• Crazy/Frequent Bowel movements after ileostomy reversal

    Asked by jtu248 on Monday, October 15, 2012

    Crazy/Frequent Bowel movements after ileostomy reversal

    I just recently had a temporary ileostomy reversal and have 10-20 bowel movements in a day and was wondering how did people control the same.I am taking metamucil twice a day and imodium as needed but does not seem to help much.

    My surgery was done 3 weeks back and was diagnosed with stage 2 rectal cancer and had chemo/radiation before surgery.

    Would appreciate your help


    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • booboo's Avatar

      I did not have a j-pouch. After my ileostomy takedown surgery I had exactly what you describe. It took me about 6 months before it slowed down at all. I tried increasing my fiber intake and that helped a little, but really it just took a long time. Hang in there, eventually it will return to something like normal, though it will probably never be the same as it was before treatment.

      over 6 years ago
    • papabill's Avatar

      Hi Jack, Been there, done that. Rectal carcinoma. Pre-surgical chemo/radiation. Colo-rectal surgery. Ileostomy.. Reversal. Then !2 sessions of follow-up chemo (FolFox). I was were you are now. It took me a l-o-n-g time to see any real progress from the OMG many times a day bathroom visits, including accidents as caught short before any slow but positive changes in bowel pattern took place. Even wore Depend briefs, especially at night. Gradually after many months movements became more solid, though still frequent but to finally a point were felt secure abandoning Depend briefs (except at night) and even venturing out -- though always pre-planned in mind where closest bathrooms would be; local non-mall department stores, McDonalds, etc. As with others and as recommended by my surgeon, took and still take Metamucil and a 1/2 Imodium whenever bowels became loose or I know will be out and about for several hours.

      Now still take the Metamucil and Imodium (as needed) and latest pattern is that about 75% of time I have frequent bowel callings about once a day -- time can vary. Even some days nothing. Each incident usually means several visits in anywhere from three to five times within 30- 45 minutes – most times have feeling of need and can now avoid the OMG cannot hold back incidents, then all quiet with sometimes several other controlled movements throughout day. But for the most part no more "accidents" or need for Depend and no night time incidents that are not contollable and infrequent now. Getting a full night of uninterupted sleep was a milestone. As others have noted, it takes time as now only after one year I have seen this latest progression toward new "normalcy." Again, my surgeon and GI stated will take about two years from end of all treatment/chemo before remaining colon "learns" to now serve as the complete rectum. No j-tube either. I am hoping even better bowel days ahead. Also advise keep up with the male Kegel sphincter exercises and be patient and watch for gradual, but good changes. Watch diet at this stage, avoid carbonated drinks, foods that produce gas, etc. All very important. If can provide any other input, please do not hesitate. Invest in toilet paper and keep the faith.

      over 6 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar

      I am 18 months out from being re-connected at this point, and am probably about as good as I am going to get, and that is SO much better than at first. I no longer take metamucil but recently added a probiotic daily, and think that I have finally turned a corner. I generally go right after I get up in the morning, and once in the evening, and the stool is usually formed. I wear a mini-pad daily (guys, you might give those a try) , and most days don't need it, but mentally feel more comfortable. I don't remember the last time I took immodium. I am still trying to find out what things trigger the occasional bad bouts....so far, fatty foods seem to be a trigger, oddly enough spicy food is NOT a bother, and possibly alcohol - the jury is still out on that one. But, at all times, it beats a bag, or being dead. :) Most days I forget that I am rebuilt. I hope that this point that things are starting to settle down for you.

      over 6 years ago

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