It’s been almost 3 years since I finished radiation and chemo.
Still having urgent bowel movements, Diarrhea, and just that so tired I can’t move times.
Seems to be getting worse.
Anyone have any ideas how to handle this? I’m hating now getting out because Sometimes I don’t have control over bowels.
Exercise advice, I do try to walk a couple miles on days I have the energy.
Thank you for your suggestions
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@redbird8857 This sounds just awful and must have a huge effect on your life. Walking a couple of miles a day is great and is a good form of exercise but you must be struggling to do this regularly given the diarrhea and fatique.
I had pelvic radiation (external beam and brachytherapy) for uterine cancer last year. I've been working with an Integrative Health physician and following her suggestions for dietary changes. Until I began those dietary changes my bowel movements were pretty normal. Now I have softer and more frequent bowels movements and occasional diarrhea that I'm pretty sure are related to my change in diet. I'm sharing my symptoms with you and wondering if you've changed your diet.
May I ask what kind of cancer you were treated for? I am asking because then I can figure out which group of members I can call upon to help to support you.
When is your next appointment with your oncologist?
I am on 7 years of Remission from Stage 3 Uterine Cancer. I also had 3 abdominal surgeries (partial hysterectomy, full hysterectomy, and abdominal hernia repair and mesh).
I have, in these 7 years, experienced moments of food not going through my digestive track fully and end up with huge bouts of all-night vomiting and nausea. The only way I can stop these bouts is going to ER and getting Nausea and Pain meds via IV. It is awful!
After several years, I finally came to understand about Radiation Enteritis (my doctors all pointed these issues towards bowel obstruction, which is never the case because I have bowel movements and can tolerate food after 24 hours).
As far as my diet, I took a Food Sensitivity Test and found many foods I can't have and have since taken them out of my diet.
I am SO fascinated that you mentioned an Integrative Health Physician! How do you like it and do you feel that it has helped with your bowel movement issues and overall Gut Health?
I would love your insight! Thank you!
@shortylori83 I've been seeing Dr. Stacey D'André at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Her background is oncology so in that respect she is the perfect Integrative Medicine physician for me. I've seen her twice. The first time we talked at length about my endometrial cancer first diagnosed in 2019 as Stage 1a and then a recurrence in 2021 that really shook me. Dr. D'André suggested lab tests in addition to my usual annual labs – she added A1C for instance to check for pre-diabetes (I don't have it). The primary recommendations were around food. I was already moving toward a plant-based diet but still consuming added sugars. That's been the hardest for me but I'm getting there. Based on research for breast cancer (there is almost none in diet for uterine cancers) she suggested I eat mushrooms – any kind – more often and add a mushroom powder to smoothies or coffee. As moved more toward the diet she recommended I experienced more bowel movements and looser bowel movements. Very confusing because I thought it was radiation-related. But I realized later that my body is adjusting and I was eating TOO MUCH (if that's possible) of my favorite vegetable, broccoli, several days a week. I was already getting regular massages which she recommended and she also recommended acupuncture for my ongoing lower back pain that is osteoarthritis. I was already weight training 2 hours a week and needed to add in more aerobic exercise. So, all of this is presumably preventive for future cancer.
I have really appreciated working with Dr. D'André. I'll be seeing a nurse practitioner from her staff when I return to Mayo in April for my cancer surveillance visit.
In answer to your question – I like working with Integrative Medicine. They are evidenced-based in their practice and so recommendations are based on research and science. That's important to me.
Is there an Integrative Medicine or Health Physician you can make an appointment with? Your ongoing gut problems must be so difficult for you that I hope finding a good physician will improve your quality of life in that regard.
Hi I still have bowel urgency daily since radiation & that's 30yrs ago! I'm sorry to say it's never improved, so have been constantly exhausted since day dot. I was prescribed daily codeine to help with internal burning pain & diarrhea. It is the only thing that gives a little relief also had to change diet. So I suggest a dietician to get an eating plan. Maybe a start. All the best, regards Donna from Australia
Hi pardon my ignorance but what is an Integrative Health Physician?? I live in Australia & never heard of this. Also am a sufferer, have recently posted replys to above . Thankyou Donna Australia
I feel your pain. I had cervical cancer that spread to my bladder and had to have radiation in my pelvic area. Now, several years later I suffer from diarrhea, urgency and pain. I get bowel blockages and I’m scared to eat or even leave my house for fear of pooping my pants. I’m at a loss in what to do and I’m also seeking answers or suggestions.
Hi @dor64, you were asking about integrative medicine.
"ntegrative medicine uses an evidence-based approach to treat the whole person — your mind, body and soul. Your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs are all involved, so integrative medicine uses a combination of therapies. It “integrates” conventional approaches and complementary therapies to achieve optimal health and healing."
More and more cancer centers include integrative medicine in cancer care. Here's more information about integrative medicine and cancer care at Mayo for example:
– Integrative medicine https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/complementary-alternative-medicine/about/pac-20393581
I see integrative medicine is making a foothold in Australia too. See this website where you can also find pratictioner of integrative medicine.
– Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA) https://www.aima.net.au/about/