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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5118
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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I have been told my colon has shut down , I have not has regular

Resolved Question:

I have been told "my colon has shut down", I have not has regular stools for 4 months, cannot have a bowel movement without laxitives, I have had a cat scan, and x-ray, no blockage shown. I have no pain but bowel does not want to work, ant suggestions.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 years ago.

Doctor-Bob :

how long has this been happening? months or years?

Customer:

this has been going on for about months, I noticed thing were different after my colonoscopy last year, I did have a polup removed,

Customer:

I should have typed in 4 months.

Doctor-Bob :

how long have you needed to use laxatives to have a BM? just since the colonoscopy, or longer?

Customer:

I started to need using laxitives about June of this year.

Doctor-Bob :

before that your stools were normal?

Customer:

no, not since the colonoscopy, they were a little runny, but not constipation.

Doctor-Bob :

are you on any other medications beside bowel meds? did you add any new meds in May or June?

Customer:

I have been on prevastatin for about 3 years, and an asprin, did not ad anything this year.

Customer:

will he be back?

Doctor-Bob :

hi i'm here we got interrupted

Doctor-Bob :

did your docs offer you an explanation as to why your colon "shut down"?

Customer:

no

Doctor-Bob :

when the colon gets lazy or shuts down we call that an "ileus"..does that sound familiar?

Customer:

Have not heard from dr.

Doctor-Bob :

have all your blood test come back normal? thyroid, glucose, etc?

Customer:

yes

Doctor-Bob :

have you ever had abdominal surgery or radiation?

Customer:

Yes, both. Had bladder lift15 years ago, ovaries 25 years ago,appenix 60 years ago, and radiation on the breast 10 years ago.

Doctor-Bob :

wow, you have had your share, haven't you :-). The reason I ask about this is that paralytic ileus is often due to an abnormality in the nerves or muscles of the colon During surgery, nerves can get cut that may not repair themselves. Radiation can also damage nerves.

Doctor-Bob :

Heavy alcohol use and diabets are also common cuases of nerve damage to the bowel. A combination of factors could conspire to create enough damage to slow down or impair the bowel on a chronic basis.

Customer:

but these were all at least 10 years ago

Doctor-Bob :

It is possible that the nervous systems to the bowel (there are actually 2 systems at work) were damaged and that it has taken awhile for the damage to be "unmasked", possibly by the strain of the colonoscopy, though that would be unusual. Either way it seems to have reached a "tipping point" for you sometime in June. Does the problem wax and wane or is it always bad now?

Doctor-Bob :

are you still there? we could discuss suggestions.

Customer:

it is always bad now, non stop problem, if I don't take a laxitive I don't think I will ever go.

Doctor-Bob :

what laxative works the best for you?

Customer:

the one that works the beat is ducolox, but causes pain.

Doctor-Bob :

that makes sense as it is a stimulant of the nerves in the colon. do you use it every day?

Customer:

no just went i haven gone for a week

Doctor-Bob :

once a week is much better than every day as there is much less of a risk of becoming totally dependent on it. haveyou tried metamucil or other fiber laxatives. they provide bulk that helps to stretch the colon wall and "wake up" the nerves supplying the muscles there

Customer:

yes

Doctor-Bob :

i would use a fiber supplement every day (no worry about dependence) and then alternate other laxatives. if you can get on a regular schedule of bowel movements using laxatives (e.g. BM every morning) then sometimes you can train the bowel to empty without the laxatives. have you tried this?

Customer:

yes

Doctor-Bob :

sounds like you have tried a lot of things but to no avail. have you seen a gastroenterologist?

Customer:

yes

Doctor-Bob :

another thing you could try is a medicine called bethanecol. Have you tried this/

Customer:

no

Doctor-Bob :

It is a medicine that stimulates the receptors in the muscles of the colon wall. it stimulates contractions that propulse the food down the tube. it is sometimes used in case of colon shutdown when there is no obstruction (such as in your case). ask your doc or the specialist if they think you would be a good candidate for this approach. it could help you to put away the laxatives for good.


 

Customer:

ok, thank you for your opinion.

Doctor-Bob :

you're welcome. i hope this helps you.

Doctor-Bob :

if you have any follow up questions please let me know. if not, please "accept" my answer so I get credit for my time and expertise. I appreciate it!

Doctor-Bob :

Hello. I have not heard back from you so I wasn't sure if you had any follow up questions. Did I answer all your questions?

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