My 21 year old son had an emergency appendectomy four weeks ago, it did not burst. Every since the surgery, the day after, he has had at least four bowel movements per day which includes a "sudden urge" feeling each time. He called the surgeon a couple of times during the first three weeks and was told it was "normal" after abdominal surgery. However, today, he made an appointment to see the surgeon and this time the surgeon said it has been too long and to see a gastroenterologist. WHAT?? This surgeon is older and reputable and said he has performed maybe 1000 appendectomies during his career -- why couldn't he give some kind of answer, could he possibly have done something wrong?? It was open surgery, the incision looks fine, everything is good except for this awful bowel urge frequency. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this, if it might resolve on its own or ANY ideas at all?
Thank you Brocallie -- but I wonder why it just started after the surgery. It does seem to worsen with nervousness, although it's there even when he's not anxious. Do you know what kind of probiotic would be best and what dosage? Also, I wonder if Imodium would help? He just doesn't want to depend on things like Imodium.
My favorite probiotic is Custom Probiotics 1. It's available online. There are other good ones in health food stores as well.
The surgery may have been a trigger for the onset of the IBS. I tend to get flares after times of stress, and it settles down when things calm down again. I DO use immodium, 1 tablet nightly. It is OK to use long term--better than the alternative in my book.
C diff would only be a problem if your son was on antibiotics during the surgery/post op. Also, C diff generally presents with very painful, watery, acidic stools that make you feel really bad. However, if he was on antibiotics, it wouldn't hurt to check.
Feeling desperate, yesterday I was at the drug store looking around and bought some Culturelle to get started with, will also check out the on line type.
I wonder about the C Diff -- He was on an IV of antibiotics for at least a day and a half at the hospital, (before and after the appendectomy) and the frequent loose stools started the same day he went home. He isn't in pain from the bms and they aren't watery, just soft and frequent with frequent urges. (Sorry to be graphic)
Maybe an Imodium would help, it's probably worth a try. I totally understand you taking one in the evening, Cally. Do you do that every night? Is night better than morning?
I'm sure he will try an Imodium to get through school tomorrow. I have a fear factor that if you "keep it in" then the bad toxins remain in your body, however for him, it would probably be a lifesaver if the Imodium would help. (He's a college student going to a full immersion school six days a week and life has been pretty miserable at school, having to leave to go to the bathroom during class frequently).
He made a follow up with a Gastroenterologist on Friday, which is the earliest the doctor can take him. Hopefully things will improve somewhat by then. The surgeon who performed the surgery just mumbled something about antibiotics and colonization.
Thank you both so much, it helps so much to have support!
Culturelle is good. Take double what the box says and be sure to keep them refrigerated.
It's looking suspiciously like it may be AB related. Be sure he mentions the possibility of C diff to the doc on Friday. As for the immodium, I don't think think it will be keeping toxins in, especially since this has been going on for a month. That's usually for more acute illness--food poisoning, for example.
Another thought---the antibiotics may have simply made him temporarily lactose intolerant. If that is the case, the Culturelle should do the trick.
I take immodium at night because I'm on immune suppressing drugs for an autoimmune disease. I take them morning and night. One of the side effects is diarrhea, so that, coupled with IBS, makes keeping "control" essential for me. This has worked for me for a long time.
Well the doctor (chief of gastroenterology) says it sounds like IBS -- sounds like if it was c diff he would have worse symptoms. So...for now it's trying to deal with stress, taking probiotics and getting into some kinds of relaxation, meditation, whatever. Just can't figure out why this happened after surgery. Thanks for the help, now it's trying to figure out this thing. Frustrating.
Y, I didn't really think it was c diff. That causes really bad 'rhea.
I really recommend those Custom Probiotics. I took 3 a day to start and then weaned down over the course of a month to 1 a day, except when I have a flare. A few extra for a few days takes care of that.
Culturelle, IMO and my experience is not "that" great. It's a single strain of probiotic and unless that's the exact one he needs, don't expect too much.
As for the relaxation stuff---LOL!!!! I hardly ever have a relaxing moment yet I've gotten my IBS symptoms under control for the most part.
Will definitely check out those probiotics -- it's awful what stress can do to the body. All the docs can really recommend is read a book and meditate! ughhh! Could have done that without paying $200/15 minutes! Thanks for the support -- I totally understand what you mean about relaxation, it also depends on what kind of person you are by nature...some folks can let things roll off of them and then there are others, like us!
P.S. A good friend of mine also has an autoimmune disease and has iv infusion every month -- and we work at an elementary school where she's constantly exposed to kid germs! So, i understand what you are going through is tough!!!
Well, I do the infusion stuff as well. In fact, it is infusing as I type (every 3 weeks for me.)
Hope your son gets some control over the IBS soon. I suspect he'll improve with occasional flares throughout the years. A bad thing, but there are worse things in life and hopefully he will avoid them for a long while.
Thanks for all of the kindness and suggestions, hopefully he will get to know his body well and work with it, to get through the IBS. -- as a mom, when it involves my kids, at any age, all I really want is for them to be happy and healthy! (as I'm sure most mothers would agree!) There is truly nothing as important as feeling well, as I know you understand
I hope you continue to stay well with your conditions! Autoimmune disease and IBS are two difficult things to have, but fortunately there are ways, although not always easy, to deal with both of them, huh?
I'll post later after he takes the probiotics for a while...
Well, still not doing very well. This IBS thing hasn't gone into any type of remission. Maybe boost up the probiotics? Every day he has urges at least four times/day and then bowel movements and it is interferring with every aspect of his life, to the point that sometimes he doesn't even want to go out. The doctor just suggested reading books to reduce stress, but I don't think it's all due to stress. The gastroenterologist and surgeon both don't seem to understand that the "IBS" was triggered by the appendectomy. Very depressing -- now he's trying to eat small meals throughout the day, although that is very difficult with school and work. Large meals seem to make it somewhat worse, but I guess that's obvious. Any other suggestions?