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    Old 09-22-2004, 06:30 PM   #1
    Denise2004
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    Unhappy severe constipation post cesarean

    hi i am a 32 yr old female who recently has a baby by c-section, since my daughter was born i have suffered severe constipation....i have become very depressed because at times things seem to improve then the constipation comes back...i have been referred to a surgical dept at my local hospital, i was intially examined to be told i have bowel function disorder, but i have no urge to go to the toilet at all, my gp thought it was because i lost sensation in my back passage but then she tested me herself and said its not possible because i could feel everything she was doing, i am awaiting an appointment to get a barium enema done..meanwhile my constipation seems to be getting worse, i havent been in nearly a week, im tired of using laxatives, especially the stimulants. I really want to go for colonic irrigation but my gp says not to until the surgeon gets the tests results but that could be months away!!!..i was just wondering if there was any other females in my prediciment, i need some moral support of some kind, i feel like i am losing my mind over this.

     
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    Old 09-23-2004, 09:05 AM   #2
    danimal15
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    Denise,

    I'm a guy and can't help you too much, except to say that my wife has had two babies (neither was a c-section) and suffered this same problem. Eventually it went away. Try drinking a lot of water and taking Metamucil (the wafers are pretty good). I'm sure it will clear up. Hope you feel better soon.

    Dan

    Last edited by danimal15; 09-23-2004 at 09:08 AM.

     
    Old 09-23-2004, 10:50 AM   #3
    cheer up
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    Ahh..I know the feeling (constipation after abdominal surgery). Not fun! Had a hysterectomy years ago myself and just recently gall bladder removal. The meds, etc., REALLY slow down the system in many instances and it can last for quite a long time. You simply need to retrain your system. Bear in mind that your internal organs have been all pushed around during the procedure, too, and need time to re-settle.

    Here's my regimen (it's also worked for family members) and it worked both times (17 years apart, I might add):

    Bran cereal (I like Fiber One best of all and it's the highest in fiber) every single morning. A small bowl is enough --

    At night -- be sure to get some roughage, i.e., a small green salad or similar, and then, later in the evening, take two Colace gelcaps or whatever generic your local drugstore has that's less expensive. Colace is a stool softener (don't get the one with added laxative or you'll probably be sorry) and it works great -- hospitals give it to people after all sorts of surgeries. You could even take three pills the first night or two if you like. The ingredients on the package should indicate "docusate sodium" only. If there's anything about a laxative included, you've got the wrong bottle. I'm with your doctor on this -- stay away from the harsh laxatives as you'll start up a vicious cycle that's hard to break.

    For extra help if you are really backed up, just before bed drink a small glass of prune juice. If it's fairly cold, I find it tolerable. I have to drink it slowly, over a period of about 15 minutes, or I get a little heartburn from it. Again, we are talking about a small juice glass.

    If this doesn't bring satisfactory results within about 2-4 days I would be very surprised.

    I also avoid cheese as it can be terribly constipating. Same goes for bananas and some people find chocolate constipating but that one I insist on eating --

    Good luck! (And be sure to drink enough water, too, and move around as much as possible, which I'm sure you're doing anyway with a new baby.)

     
    Old 09-23-2004, 04:56 PM   #4
    Denise2004
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    hello again , I just wanted to say thanks for ur kind replies....I wanted to say that i have already started a healthy eating diet that includes high fibre bran cereal, lots of vegetables plus fruit, i dont eat red meat at all, only fish or occasionally chicken although i am a chocolate lover i tend to try and avoid it as much as possible now, i also drink prune juice everyday plus loads of water and i exercise most days too...the only kind of laxatives that i am on at the minute are Movicol and Lactulose, I do have Laxaberal but I refrain from using it unles things get really bad...I am hoping to get my appointment for the barium enema in the next 3 to 4 weeks as my social worker got in touch with the hospital today...At the minute my stomach is pretty painful and under a lot of pressure I had a small bowel movement this morning but it took a lot of work and time, I'm getting to the point of being afraid of waking up each day not knowing if my bowels are going to empty or not...cheerup i just wanted to know how long does it take for your system to start working normally again? I had my baby 5 months ago, this is a very long time to be suffering this horrible nuisance...thanks again Denise...P.S. my gp said to wait before having colonic irrigation done until i get my test results back from the hospital just incase i have some kind of obstruction, but if i get the all clear there then i am going to go for it plus i was also considering having acupuncture done, i had it done in the past for panic attacks and it worked a treat.

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 08:12 AM   #5
    danimal15
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    Denise:

    My apologies - I think I underestimated the severity of the problem. I thought from your post that you had just given birth. I didn't realize it was 5 months ago. Obviously, my original reply doesn't help much in your case, and I realize you've been taking measures. I wish you luck finding out the cause of this.

    Dan

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 08:32 AM   #6
    fear of surgery
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    Five months IS a long time to return to a regular pattern, but you have also changed your entire daily routine with the new baby and probably have zero time to relax and let nature take its course anymore. Forget about YOUR schedule, you have the BABY's schedule to worry about, right?

    Also sounds to me like you are a bit anxiety ridden over this problem which just shuts your system down even more from the worry. Trust me, I know.....

    It's hard to do, but you need to STOP thinking about this so much and dreading getting up in the morning because of it. I would echo Cheer Up's recommended regimen and can tell you that a similar one works for me almost all the time. I had two abdominal surgeries and both times it took me several months to get back to "normal." Don't forget that your insides have been moved around during the procedures, even Caesarean, and need plenty of time to settle down.

    It's good that you are seeing a doctor, however, and if it is felt that you need a barium study, so be it. I had that decades ago for chronic abdominal pains but nothing was found. At that time, in my early twenties, I was on a vicious cycle of constipation/diarrhea that convinced me something was seriously wrong. After getting a clean bill of health, my pains, etc., amazingly disappeared. The mind is a VERY powerful thing.

    I know this sounds like I am taking your complaints lightly, but I assure you I am not. You do, however, need to RELAX about this and try to get on a regular schedule. Assuming you are fine, your doctor will likely recommend Metamucil. I don't care for it, preferring a routine like Cheer=Up's. But I know it can work if one likes drinking all that stuff.

    Good luck! You are not alone with this -- it is incredibly common. I'd say worst case scenario in your situation is that you might have some surgical adhesions constricting the intestines but I would be shocked if that were true...honestly. A visit with the doc will do you good, though. Let us know what happens!

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 04:32 PM   #7
    Denise2004
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    hi Dan thanks for ur reply......i hope cheerup reads my posts I'd like to find out more info on post operative problems with bowel movements...i have to say though since i started taking movicol 2 days ago, things have started to happen, i dont wanna jump the gun too soon incase i stop going again, but this morning i got up and had my breakfast then about a half an hour later i had a really good bowel movement. I'll just have to take each day as it comes probably , dont wanna get too excited yet, I'm still very worried and i still panic each day, i will be glad to get to the root of this problem once and for all...its a very distressing disorder and not something i have ever had any problem with before so i am not used to it at all, its very scary...anyway maybe if anyone else sees my story on this they might like to reply to me, i'd love to hear from anyone who has had similar problems to me, thanks again people

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 04:44 PM   #8
    Denise2004
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    hello Fearofsurgery, thanks for ur post it has certainly explained things for me, i just wanted to know what Metamucil was, i have never heard of it. Thanks, and i will certainly keep u posted on what happens in the future, it kind of makes sense what u were saying about my insides needed time to re-settle although my gp is concerned as to why my bowels r like this as she has never heard of any1 suffering post pregnancy constipation before so obviously i am very concerned too...bye for now ....Denise

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 05:19 PM   #9
    cheer up
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    Hi Denise --

    Re post-op bowel problems -- I am four months post op from gallbladder surgery and while things are pretty normal, there are occasional glitches. I try to ignore little pains and irregularities because the doctors said it can take more than six months for everything to function normally.

    I work with a lady who had a hysterectomy in early May and she still has some bowel and stomach complaints. It goes with the territory.

     
    Old 09-24-2004, 05:44 PM   #10
    cheer up
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    Denise -- There was more to my post but some people came to my desk and I got distracted and sent it half finished.

    The lady who had the hysterectomy in early May came to my desk yesterday complaining of all-day lower right and center abdominal pain(s). She said things still aren't right with her after surgery, and asked if I had any "stomach" meds. I gave her some Gax-X and within 15 minutes she said it had helped.

    My gastroenterologist's office suggests Phazyme instead as they think it is more effective. In any event, the Gax-X helped my co-worker. I think it can take up to a year to recover fully from these surgeries, and your Caesarean is a full-on abdominal surgery, much more difficult in recovery than vaginal childbirth.

    With an infant taking up so much of your time, it's not surprising you are not back on track yet. This is all still new to you. But you really do need to try to relax about it a bit. As you say, now that you've tried some remedies, you've achieved good results. Don't get ahead of yourself in thinking you will have more constipation. If you anticipate the problem it will likely recur more frequently.

    I have had all sorts of bowel changes since the gall bladder surgery but just keep telling myself it's all normal; don't worry about it. Basically I feel fine so I am sure there is nothing wrong. But nothing is exactly the same from one day to the next, and if I dwell on it, annoyances get worse.

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very real problem yet doctors persist in making sure many patients take anti-anxiety pills to calm down and reduce pain. If you take a look at the IBS section of this Board, you'll see what I mean.

    The connection between mind and digestion is huge. So...you are seeing your doctor, which should be comforting. I hope you have good news to report afterwards -- that it's just a slow process and you've nothing to worry about. Let us know....

     
    Old 09-25-2004, 03:38 PM   #11
    Denise2004
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    Re: severe constipation post cesarean

    hi cheerup thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.....i guess ur right about mind over matter etc, but im a natural worrier and if things arent right with me then i go into panic mode, i already have a disability to deal with and it took me 2 years to come to terms with what i have after being diagnosed with it...so naturally when something else in my body goes wrong i do worry a lot...i havent heard of the medication u mentioned called Phazyme, what is it and what does it do exactly?...i have been taking movicol for the last three nights and although i have been to the toilet my stomach has blown out twice its size, i feel rotten and full of wind, plus i am also trying to lose weight too after having a baby my weight ballooned up to 2 1/2 stone heavier...tonight i am gonna give the movicol a miss and just take lactulose and wait and see what happens in the next day or 2..fingers crossed, tlk soon and thanks again

     
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