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Holistic approach to severe constipation - How to naturally reverse longterm, post-surgery constipation
by N J Howell
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Question on alternative health care and healing: (some details removed to protect privacy)
.....I had a big surgery.... I was in the hospital for 2 days. I didn't eat for those 2 days cause of all the pain medicine (morphine and synthetic heroin). Ever since then I have to use an enema to go to the bathroom. I try not to use them cause I know you can become dependent on them.
I finally got in (to see) a gi doctor and they did a colonoscopy. They said my colon looked very good. They cut a small polyp out and are doing a byopsy on it.
I am still having the same problem and can't go to the bathroom. When I go it's all in little pieces and very hard and dry. I have to strain to go , unless I use an enema. I take fibercon, but it doesn't help at all. It just makes my stomach hurt worse. I asked the doctor if my colon could be dehydrated and he said that is possible. but didn't tell me what to do to fix this.
I know I should drink a lot of water. How do I tell if my colon is dehydrated and what can I do to fix this. Is there any medicine to fix this or should I just drink lots of juices and water. When can I tell if my colon is hydrated enough, besides having a healthy bowel movement? Since the surgery I have had one normal bowel movement and thought my problem was fixed and this was just a freak thing. help me please
Healing facilitation response:
If you really are saying you've only had one "normal" bowel movement in the past 8 months, then I'm shocked that your doctors aren't continuing testing and after-surgery treatment. However, since you are under the care of a doctor, please discuss anything I tell you with him before trying anything new. This action on your part is vital because I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose or prescribe.
In general, for good internal hydration, you should be drinking half your weight in onces of water and that's a minimum. If not, that may contribute to the constipation you are experiencing. Speaking of water, I would highly recommend checking into the benefits of alkaline water. You can either buy an ionizer or use any of several water additives that alkalize water. I have used Body Alkalizer and Willard Water before, and like both.
If your doctor has suggested fibercon, I'd mention the constipation to them again. I personally never suggest fiber immediately if someone is already struggling with constipation. As you said, it just makes the pain worse. Fiber is terrific for maintaining colon health and it's great to add in once everything gets moving after a bout of severe constipation.>However, until your colon is moving in a healthy way, my feeling is that fiber can clog the eliminatory process even more, particularly if you are not drinking enough water to hydrate fully.
Some healing supplements that will support restoration of normal bowel movements include flax seed oil capsules and aloe vera juice. Flax seed oil is wonderful as a natural stool softener and I often use it for that reason. Aloe vera is very healing internally but you should know that it also temporarily discolors the inside of the colon wall. Some doctors won't approve aloe vera in cases where a medical test such as a colonoscopy might be needed, because the temporary discoloration might make such reports harder to read. additional aloe vera use cautions.
Morphine and other strong pain relievers can, in themselves, be a big factor in post-surgery constipation.
If you developed severe constipation at the time of the surgery, it may have just kept getting worse due to any number of factors including diet, stress, and water intake levels.
The flax seed oil capsules, coupled with drinking sufficient pure water for restoring normal bowel movements could provide quick relief, provided your doctor agrees to the addition of the flax seed oil capsules. You might also add a mild stool softener such as Dulcolax. Unless your doctor says otherwise, though, I wouldn't suggest using an OTC stool softener long term.
Enemas may be beneficial for loosening waste in the lower bowel but an enema isn't enough for severe constipation that isn't responding to laxatives and/or stool softeners.
Colonics for Post-Surgery Constipation: You might look into a series of colonics to help restore normal bowel function. Colonics involved a very gradual filling of the intestines with pure water. This helps the colon walls to rehydrate and also helps hardened fecal matter to dissolve. Please check with your doctor before scheduling a colonic. A colonic can be contraindicated in certain situations so have the appropriate tests done to be sure there are no colon problems.
If it's ok with your doc, then expect to do at least 2 or 3 colonics over the space of a week to get the colon back where it should be in terms of hydration. You may need more colonics than that, as many as ten, if your colon health was an issue before the surgery.
Reducing consumption of dense protiens like beef and pork is a good idea, as is reducing constipation-enhancing foods like white sugar and white flour products. Whole grains and natural sweeteners like organic agave are good substitutes for refined sugar and white flour products, both of which are no friend to the colon.
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Health Care Disclaimer: The information contained in this health evaluation about post-surgery complications and constipation is educational in nature and does not replace personal medical advice from your intestinal health specialists. Acting on the health information found here is the right and responsibility of the reader. If you have severe constipation or chronic bowel problems, please consult with your doctor.