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Bowel problems after appendectomy (Page 1)

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My 21 year old son had an appendectomy two months ago. He has had bowel problems since the day following surgery. The first couple of weeks his surgeon thought it was due to the antibiotics in the hospital. However, it has continued since then. He has had a constant urge to defecate and has had bowel movements three - four times a day. Prior to appendectomy, he didn't have this problem. The surgeon, who is older and experienced, and said he has done appendectomies about a thousand times, referred him to a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist couldn't pinpoint it, but thought it might be irritable bowel syndrome, triggered by stress. He recommended books about reducing stress... He is prone to nervousness, and a nervous stomach, but this bowel problem surfaced only after surgery. It has become a nuisance, as well as an embarrassment for him and he's becoming somewhat depressed over it. He is a college student and this problem gets in the way of school and his social life. Does anyone know if an appendectomy can trigger irritable bowel syndrome, or a bowel problem? If so, is there anything he can do to overcome this situation? Will it ever go away?
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First Helper emeraldg
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Users who thank emeraldg for this post: mumwithheadache 

replied February 4th, 2009
similar
hello,
I had an appendectomy in the 7th grade I am 20 now, since then my bowel movements have been loose 100% of the time, not sure if this is the same thing, but I would like to know if this is the same thing. I go to the bathroom one time in the morning which seems like it empties my bowels .
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replied February 6th, 2009
bowel problems post appendectomy
Thanks for your reply -- how do you handle the situation? Did you go back to the surgeon who performed the surgery or see a gastroenterologist when it first stated? Did they give any advice?
His is also mostly a morning problem, but a bathroom urge can happen suddenly, anytime during the day, especially bad after a meal, where he has to find a bathroom asap. He has seen a couple of gastro doctors and no one can figure it out. I've read online that calcium or Caltrate can slow things down -- have you ever tried that or anything that has helped? (You are the only person so far that has replied with a similar problem after an appendectomy...must be rare, but obviously DOES happen) The medical world has disappointed us greatly.
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replied February 26th, 2009
similar issues
I've had an appendectomy in the beginning of January (I'm 27). I've always had "some" issues with my stomac and bowels due to hormonal issues, but never anything serious enough to interfere with my social life.

But now my digestion has completely changed. If I do not drink 2 liters of water a day, I will not be able to go "number2" the next day or little will come out in several tries and it will indeed feel just like you described: as if I "have to go" all the time. (if I do drink 2l/water/day the next day "to compensate" the annoying "having to go feeling", the day after, I will have to go more than once in the morning, and it will come on very sudden and will be extremely urgent...)

When I do stick to this regime of drinking the water DAILY however, my bowels react the same way as Piercec2's: I have to go once after I get up and it really does feel like it empties your bowels completely. Again it's the same deal: once the urge is there in the morning, I really do HAVE to go and it will be very, very urgent. If there's no toilet in the imediate fecinity, I will get serious cramps and will break out sweating and such, not enjoyable at all. I've remedied this by starting my morning by eating a little yoghurt, that tends to "activate" it all so I can go when I'm still at home. Smile

The only "reason" for this that I can come up with is the following: food remains in the appendix and "rests" there for a while, this will create certain bacteria that help the bowels digest their food better (they are the same bacteria that make the food "rot" and inflame your appendix when food get's stuck there too long...), when the appendix is gone, less of these bacteria will be created in your bowels and hence your digestion will not go "as smoothly" any more.

I've also noticed that I have an urge to eat "more" than I did before and a slight tendency to "over eat" myself, perhaps less nutrients get absorbed in the system of a person that has had an appendectomy as well. This would also explain the "looser" bowel movements that piercec2 described and that I also have since the operation. When faeces look like that, it usually means not all the nutrients have been taken out yet and they were passed out of the system too quickly.

This is why I also started drinking "sports" drinks in between and take extra vitamins (water solvable ones) now. I've just started this, so I can't say a lot about it yet, it does help somewhat, but I hope it will keep on improving and the cravings and over eating end. Smile

So my suggestions:
1. drink at least 2 liters of water spread out through the day on a DAILY basis (buy yourself a convenient bottle you can take a long and refill. I use 1 liter bottles and I also use the "brita" filters so I can filter the water from the tap, coz drinking store-bought bottled water all the time can get really expensive when you drink 2l a day
2. before you "get out of your home", eat something that will activate your bowels (yoghurt, a banana, something with fibers, etc) so you can go before you leave
3. not sure about this yet, but I'll add it anyway: try adding some water solvable vitamins to your diet and drink "sports" drinks on top of your water to help your body get what it needs

I hope this will help your son a little and you guys can stop going to doctors since I believe it's just a matter of getting used to this new state of his body and finding a way to make it work.

I also use jin shin jyutsu hand holds on my body when I get cramps (have also been very disapointed by medical world, hence I've been looking for alternatives for over 3 years now, some work, some don't Smile JinShin defenately does for me.) Putting both your hands in your loins calms down your stomac (easely done by putting hands in pockets Smile ).

Mary Burmeister is the "source" to go to when it comes to english books, I don't own any of her books, but have looked into quite a few of them at a friends house and they looked very good as well (I only picked the german one coz it's so tiny and I can take it along) :
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replied February 27th, 2009
removed links
All the links I added in the previous post to make your life a bit easier, were removed, because they were seen as "advertising". Sad I'll try to give you the info needed here without linking to any commercial sites. Hopefully doing it this way is not seen as an infringement upon the rules, because it's certainly not my intention to "advertise", I just wanted to be helpful and I can only do that by telling you what I use myself...

1. If you want to know about the Brita Filters, just type "brita filter" into google, the first link is most likely the right one. There's probably other waterfiltering systems out there, I just give you this brand, coz it's the only one I know and I wanted to give you a general idea about what kind of "waterfilter" I was talking about. (the compact kind that you just fill under the tap, easy for taking to college and having in your dorm room...) By no means do I mean that you should go out and buy one of these specific filters, it's just that I live in Europe and they're easiest to get here. Maybe you could look around to find other brands where you live. Smile
2. The books about JinShinJyutsu I'd recommend have the following titles (again, I give you these two because I KNOW these two, they were interesting to me coz they're both quite cheap and have a lot of info on the subject - I'm sure you can find them in several online bookstores - as I am sure you'll probably find other books by other authors as well that you might find more interesting, so I do suggest doing some research yourself, but I'll give you these two nonetheless):
A. The german one: "Jin Shin Jyutsu: Einfache Anwendung Zur Selbsthilfe" by Waltraud Riegger-Krause
B. The english one: "The Touch of Healing: Energizing the Body, Mind, and Spirit With Jin Shin Jyutsu" by Alice Burmeister

Pfoew, that was hard to write. Tiptoe'ing around to make sure I give you useful info without breaking any rules. giggle Hehehehe, Anyway, I hope this helped a bit as well.

Good luck !
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replied March 3rd, 2009
THANKS!
Your reply is GREATLY appreciated and helps a great deal. I'm so glad SOMEONE understands that an appendectomy can really interfere with the digestive system. I don't think physicians want to admit it. Anyhow, got all the info, even before it was removed, much appreciated!
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replied May 26th, 2013
Sorry I left this out of my comment below, but Gatorade has been a life saver. I drink 3 liters of water and a few bottles of gatorade a day and then I'm somewhat ok.
I have to keep gatorade with me always because when the IBs starts up and I get bad headaches too but a nurse told me because my body is too weak from not being able to absorb the nutrients from food. If I stay hydrated and keep a sports drink handy, then I can carry on at work fine. My work is very physical too so I'm looking into an office job.
Another thing that helped when things got really bad was taking detox baths because they help my stomach for a few days.
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replied April 20th, 2009
Bowel problems after appendectomy
I had an emergency appendectomy almost 6 weeks ago. I think the appendix had been leaking and poisening me for several months. Since the surgery I have had terrible cramping like IBS. Medical doctors are not listening to me or taking my pain seriously. I have not had a solid bowel movement or of the correct color since the surgery. I am chewing Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice (DGL) before I eat and taking lots of acidolphius. I think it is helping, but everytime I eat I am in paid within an hour. I believe the antibiotics killed all of the bacteria in my colon. The appendix's job is to replenish the good bacteria and now it's gone. Please try to but good bacteria into your digestive system. I hope I dont have this problem now for the rest of my life.
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replied May 26th, 2013
Thanks, I had surgery in January and found out from friends that my IBS is a side effect from it.
It is May now and my digestive system is still messed up. Every time I eat my stomach get's really loud with grumbling and you can hear it across the room, this is apart from the IBS symptoms. I drink water all day to keep the stomach issues to the minimum. Also I feel dehydrated all the time and my skin is breaking out. Eating is now painful so I get by on snacks and sleep is only in spurts. I heard from others that the sleep issue is also a side effect along with the digestion issues. If I sleep I wake up continually all through the night because my body will not fully rest.
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replied April 26th, 2009
Well, having an appendectomy CAN create a bowel problem. Maybe it's rare, but it does occur. I'm still not 100% sure what causes the frequent bowel movement urges, but it must have something to do with the function of the appendix (all doctors we've talked to deny this, though). I suppose taking probiotics can possibly help, it's certainly worth trying, although they haven't helped for us. I wish the MDs would take the problem seriously, but unfortunately because post surgery problems seem to be rare after this type of surgery, they just don't care.
Keep up the probiotics, especially, and please post to let me know if they've helped and if they do, what kind you've been taking. Wish you the best.
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replied April 27th, 2009
thanks for your reply
I now find that the acidolphius was not enough. I always take acidolphius after taking antibiotics. I was sure that the antibiotics after surgery and the pain meds had caused my bowel problems. A chiropractor recommended whole leaf aloe vera juice. I believe that has helped more than anything. I am far from being completey well, but I am not having the painful cramping now for several days. Thank you for your reply. I hope your son is better.
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replied May 4th, 2009
Emerald G
EmeraldG i can sympathise with your son as I had my ruptured appendix removed 3weeks ago and am also having embarrassing moments even after just a drink. It is also affecting me socially, not as in going out(i couldnt even stand for 5mins at the mo let alone have a social life) just the school run is enough. I can choose to drink and risk it or drink/eat and regret it, but as i have low blood pressure i need to eat or I shake and feel dizzy so more than often risk it depending on my shakyness.
The symptoms are more severe than my normal IBS which depended on certain foods, but if our bodies can not tolorate even liquid something is wrong. It has made me feel a little better to know others have had this after surgery though, i was feeling a bit of a wuss. I will be trying to see my gp in the morning to discuss this and will share with you what is said.
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replied May 11th, 2009
Emeraldg
i have just returned from my doctor and she was very sympathetic and said you do not have to put up with this. She has requested urine, faeces samples and a blood test. It could possibly be due to infection. She also gave me some stronger IBS tablets which may relieve the symptoms.

I did take a little longer to go to the doctors thinking 'oh its normal' after the op, but she said a month later it is not normal. So all i can suggest is go back to the doctors and insist they take your son seriously.
Good luck.
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replied May 17th, 2009
My husband had an appendectomy about 4 weeks ago and since then has had problems.he is getting a pain at the top of his stomach in the middle .this gradually gets worse til he opens his bowels ,which is watery diarrhoea ,which eases the pain and then it gradually builds up again.He his havinbg about 6 episodes of diahhorea a day.Then the problem will didappear for a few days,then come back again.He has been readmotted to hospital and they did an ultrasound scan loads of blood tests,urine tests and stool sample but can't find anything wrong.It is no joke he is self employed and he can't work at all, we have got absolutely no money coming in and 4 children to support.
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replied May 17th, 2009
katiestars
My tests came back clear to, she gave me imodium and peppermint oil capsules on Fri and so far, fingers crossed, ive been fine since. I have to call her monday to say whether its worked and wwhat to do next.

You can buy both over the counter.
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replied May 28th, 2009
I had an appendectomy on April 12th and ever since I have also been having "loose stools" and the urge to go comes on sudden and urgent like a bad case of diarrhea. I had thought this was due to the surgery, but it kept on happening. I had IBS before my surgery and I was always a bit constipated, but now I'm wondering if appendicitis and IBS are somehow related. I have also found nothing about this in the medical literature, but obviously there are effects to appendectomies!!
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replied May 31st, 2009
Bowel movement problems after appendectomy
It's been only 10 days since I had an emergency appendectomy and my bowels have not been regular yet. I've used everything--stool softeners, enemas, and Miralax, and I've only had two "somewhat near normal" movements, the rest have been loose. I did have IV antibiotics and only used two Vicodin for pain the day after. I've been on Tylenol and Advil for pain now and the doctor said that they would not constipate me. I am very concerned because I have never had a problem before this. I have been hungry and have been eating pretty healthily, except for treating myself to occasional ice cream and cookies, which I feel I deserve! The doctor told me to use Miralax 3 to 4 times a day, but I wonder if this is good or not. I'm a true believer in a more natural treatment and will start eating more yogurt to add back the good bacteria.
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replied April 23rd, 2012
recovery from a ruptured, gangrene appendix
I had my appendix out 6 weeks ago now, they were ruptured and gangrene, and had a small hole leaking poison into my system.
The thing I found the BEST for bowel movements was drinking fresh juice.
If you have a juice extractor, make carrot, celery (with green tops ) parsley, and apples. You can mix up whatever you want, look up recipes and find something to cleanse your system, it really helped me alot.
I allergic to alot of antibiotics which was probably good for me as alot of them do cause constipation,
prune juice is also helpful and things like metamusal. anyway hope this helps.
I`m still not back to normal but have been told it takes time.
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replied June 10th, 2009
I had my appendix out 5 years ago now, and never suffered with IBS before then, And now, 5 years on i am suffering with it. All the usual syptoms. Its depressing, cant live like i used too. Im scared to go out, in case i get an attack. There must be something to help us out. I take Activia, which does actually help me alot. Also, yakult is meant to be good.
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replied March 8th, 2012
Wow. I had my appendix out 5 years ago also and never had an issue before then. I have the same symptoms people have listed. I don't know what to do. It seems like bread is the only thing that doesn't scare me to eat. Its embarrassing and depressing.
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replied July 6th, 2009
I am so glad to find people who suffer with the same symptoms. I never thought that a ruptured appendix could create such terrible digestive problems. I myself had a ruptured appendix when i was 11, i am now 27 have severe IBS symptoms. Afraid to eat out or even go to work in fear that i will be running for the bathroom, and praying that i make it. Thank you for the suggestions on controlling the symptoms.
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replied July 6th, 2009
I know, its horrible aint it. Just, be carefull what u eat, and when u eat. YOu obviously have more experience than me on this. I wish sum how we cud cure it.
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replied July 8th, 2009
I had an emergency appendectomy on June 24 and have been having the same symptoms although I have had IBS in the past. I feel that my appendix also had been leaking for months now as I had been gaining 1 lb. a week since March along with other problems. Hopefully things will smooth out. Mine isn't horrible, just having 6 or 7 bm's a day, all loose. Try to stay away from milk products as they will aggravate the problem.
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replied July 10th, 2009
I had my appendix out six weeks ago and for the first two weeks had terrible constipation but now everything is back to normal. It seems that everyone has a different reaction to having their appendix out. Having the "RUNS" is something l only had when my appendix started to give me problems.My friend is a surgeon at the LONDON hospital and he explained to me that the appendix serves no purpose at all to the body just like tonsils.For those with bowl problems l would suggest trying two things that would help their bowl problem after an operation firstly drink at least a glass full of pure "CRANBERRIE" juice and also eat pure "YOGURT" daily as these two items attack and clear out harmful bacteria in the stomach and bladder which may cause the "RUNS". Hope this advice is helpful.
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replied August 12th, 2011
Actually, both organs you mention are part of the immune system. Hence, the reason for the need for removal due to chronic/acute inflammation. They play just a minor role (as far as we know) in disease suppression leading to required removal in some cases. FYI- 70% of the immune system is believed to be in the digestive tract. I still question this observation but it would make sense. It is the most common avenue disease gains access to the body.
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