Chronic Small Bowel Obstruction

Posted by judibutter @judibutter, Mon, Feb 25 9:50am

Hi, I am new to this group. Last year I was admitted twice for small bowel obstruction having to have NG tube twice. I had an UGI series with small bowel follow through. Barium didn't come through for over 24 hours. I was never given a reason for the blockage. A month after that I had a totally non functioning gall bladder requiring surgery. I continue to have issues with bloating, pain, terrible gas and flatus. I have small pellet like stools and an hour later a normal bowel movement. I feel very over full many times after a meal and am unable to eat the next meal. I find there is nothing that has helped me. I have done the high fiber diet, no help. I have done the low fiber diet no help. Liquids do seem to help sometimes. I assume my problems stem from past abdominal surgeries, appendix, total abdominal hysterectomy and now the gall bladder. I have had no help from my physicians and the symptoms are beginning to impact my quality of life. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I know there are others much more qualified to answer this other than me, but my mother has been experiencing the same things. She has found that staying on a soft diet helps, but she has also greatly increased her "water" intake and established a routine of walking more. She has an colostomy so that causes her other issues, but in drinking 60 ounces of just water a day, cutting out carbonated drinks and eating more frequent small meals, she has been able to manage her obstructions at home. I am sorry you aren't getting the answers you need. We went to 3 different hospitals before we found someone who actually took an interest in her case and provided us with information.

Thank you for your reply. I know I need to do better with water intake but I do not drink soft drinks already, maybe once a month or so only. I try to walk 2 to 3 miles each day but have been limited lately because of chest pain on exertion. I think I will try a total fast for 24 hours then start a soft diet of just a couple of things for a week. Then, I will introduce other food items one at a time. I can’t think of anything else to do. Again, thank you for taking the time to answer me.

Hello @judibutter

I am pleased that you posted this concern. We have had many members on Connect who have posted about this problem. I would like to invite @thull and @nancybev who have had experiences similar to yours and might be able to offer you some suggestions. Do you see a gastroenterologist?

@hopeful33250

Hello @judibutter

I am pleased that you posted this concern. We have had many members on Connect who have posted about this problem. I would like to invite @thull and @nancybev who have had experiences similar to yours and might be able to offer you some suggestions. Do you see a gastroenterologist?

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When my small bowel obstruction was total, they did the NG tube and finally had to put me on TPN because I was basically starving and needed nutrition. Once some stuff started getting through, I was on the TPN until I could handle enough calories to maintain my weight. My obstruction was due to adhesions from my colostomy reversal surgery. Liquids are great….I like high protein Boost and Boost Breeze which is clear. Important to get calories and protein. Low residue diet, which is very low fiber. Nothing over 1 gram of fiber per serving. To me, the liquids are my safe space. I know those feed me and get through.
Slow baby steps are best . Add things gradually and in small amounts. Like a couple bites of scrambled eggs, a few bites of applesauce or pudding. See how it feels.
I am heading back into Mayo this Friday to have an outpatient procedure on my incision scar.
I hope some of my suggestions help

@judibutter

Thank you for your reply. I know I need to do better with water intake but I do not drink soft drinks already, maybe once a month or so only. I try to walk 2 to 3 miles each day but have been limited lately because of chest pain on exertion. I think I will try a total fast for 24 hours then start a soft diet of just a couple of things for a week. Then, I will introduce other food items one at a time. I can’t think of anything else to do. Again, thank you for taking the time to answer me.

Jump to this post

Hello @judibutter

I encourage you to read the suggestions by @thull. She has experienced a lot of these problems in the past.

Some other suggestions are to try some stretching exercises after eating. Such as stretching your arms up in the air and to the sides. Also, stomach massage can often help the digestive process. Here are some Youtube videos about exercises for digestive problems,
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=exercises+for+gastroparesis

I look forward to hearing how you are doing. Will you post again?

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