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Thread: Please help with bowel program

  1. #11
    Aborption of "poisons" from the stool if you only have a BM every other day is an old wives tale with no basis in science. Some need to go daily, but many do just fine with an every other or even 3X weekly bowel program. Not everyone is the same.

    (KLD)

  2. #12
    Thanks for all the replys. During his program the consistency is usually good until near the end when sometimes it seems to be very loose. I have thought about the idea of going back to every day to see if we can get it under control. Will that cause us to have to stay at every day? Or will we be able to go back to 3x a week? Do you think the coffee could be a problem? He only drinks one cup and only on days he does his program. He does do his program on a commode chair over the toilet. That is another issue in it self. He has such pain in his butt because he spends so much time on the commode chair. We haven't figured out how to do his program in under 1 1/2 hours. It's crazy that it takes so long. He gets a good amount out in the first 20 minutes, but there is always some loose stuff there later. Then even after we get that out, sometimes hours later he has an accident. So I guess maybe try every day. He already uses half a bullet because when he was using a full bullet it seemed to produce a lot of jelly like substance that he would have problems with during the day. We tried once without the sennekot and he didn't really get anything out so we thought he needed the sennekot to go. We would love to get away with no sennekot or bullet but I don't think it will work for him. And there has been no changes in meds. He doesn't take any meds but the sennekot. You'd think after 6 years his body would be set in a pattern to just go on it's own.
    Last edited by jjs; 10-31-2005 at 10:37 AM.

  3. #13
    Another thing, doesn't fiber make your stool looser? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose? I've wondered about fiber myself.

  4. #14
    I had some problems with my bowels and the simple cure was down my nose. I use Philliphs( MOM) now all is well and happy

    Hope it works have for you please don'y do the surgery until you try everything.
    Fawn

  5. #15
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjs
    Another thing, doesn't fiber make your stool looser? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose? I've wondered about fiber myself.
    No, what it does is help keep water (moisture) in the stool instead of it all being taken out by the intestines. It tends to keep stool formed and able to move but not cause looseness unless you go nuts like eating an entire bag of prunes. FiberOne ceral is a good way to start the day and then add that cup of coffee on bp days. Stay away from sennekot laxatives unless there is a real need for them. Sennekot is natural but it is a caustic agent at the same time.

    That book and all the nurses here will tell you to change just one thing at a time. Great advice. Start with trying to go without the sennekot. You already seem to know he is one of those that half a bullet is fine for--stick with it. Then the next change I would make besides adding a good fiber ceral is to not do that last stim after he stretches. You're just asking the body to do what you don't want it to do, make the intestines move.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Myc0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton
    Sennekot is natural but it is a caustic agent at the same time.
    Sennekot is a caustic agent? Yikes, how so?
    De Omnibus Dubitandum

  7. #17
    Senior Member cali's Avatar
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    i eat almonds for a snack and that helps my bowel movements stay formed, and i eat 1 yogurt every other day
    Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

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  8. #18
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/senna-42.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Myc0
    Sennekot is a caustic agent? Yikes, how so?
    Because the herb senna is harsh and nasty. Sennekot actually contains real senna which is an amazing thing in this world. The stems and leaves are the most caustic and the majority of what is in most commercial products like Sennekot, Ex-Lax or was, etc. The pods are gentler to the system but it all works by getting to the intestines and blocking the absorbtion of water. So it is ok to use on occassion but can lead to chronic diahhrea, mega-colon and dependence on senna to go and should not be taken by pregnant or brest feeding women without a doctor's express ok.

    Many of the herbal laxatives came about as weakened versions of natural aborticants (things that cause miscarriages). The stuff sold today and that winds up at your local herbalist's shop should be required to be tested for lead, arsenic and other adulterations that come about in the processing of the plant for drying or baling or from the soil it comes from, mainly, northeastern African areas with dry climates. I also have about 6 books on herbs from growing them as pretty flowers to medicinal uses. And my first rehab doc post inpatient said that sennekot was like diluted drano-try it be before resorting to sodium citrate and if I need that a doctor should already be in the picture.

    Sue

    PS...I think if you check the precautions on the package you'll find this is not tested by the FDA. Do some research and decide for yourself. I know several people who find a bottle of beer works as a good laxative if needed.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jjs
    Or will we be able to go back to 3x a week? Do you think the coffee could be a problem? He only drinks one cup and only on days he does his program. He does do his program on a commode chair over the toilet. That is another issue in it self. He has such pain in his butt because he spends so much time on the commode chair. We haven't figured out how to do his program in under 1 1/2 hours. It's crazy that it takes so long
    Hi JJS,

    The 3X a week deal is for clocks, not the human body. Every other day should bring your hubby's body into more of a rhythm. It seems like you almost have it down pat. Why not let him get on the toilet and do everything like he has been. When he senses a "break in the action" say after 20 minutes put a blue chuck pad on his wheelchair and let him get into bed (on another blue chuck pad of course) and watch TV for an hour or two. Or just until he thinks or senses that he may be ready for round 2. Back to the toilet and let him try again (digi-stim) for another 25 minutes and see if that gets everything out. If he still hasn't finished by then maybe a third time but that's starting to become an ordeal and I'm out of ideas! I take a shower afterwards so there's yet another opportunity for any straggling wet mess to come out before getting dressed.

    I can somewhat sense that I have to go. It's not a fool-proof sensation but the hairs on the back of my head will stand up a bit and I just get a sense that I'm experiencing pressure. I don't feel it down there where I should, it's all in my head. I think it's the sympathetic nervous system indicating that something is wrong or different. Like if my bladder is too full. But it's not much of a warning so I have to be alert to it and be quick about it!

    At least this way he won't be sitting on the commode for an extended period of time (1 & 1/2 hours.... ouch!) putting his skin and sphincter through all that weight and stress. Toilet seats aren't the most supportive of devices and can cause pressure issues.

    After awhile you should be able to time just how long he needs to wait between the 2 sessions. There's nothing much worse than spending all the effort to do a bowel program only to make a small wet mess afterwards. That's frustrating, maddening and depressing all at the same time.

    And of course he'll need to be on an eating schedule of sorts. And will maybe need to be selective about the type of foods he eats. I eat anything I want but I only eat twice a day with no snacking in between. I eat my main meal at around 10AM and a small meal like a hot dog and piece of fruit at around 7PM. I keep weird hours.

    I hardly ever drank coffee up until a few years ago. I'm 50 now and probably drink 5 cups of strong coffee a day. From booze to coffee. I have my addictions. It doesn't seem to have any effect on my bowel program but everyone is different. It can give some people diarrhea and then again it can dry other people out to the point of constipation. Go figure. But one cup of thin coffee shouldn't upset things much if at all.

    Best of luck. You'll figure it out.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  10. #20
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob clark
    I can somewhat sense that I have to go. It's not a fool-proof sensation but the hairs on the back of my head will stand up a bit and I just get a sense that I'm experiencing pressure. I don't feel it down there where I should, it's all in my head. I think it's the sympathetic nervous system indicating that something is wrong or different. Like if my bladder is too full. But it's not much of a warning so I have to be alert to it and be quick about it!
    Exact same here. *sigh* I'm not weird. lol
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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