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Thread: AD from bowel program?

  1. #1

    AD from bowel program?

    My current bowel program is: every 4 days (*), take 120 cc lactulose. Wait 12 hours. Begin bowel program with bisacodyl PR.

    About 8 hours after taking the lactulose, I had a moderate headache and moderate nasal congestion. My blood pressure was 167/96. I took Tylenol and started the bowel program a bit early. The headache went away. I'm not sure what my normal blood pressure is, I recently measured it at 122/83, and just after the bowel program it was about 160/90.

    Could the headache and nasal congestion be a sign of autonomic dysreflexia? I am not sure because the headache was not that bad, and the blood pressure was not that high. I have slight impairment to T3 but most impairment is below T10. If it is AD, what should I do?

    (*) I realize that people say a bowel program should be done every other day, but because it takes me many hours to do it, that's not practical for me.

  2. #2
    You could have had a bout of Autonomic Dysreflexia. You blood pressure was certainly high enough and the nasal congestion and headache are also classic signs. When you are experiencing this, you need to sit upright (gravity helps to lower your BP a bit), monitor your BP and remove the stimli - in this case your feces. If the cause is your bowel program, it is a bit tricky, because the actual stimulation of the bowel (manual removal or dig stim) can add to the symptoms.

    Who manages your SCI care/ I would call them and talk to them. There is medication that can be used to manage the symtpoms (nitropate 1/2") that you probably should have on hand. Autonomic Dysreflexia in nothing to fool around with. I would definitely be in touch with your provider.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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