Ask an Ostomy Lifestyle Expert

Ileostomy – diarrhea after reversal – April 2019

Question:

I had an ileostomy for 9 months. Then, in January 2018 it was reversed. Still diarrhea every single day. I’d like to ask if there is any rehabilitation for people in the same situation?

Response:

Managing Changes in Bowel Function

The first recommendation would be to discuss your bowel movement concerns with your physician. They may prescribe anti-diarrhea medication that you can take as directed, and possibly suggest rehabilitation.

Our rectum is the storage tank for stool (poop). Depending on what was required during your original surgery, your storage tank (rectum), may be smaller. If this is the case, over time, your rectum will stretch and be able to hold more stool. This process can take months to years. After surgery, you will have a lot of bowel movements. This is because the lower part of your colon hasn’t been used in a while. It will take time for your body to recover.

The following are some suggestions and tips

You need to drink a variety of liquids, not just water. Water does not contain potassium or sodium that your body loses when you have diarrhea and when you sweat.

There are foods that you may want to limit or avoid such as; dairy products, including milk, cheese, and ice cream. Coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, fried foods, gravies and cream sauces, high-fat deli meats, greasy meats such as sausage/bacon, fruit juices.

Following the BRAT diet can also help control frequent bowel movements. The BRAT diet is made up mostly of:

  • Bananas (B)
  • White rice (R)
  • Applesauce (A)
  • Toast (T)

Drinking black tea can also help.

Sometimes separating food from liquids when you eat can help to slow the bowels and passage of stool. If you drink large amounts of liquid with your meals, food may move through you more quickly. While you are eating, try to take only a few sips to help you swallow, and then drink the majority of liquid 30 minutes later.

Other helpful hint:

When you have the urge to have a bowel movement, use deep breathing and sphincter tightening (Kegel exercises). Kegel Exercises – Tighten your anal muscle or sphincter as if you are trying to prevent a bowel movement. Hold for a count of 10 while squeezing tightly. Then relax for a count of 10. Repeat each step 10 times to make one set of exercises. You can do up to 4 sets a day or more.

Jo-Ann

Jo-Ann L. Tremblay
THE OSTOMY FACTOR Blog-joannltremblay.wordpress.com
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Website: jo-annltremblay.com

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