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Thread: small bowel obstruction recovery diet

  1. #1

    small bowel obstruction recovery diet

    I'm home after being in the hospital briefly for a partial small bowel obstruction. It was resolved with an NG tube for a day.

    The hospitalist seemed to think this was most likely caused by constipation.

    Anyway I couldn't quite figure out the diet. I think I'm supposed to be on a regular diet, but at the same time have things that are easy to digest, at least for a while. Also, I'm supposed to not have too much fiber.

    Unfortunately if I don't have too much fiber then my constipation gets worse. I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to eat.

  2. #2
    Obstruction usually caused by constipation related to slow transit time of SCI, use of narcotics, immobility etc.. Keeping the stool consistency firm but not dry, hard (goal like a milky way bar or snake) helps. Stool softerners such as Docusate ( max is 600 mg twice a day, start low and increase as needed).In order to empty the lower bowel past the sphincters can be use of suppository (Magic Bullet) or enemeez( teaspoon of natural Docusate ) and digital stimulation.
    www.enemeez.com has more information.

    Diet:fiber okay but you need to drink liquids, water recommended or the high fiber can have the opposite desired effect.

    CWO
    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.

  3. #3
    whats it like to have a "small bowel obstruction" can you describe it? can a person with SCI get it? what would it be like

  4. #4
    The bowel is blocked in the small bowel which is located end of stomach to beginning of large intestine. It is most likely caused by constipation or diverticulosis/diverticulitis or ileus some cause for the blockage/back up. NG tube helps you not vomit and removes gas because the contents of the stomach can't go anywhere. Can also have a partial obstruction.

    Most common cause in SCI is the constipation blockage.
    TX- if no tearing (perforation) then enemas and then laxative.
    CWO
    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.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by diaspora View Post
    whats it like to have a "small bowel obstruction" can you describe it? can a person with SCI get it? what would it be like
    For me it was like this:

    - I had a lot of nausea one evening and threw up a large amount of undigested food from lunch. I assumed it was either a UTI, or food poisoning, or just some random upset stomach. I briefly felt better, as happens after a person throws up.

    - Then an hour later I threw up again. I tried to have some water, and threw that up. I was throwing up all night about once an hour, even though I had nothing to eat and only tried having water once or twice. The stomach was distended but there was no pain (as no sensation there).

    - I also had a low fever and mild chills.

    - I became weak, could not get out of bed, and I could only talk very slowly.

    - I could not sleep because of the nausea, and was also concerned if I did fall asleep it would not be safe if I threw up while I was asleep, per Breaking Bad.

    - Early in the morning, about 7 hours after episode began, I called my doctor who told me to call EMS, so I did and went to the ER. In the ER they did a CAT scan and then inserted an NG tube and administered fluids. I was admitted to the hospital. After 24 hours the NG tube was removed and I felt fine.

    - I was on a clear liquid diet and went home the next day.
    Last edited by xsfxsf; 08-09-2018 at 01:21 AM.

  6. #6
    My Dad has obstructions sometimes due to twisting of his stomach, which are crazy painful. After the last severe one, and he had nothing to eat for 1 week, they gave him similar vague instructions about a low fiber diet. He has actually continued this and has fewer episodes of the stomach obstruction/twisting.

    One nice thing is that the low fiber diet gives him MUCH less gas. And although many on this site talk about high fiber diets helping their bowels, everyone is different, and in fact... sometimes high fiber diets are not recommended for folks with neurogenic bowel. His bowels have done fine switching to low fiber. Definitely not worse.

    So what was changed in his low fiber diet. No dried fruits or nuts. Avoid large bulky raw foods like salads, lots of bread, hard to chew bulky meats etc.. So we make quesadillas instead of traditional sandwiches and eat smaller amounts of tomatoes instead of leafy salads. Avoid large amounts of high fiber vegetables and/or cook them very well until soft and easy to chew/break down.

    Right after his obstruction, he had mostly a full liquid diet for the first several days.... smoothies, protein supplement drinks, yogurt, cream of wheat etc... Added protein powder or dried milk powder to things to make sure he got enough calories and nutrition. As he tolerated that well, we added more pureed foods (got one of those great bullet mixers), and added mashed sweet or purple potatoes, ground meats (meatloaf, meatballs, tuna fish etc..) and pureed greens (spinach, broccoli etc...). Then slowly added solid chicken/chicken salad, fish etc,... keeping things moist so easy to chew. Chew everything well.

    And he is aggressive about keeping his bowels moving. He has a gastroenterologist who is interested in neurogenic bowel, and he placed him on Linzess (not sure that does much) and misoprostol (which helps a lot).
    Last edited by hlh; 08-08-2018 at 11:51 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by diaspora View Post
    whats it like to have a "small bowel obstruction" can you describe it? can a person with SCI get it? what would it be like
    Because I can feel everything from my low abdomen on up, when I got a small bowel obstruction, it felt like someone was stabbing me and pushing against my abdomen really hard. I also was throwing up a lot. I got mine from eating popcorn. Apparently, its not recommended to eat popcorn if you have an ileostomy, and no one told me this. Let's just say, that was the last time I ate popcorn. It wasn't worth the severe pain from an obstruction again.

  8. #8
    If youhave diverticulum which is alittle outpouching of the bowel lining, popcorn, nuts can get stuc then get inflammed and cause diverticulitis which can then obstruct the bowel. IPressure &/or constipation causes diverticulosis. f you eat these you must chew till they are a fine consistency and then they won't get stuck. You can google the diverticulosis diet and it gives you a list of things to avoid.
    CWO
    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.

  9. #9
    postsurgical adhesions (possibly from years before), secondary to any type of abdominal surgery are also a leading cause.

    My small bowel obstruction, when they opened me up, is most likely due to adhesions secondary to my bladder augmentation, in which they had to remove part of my ileum (the last part of the small bowel) to use for the bladder augmentation. The surgeon said my pelvis was chock-full of adhesions, some of which pulled my bowel to a kink like position, causing the blockage to flow.

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