the large intestine/lower bowel. That's just some snake oil salesperson trying to scare you in order to make a dishonest buck.
Getting him on a regular eating schedule with foods that set well with him is the most important thing. He may need a stool softener too but that depends on his system and the types of foods that he eats. It may take awhile to figure his system out... we're all different. Some people use "corn" as a tracking medium! And perhaps use a fast acting suppository or Enemeez mini-enema if he needs some "encouragement". Just to be on the safe side don't plan on him leaving the house for about 6 hours after using a suppository.... you don't want him to be "traumatized" by an embarrassing accident say at school or wherever.
Is your son on a regular bowel program like every other day?
Best of luck.
12-31-2005, 08:27 PM
google constipation.....theres some good studies from the mayo clinic, i believe, saying that its indeed false, that toxins do not buiild or release from constipation
01-03-2006, 12:33 PM
If this is a UW doc ask for a chance to have your son seen during grand rounds.. Might have to drivem down early for them as an outpatient but I doubt this doc will use that wording again. Most those snake oil types were kicked out in the 70's.
He might be trying to explain diverticulitis. That might make a person feel rather nasty for a bit. Main thing there is to lay off nuts, popcorn amd other things that do not dissolve well and can get stuck in pockets.
Geez, I find that watermelon alone will wash out both my bladder and colon. Maybe just buy him a 6 pack once a year for medicinal purposes.