How long can you take stool softener?

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Hi,

I'm now 2 weeks post op and I'm still taking lactulose twice a day. I have reduced it to 5ml each dose but don't feel confident enough to stop it altogether. Does anyone know if there's a time limit before your body becomes used to it and it stops being effective? I am trying to drink more water and eat lots of fruit but I have never been over keen on either so it's quite hard to remember. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Gaynor,  

    I am not sure about how long related to this type of surgery but people can take this medication long term.

    have you thought about other strategies to help you with keeping your bowels going? I eat 6 prunes twice a day after reading some studies that showed this with good water intake were as effective as some types of stool softeners.

    i have a reminder set on my phone regarding water and section the fluids into sections. Eg by 11:30 I will drink 1 ltr, I drink 3 ltrs a day and I find it a challenge.

    I was advised by my dr that I should essentially continue high fibre and fluids for good to help reduce the risk of repairs failing and for health benefits.

    I hope you are recovering well.

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    • Posted

      Should also add I am 4 weeks post surgery and taking movical 1-3 times a day and still need to use an enema occasionally. But this is mostly like due to complications from my surgery (back in hospital for second op tomorrow 😢wink.

      will be interesting to see how others get on.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mossup, thanks for the advice. I am eating grapes a lot, which I was told are good for keeping you going. I hadn't thought of setting reminders on my phone, I will definitely give that a go. 

      My recovery seems to be going well thanks, I'm not doing much at all though other than 2 very short walks each day. Some days I have no real pain whereas others I need painkillers but it's still early days I suppose. 

      Good luck with the op. I hope you gets things sorted this time x 

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  • Posted

    Try blending fruit with milk, my favourite is almond milk with crushed almonds and pineapples, also love the darker berries. I also eat a lot of wholemeal bread and cut back on portion sizes, less potatoes, pasta, rice but with more veg. Don't feel as bloated as I use to be.

    Think I was on lactose up to around 2 months, and like you had been gradually cutting down the dose, I didn't want to go back to work with that terrible wind especially as I work with public.

    Phyl x

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  • Posted

    Lactulose isn't actually a stool softener although it can make the stools softer. It is really a laxative and classed as such because it draws water into the colon. Taking a laxative for long periods can make the bowel "lazy" but at 2 weeks post op it is too early to stop it and the advice we always gave was take it for about 4 weeks. I can remember being prescribed a huge bottle by my GP and I took all of it. It's prescribed after prolapse surgery because it isn't aggressive and doesn't cause the bowel to go into spasm which would cause problems with the repair. Just to add a lot of roughage can have toe opposite affect after surgery because it bulks the stools up too much so that they are harder to pass therefore putting pressure on the internal sutures. So carry on and don't be afraid to alter the dose as necessary.

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    • Posted

      Didn't think about the bulk problem but then hubby was cooking for early weeks and he tends to make unhealthy meals, ie ready made or ready cooked chicken with cook in sauce. I probably didn't start on the high roughage until around 2 months when I was attempting meals myself, difficult trying to avoid heavy pots and having to wait for help.

      X

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    • Posted

      I think hubby did you a favour phyl. I know we all think lots of roughage will help but not in all cases. It's the same with babies and young children, too much makes it harder for them to poo and can cause constipation. Hope you are well phyl and not working too hard. I'm looking forward to getting in the garden when the weather improves xx

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    • Posted

      Still not doing any overtime, still waiting for new seats at work.

      Had problems with frozen shoulder but think it has stemmed from my neck and back due to lack of support on seats at work. Been using hot water bottles at home, muscle rub, ibuprofen gel and paracetamol. Had a weeks holiday so rested it with heat packs and doing online exercise for frozen shoulder which helped keep it mobile and it does seem to have improved but muscle at back of neck just beyond ear going into skull really tight can't seem to get it properly relaxed.

      Anyway repairs fine, still doing PF exercises, not swimming due to shoulder, GP appointment beg March; probably be fixed by then.

      Was reading up about lack of estriol in menopause maybe causing all the joint pain, but eventually body sorts itself. Hope that's right as don't fancy going on full HRT.

      Phyl x

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Matron. I feel happier now about continuing with it and will adjust the dose if I need to. 
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    • Posted

      Actually been in garden over last few weeks on very sunny days while soil still very wet, doing a little light hoeing while ground wet and soggy, sister things that's probably how I hurt shoulder. But only out for very short half hour periods and not heavy while ground wet. Got all my seeds in window sill propagators. Someone said gardening as good as gym session if not better. Anyway not doing any heavy stuff all that left to hubby.

      ?

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    • Posted

      It's right about menopause and joint pain but HRT didn't help me unfortunately (osteoarthritis) but I put a lot of mine down to my nursing. A lot of my friends who were nurses suffer from osteoarthritis as well. Our garden is still a blank canvas and we need to decide what to do with it. The builders got gardeners to plant trees around the estate and we got 5 silver birch trees. Take care phyl 😘

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    • Posted

      Hoping my shoulder problem muscle based and not joint, job is repedative. Cutting topical estriol dose down rather than completely off just now till I see GP.

      Scar tissue nippy at back edge of vag... entrance, hubby says tissue there looks tight and a bit white. Same area that gave me jaggy problem in early weeks which I thought may have been end of stitch.

      😕

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