• After treatment, stool leakage, urgent trips to bathroom, is there a diet or exercise to help?

    Asked by DRAGONFLY on Monday, October 15, 2012

    After treatment, stool leakage, urgent trips to bathroom, is there a diet or exercise to help?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      Hi DRAGONFLY. I'm sorry that you are having to go through this. I don't know that much about anal cancer and how it affects your body. But I do have some experience with ulcerative colitis which can also cause some of the same side effects. The exercise for that is much like the Kegel exercise where you tighten up the muscle, hold it as long as you can and then release. As far as the diet goes, there are foods and things that can harden up your stools a little bit. For me, Tums works really well. Again, you will want to check with your doctor first. I hope you can find some relief. Worrying about going to the bathroom all the time is NO FUN.

      over 8 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Oh my, how I can relate! I used to call it the 2-minute warning! I remember being in the mall one day with my husband when I suddenly had that feeling and with a look of pure terror in my eyes, I looked at him and started walking as quickly as I could to the nearest bathroom...didn't quite make it.

      My doctor explained to me that the lowest part of the colon is where the stool is formed and since that was the portion I had removed, I would now have loose stools and probably never be constipated. For the most part, he was right. You might want to check if this is also the case for you.

      A year later, however, I can very happily say, however, that the diarrhea and the two minute warnings have greatly subsided. Very rarely have to sprint to the bathroom. It takes quite a while until the colon repairs itself from the chemo treatments.

      Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • liznparadise's Avatar

      I know well what you are going through. I was diagnosed with Anal cancer last December and finished chemo & radiation in February. I still have to stay close to the bathroom in the mornings because it takes several trips (with short notice) to empty out for the day. It is the effects of the radiation that cause my problems and I take Metamucil to help solidify things and keep it to a minimum. I use panty liners strategically placed to help. I am hoping that with time it will subside.

      over 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Hi; I am 10 years the other side of anal cancer 'treats'. I did/do Kegels like there was/is no tomorrow. I STILL have bathroom urgency greater than what I remember as normal. It is a lot better for the most part, however. My fine floor muscles, are gone replaced by adequate ones. I no longer, I am happy to report, need to make travel routes dependent upon pit stop availability, whether cross town or cross country. I am aware that my bathroom needs remain, um, different thann others of my age group. You can't go home again but you can get more comfy where you are. Healthy best wishes.

      over 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      BTW, TUMS are NOT good for you. They contain bromine which is actually a poison. You can get the minerals (calcium) they provide from supplements and better eating habits.

      The contents of Metamusil (psyllium) actually work in me to loosen things up even more. I have started taking enzymes (like those in papaya and pineapple but much more concentrated) to help things be absorbed. It is in your intestine that nutrients are actually absorbed for digestion and the rest discarded as poop. When you've absorption problems (as in the area having been radiated and such) absorption minimalizes.

      I am going to try Pilates very soon as I have herd good things about them. I've done/do Kegels, Yoga and more. Nothing, so far, sends me back to near normal so there is a new normal in my current life.

      Healthy best wishes,

      about 8 years ago
    • Jodi's Avatar

      Hello DRAGONFLY... I know you posted this a long time ago but I am responding not really to answer the question but to let you and others know that I totally freaked about this side effect. I am now getting used to it and not so horrified when "it" happens. I am not sure how to prevent it but my surgeon and other doctors all say the Kegal exercises are the best thing to do. Even though I know this, I still do not do them on a regular bases like I am supposed to. I am learning more and more what foods create the urgency and painful bowels. For me it's been the good foods like lettuce/salads, prunes, nuts. But as far as the leakage, I ALWAYS carry an extra pair of underwear with me and I wear a long mini pad placed further back. Hope this helps.

      about 8 years ago

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