BM, stool softeners and control advice please?

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Hoping Matron or some of you other ladies can help.

I have had a few BM accidents where I couldn;t hold the need to go long enough to get to the tiolet. . It's about taking the stool softeners. How long should we be taking them for?  I was taking a softener with Senna just once a day until someone pointed out it can be additive, then I swapped to Coroxyl without henna and was taking 2 morning and night and now taking just 1 M & N but I am finding that my BM is and I aplogise if TMI soft and there is a fair bit of it that I don't get much warning and once it starts I can often have an accident which I obviously don't want while I am out or at work. Sorry for making this post long. Should I stop the softeners I am going down to just one tonight but worry if I stop I might strain or at 6 weeks post op is it now safe to stop? Will I gain the BM control back? Have other ladies had these issues? I am seing my specialist this tuesday and will ask him. Fingers crossed all is well and op was succesful. Happy healing ladies xx

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  • Posted

    Oh no,  I'm so sorry you are going through that.   In one of my tests they said I had anal incontenence.  It is mild enough I have never had a full on accident, but I think if I had very soft stools or diarrhea it would be difficult.  I wouldn't want to take anything that was a stimulant laxative... not sure I would make it in time.

    Maybe a different stool softener would work better for you?  Or maybe you could do fiber in the morning and a pill in the evening?

    Here are some things I have tried

    PEG 3550 (macrogol there, I think) -- white powder you mix in water.  Osmotic stool softener -- just adds water.  you can take a partial dose.  I haven't found it to cause urgency for me.

    Benefiber (wheat dextrin) - White powder you can add this to drinks without really noticing it.  Not thickening.  It isn't super strong, but it helps you get more fiber in your diet in an unnoticible way

    Psylium husk -- This makes things thick and gooey.  It is viscous soluble fiber.  It's supposed to be very good for you (reduce cholesterol, etc).  I don't mind it much in oatmeal.  I can get it down in watered down juice.  I gag if I try it in water.  I find it to be pretty effective but it's tough to take it every day as I don't like the texture much.

    My recipe for psylium in oatmeal:

    microwave together for 60-90s:

    1/4 cup oats

    3/4 cups milk

    dash of salt

    add

    1 tablespoon Psyllium husk (unflavored)

    1-2 tablespoons raisins or dried cranberries

    I also try to eat high fiber foods to help -- nice big salad, fruit, carrots, etc.  I think you could comfortably cut down to one dose of a stool softener and then try to eat more fiber... just a guess, though.  I am pre-op but my rectocele causes big constipation issues as do some of my meds so I have had to read up on this a lot and try a lot of different things.

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks Dorry , I am only using stool softeners not laxatives and will be cutting it down , might even try none. High fibre foods make me constipated so will avoid those till after my post op check up. recipe sounds good will try it at weekends when I have time. Thanks for sharing xx
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    • Posted

      If high fiber food constipates you, you should probably stay away from that recipe and away from the psyllium husk.  It is very high in fiber.

      Good luck finding the right balance for you.  It would be great if you didn't need them at all now!  

      Oh, fwiw, I think prune juice, plums and pears are supposed to help constipation because they are rich in magnesium.  Prune juice might be a good natural option, if you are looking for one, since you can't tolerate a high fiber diet.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Dorry ,Thanks for posting back was just about to buy some and try it. starting prune juice today, just not sure how much to take? But with trial & error will get there in the end. Much appreciated xxx
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  • Posted

    I only needed to take stool softeners for 7-10 days and only every other day. Can you try the alternative route with fibre rich food and lots of water instead. I also swear by prune juice and prunes to eat..

    Your bowels become reliant on laxatives. My mother-in-law has relied on them for 30+ years and can't go without them now.. She is rather paranoid about going to poo every day.

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    • Posted

      hi barbara, will try that after I get my post op check and make sure everything is ok. Stool softener not same as a laxative which I agree came become additive and make bowels lazy. Softener does just that and I definately don't want to have to strain to go BM and do some damage. Still aches in bum area after BM even when I don't strain. I know that is normal and still early days yet. Thanks for advice keep smiling
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  • Posted

    I used glycerine suppositories and flybogel when I first came out of hospital, until my diet was back to normal. I have now included a few dates, prunes and nuts into my diet and always may sure I eat fruit, vegetables and drink plenty. I have had no problems and would just use the suppositories if I needed them. 

    I have a rectocile which they are operating on in September and do still get very slight accidents which I do not realise until I go to the toilet. They did say that having the posterior repair would help and is certainly a lot better, but I was hoping to avoid further surgery. 

    The things us woman go through. It is really nice to be able to talk about these things on the forum. 

    Hope everything goes well for you Tilley when you go back to work. X

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks for reply Linda, not a suppository kind of girl LOL. But will try fibre and plenty of fluids once I get okay from my specilaist this coming Tuesday. All will be well at work now I have laid down some rules and been more assertive. 

      Hope all goes well with your surgery in September and for your kind wishes XX

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  • Posted

    Hi Tilly I stopped taking the softeners about 6 days post op because of the the same things that you are experiencing - since then have not had any problems with  BMs - I go regularly and no straining obviously if that changed I would start using them again-
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    • Posted

      Hi Deborah, that really helps. Great chatting with someone who has gone through the same stuff. So I will stop and see what happens. Following others advice think I will also get some prune juice and increase my fluid intake. Take care xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Tilley

    I'm still on my lactose, meant to be 10ml at night and in morning. I sometimes find it too strong and can have problems with continence, so cut it back too 5 ml morning and evening but find its not really enough as although not really straining BM it more solid and I spot bleed. So trying to look at what I'm eating. Have had to cut back on chocolate in evenings and mixing honey through my porridge, and on my toast and banana. It's really difficult to get a balance, I'm hoping it will sort itself before going back to work!

    Hope you get it sorted, I'm going to go do lots of pelvic floor exercises now.

    Phyl xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Phyllis , thanks for reply. Think I will try cutting back and then stop and change diet etc. I am sure it will improve. You mention doing lots of pelvic floor exercises now so how many weeks post op are you? My doc said none until 6 weeks so I am restarting them this week as soon as I find instructions I have from Physio. Happy healing xx
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    • Posted

      Hi tilkey,

      I will be 5 weeks post op on Wednesday, I'm sure phisio said to start pelvic floor exercises as soon as catheter out. My after surgery booklets said similar, but having a posterior repair this time seems to cause spot bleeding so had only been trying it now and again. Have started doing them much more regularly from 3/4 weeks about 2/3 times a day about 10/15 of each seem to be able to do them without spot bleeding now. Will start building them up now, hoping it helps with any incontinence issues once back at work.

      Phyl xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks for posting back, I will be doing then too once spec says ok especially after your comment about helping with incontinence issues. heal well xx
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  • Posted

    tilley it's a bit of trial and error here but it could be that you no longer need them and should things be a problem then just start taking them again. However as you're seeing your consultant next week, see what he has to say as well x
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