Diarrhea and weight loss after small bowel resection

Posted by lrobertrn @lrobertrn, May 24 2:52pm

My son suffered abdominal trauma that required small bowel resection 3 weeks ago. This was his 4th abdominal surgery over the course of several years. However, ever since surgery he has had nothing but diarrhea and continued weight loss (nearly 25 lbs) on his already lean build. Now he appears so emaciated and weak. Every time he tries to introduce a regular diet he starts to have severe pain. He returned to the hospital for a week due to pain. Had a couple CT’s, restricted diet of npo, to clears to full liquids to regular then back again multiple times each with the same result. An exploratory lap was performed to rule out partial obstruction or necrosis of bowel in which neither were formed. He has now been restricted to full liquids for an extended time and was released from the hospital yesterday. There was little to no instruction regarding his diet or nutrition. We would love some guidance on the best diet to help ensure he is receiving the best nutrition to heal and help him gain some weight back.

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Did you son receive an ileostomy? If not please talk with your GI and surgeon about the idea of getting an ileostomy to rest his intestines. As far as a diet, please locate a dietitian to discuss the meterrian diet for the small Bowel intestine. My husband went through this, he didn't want to keep the ileostomy. I am not sure if he would have lived if he had kept his ileostomy but it would have given him a chance to rest his intestines. My husband passed away June 1, 2019, from complications of Crohn's disease that turned into Small Bowel Cancer. Trust me. Also, please contact AGA and NIH. God bless you and your son.

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@4200wishyouwerehere

Did you son receive an ileostomy? If not please talk with your GI and surgeon about the idea of getting an ileostomy to rest his intestines. As far as a diet, please locate a dietitian to discuss the meterrian diet for the small Bowel intestine. My husband went through this, he didn't want to keep the ileostomy. I am not sure if he would have lived if he had kept his ileostomy but it would have given him a chance to rest his intestines. My husband passed away June 1, 2019, from complications of Crohn's disease that turned into Small Bowel Cancer. Trust me. Also, please contact AGA and NIH. God bless you and your son.

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I think you mea “Mediterranean” diet, right?

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My husband, now 80, has had 3 small bowel resections over the last 20 years. His last 6 months ago was because of ongoing ER & hospital visits for severe pain. The last sent him into surgery because the adhesions from previous surgeries were causing blockages when he ate solids. Adhesions happen with almost any abdominal surgery (which we had never heard about until a year ago.)
He's much better now despite a recent bout with c diff. He's on Creon now bc he tested as having exocrine pancreatic insufficiency which makes digesting food properly, hence no weight gain.
I don't know if any of this applies to your son but I bet he has a lot of adhesions!

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"…which makes digesting food properly difficult"

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Hi @lrobertrn and welcome to Connect. I thought you would like some articles with some great information to share with your son.
"Short bowel syndrome (SBS) occurs when the small intestine ceases to function properly due to trauma, disease activity, or when too much of it …" — Short Bowel Syndrome: https://badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/short-bowel-syndrome/
Open Bowel Resection: What to Expect at Home: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx
25 pounds in 3 week is extreme! What did his doctors have to say about that?

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Thank you so much for the article. Sounds like many of the symptoms he is experiencing. We have a follow up with a pcp on Friday so I’ll be sure to discuss with them.

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