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Tue, Jan 15 4:00pm · Gastrectomy and bile reflux in Digestive Health

Sorry to hear about your challenges. In a quick response to the issue of "wind", I did get a simple resolution-BUT, please be sure to ask your physician first to determine if this is all right. I use an over the counter chewable pill called Devrom. It is bismuth subgallate. I was told this was the same as Pepto Bismol- not so much. I found immediate relief of the smelly part; it does not control gas- that is some other digestive function. I get it online via amazon and it is very affordable. There are several variants of the bismuth subgallate, but I find that Devrom works best for me and choose to leave well enough alone!!
I also get the chewable version as it seems to work with all the other digestive complexities from my gastrectomy.
I have a sub-total gastrectomy, which means almost the entire stomach was removed as a result of two failed surgeries to correct acid reflux- I can give more detail about this but my surgery was not for weight loss, however it did certainly result in weight loss.
The gurgling I found to occur was very prominent early after my surgery– was not the old "stomach growling" (no stomach!) but longer in duration, and certainly louder. I had to share with friends, colleagues, supervisors etc that it was an artifact of the surgery and not a call for food. I do need to exercise care about "slippage" and choose to excuse myself from an area just in case. I learned that since the stomach completes a major part of digestion as a result I do have some amount of undigested food getting through. Just needing to slow down, way down, the eating/chewing processes.

In terms of Devrom usage, I take three per day, one in the morning before breakfast, one around lunch time and one usually after dinner. That's the good part-staying on this routine has all but cleared up the smell. However, if I miss one, game over. I do not double dose- just get back to the schedule ASAP. To that end, I always carry pills with me- and I usually carry 3 or 4- why? Because I cannot afford to lose one or drop one is a bad place- redundancy x 2!
And the last place I want to be unpopular is in an airplane as I travel quite a bit.

I have been so pleased with the results of Devrom I am glad I found it- I always order 2 bottles at a time so I am never without.
What long answer to your question- I hope this helps.
My only other caution: I had some dental work done and the dentists gave me an antibiotic that I later found our I did not need (no aspersions on the dentist). The antibiotic pretty much destroyed the little gut bacteria I had and the odor was magnified beyond belief- needed to get some serious doses of probiotics and these corrected everything- these were very short term. I no longer take those.

Best to you- wish I had known some this before my gastrectomy, however can't rewrite history- I am happy to share my experiences with others so they may not have the same challenges–no stomach is challenge enough! As aways, keep a sense of humor- it does help in some odd way.

Aug 21, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

Hi travelgirl
yes there was an immediate check post surgery; however I had to be most assertive to get the one year recheck–which apparently was also clear. Was told I needed one every year for three years, and then if clear,I could go the 5 year plan. My second year recheck was problematic–you can read that in some other posts–advice to all as was drilled into me–be your own advocate!! Make your expectations known–not your wishes, not your hopes, your expectations. Doctors are people- they certainly deserve respect, but they work for me not the other way around. I "fired" my latest GI–was told he did not talk to patients after procedures…..OK- I wont be on your patient list any longer…and I will be sure to tell any others my story. Best to you,
bill

Aug 21, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

Hi Suemer,
First — free advice –free to give and free to take! Above all stay in touch with your physician!! Advice here is to tell you what I had done, but this must be considered in the bigger picture with your physician.
I did the rounds of probiotics–the strongest ones available and then some follow up maintenance. Maybe about 4 weeks–not too hard. Also am taking 3x day cholostyramine packet (Rx) and metamucil in about 8 oz water. Works when I do all three – miss one and trouble begins. In general staying away from red meat; eating as much organic as available–lot of variation in organic. Have been intrigued with the plant based diet trend. Am not trying to be considered one the "V" word folks- best to you and your mom!!!
bill

Aug 20, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

Hello blue sky
I spoke with primary care and did considerable research on the cologuard tesf. Test has false positives and negatives ; is used for those without history of col cancer
Will still do one in one year- not much confidence either way. Have asked primary care to please move forward with referral to Mayo Clinic for further review .
Three preps yielded same results and discomfort – options were limited ; have faith that Mayo crew will be able to help us narrow questions
Take care

Aug 1, 2018 · Dietary Changes Before and After Colon Cancer in Colorectal Cancer

I did change somewhat- much less red meat; more plant based diet. Eat chicken some and some fish. What I notice is that processed Foods are like huge Circle K of eating- VERY convenient but very costly. It takes time to prepare a good plant based diet and meals. Just finished my second year post resection and after 3 poor preps for the colonoscopy they kind of gave up- said come back next year- you are probably OK- hmmm. Not sure why preps were so poor- did them by the book. Will be asking my primary care doc for referral for work up with Mayo. I am 67 and very active – I want and need answers. Bill

May 23, 2018 · I recently failed two preps for a colonoscopy in Digestive Health

Good morning,Teresa,

the prep was listed as "fair"- did not completely evacuate; enough was done though as he found a 6mm polyp and removed it. Doc said OK for 3 more years. My simple math suggests that a growth of 6mm in one year (previous colo was clear) would mean a potential for an 18mm growth in 3 years–assumes another polyp and equal growth rate for 3 years. That would be about 3/4" and that is too big for me!! I will be following with my primary next week- since the prep this time was only listed as "fair", and previous 2 colos (within the past month!) did not apparently show the 6mm growth, I have questions. The prep is annoying; the alternative seems unacceptable-this most recent 7 day prep and marginal result will put me in the research mode to find out what else can be done to be more certain. Hard to imagine that I am so unique with a significant colon resection and am the only one with prep challenges. I will stay in touch with this wonderful site, and share everything I learn!
to all, my best
Bill

May 22, 2018 · preparation failure for multiple colonoscopies in Colorectal Cancer

Next colo set for 3 years; however will work with primary care with more questions: if the polyp was 6mm after one year (my last full colo was clean!), in 3 years that could be 18mm or almost 3/4 "–if my math metrics are right- not sure that 3 years is in my plan but will see what the primary says.
thank for your kind words; best to you.
bill

May 22, 2018 · preparation failure for multiple colonoscopies in Colorectal Cancer

Tuesday 5.22.18; 2:47 PM Procedure went as well as could be expected. the prep was listed as "fair"; had not completely emptied. However did find another polyp and removed it. Will see if any pathology comes back.
Finally the GI do allowed that since I had a gastrectomy with roun-y (spelling?) and resection of a significant portion of the colon, preps will be complicated.–I will know for next time.
Someone asked if the prep was compromised due to nausea from drinking the "kool-aid"– no, drank it all! Guess mine will be a plumbing issue from now on, but at least I will know in advance for next time. Thank for the comments!
bill