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Aug 14, 2019 · Tips for managing chronic Small Bowel Obstructions in Digestive Health

I'm sorry you're going through this too! Just a word of warning/advice. A few years ago a laparoscopic surgeon assured me that he could remove my adhesions so that the SBO's would stop. I will try just about anything except for that Clear Passage thing (which sounds to me like a scam), so I went ahead with the surgery. It broke my heart when I had several SBO's after that!
So I would ask a LOT of questions–how likely would the colostomy bag be (that would be awful), and do they really think that they can remove ALL of the adhesions? The other thing to consider is that from what I understand surgery to remove scar tissue can sometimes cause MORE scar tissue, especially if they end up having to do open (instead of laparoscopic) surgery–and sometimes they don't know if they will have to do that until they've already "gone in."
I'm not saying that you shouldn't consider it, but ask a lot of specific questions about efficacy versus risk.
Good luck, and keep us posted!

Aug 9, 2019 · Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions in Digestive Health

Oh–and yeah–for me I think it WILL be forever. But it's SO worth it for the peace of mind of knowing that if/when I get another obstruction, it might not be nearly as bad. When I think I feel that one might be coming on, I also get up and walk briskly around and stretch backwards and forwards. I figure it just might help whatever is closing/sticking together to open back up again.
Fortunately, there's a lot more to life than food. And a glass of wine here and there should go down pretty easily. 🙂

Aug 9, 2019 · Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions in Digestive Health

I feel for you both, and can relate!
I think I've finally realized that the problem is more mechanical than anything else, and that it matters less WHAT I eat than what form it's in. I hardly eat during the day, and when I do eat I try to stick with things that could get through a small straw. So I've become the Smoothie Queen!
You can buy good pre-made smoothies, but they're expensive. So I have a bunch of ingredients on hand to run through the blender. I'm going to list them here if it helps; pretty much any combination tastes good and is healthy:
–milk (cow, soy, oat, almond, etc.–they all have different nutrients)

–protein powder–I prefer whey, because it makes things creamier

–Greek yogurt


–frozen berries of all kinds

–peanut butter

–kale and or spinach (you hardly taste them when they're blended with the other stuff)

–canned coconut cream (yummy!)

–rolled oats and flax meal

–firm tofu

–carrot, prune, and other juices

That's all I can think of for now. I'm a vegetarian (not vegan), so that helps. And, not to be gross (but I think the people here will understand!), I keep in mind how various things would taste coming back up again…so meat and seafood would be out anyway. 😱😱

Aug 6, 2019 · Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions in Digestive Health

Hi, and welcome, and I'm SO sorry about your experience! Was that your first bowel obstruction, and do you know what caused it? I assume that it was partial if they didn't operate on it, but given what happened with your heart I'm sure the situation was very complicated (and scary!).
I've had 30+ partial obstructions in my life. This is NOT meant as medical advice, because I know the tube can be very helpful and perhaps life-saving sometimes, but I've always refused them because I've heard how awful the insertion is, and so far I've been lucky because my obstructions usually resolve on their own in about 12-24 hours (but they are horribly painful!).
I now mostly live on very healthy smoothies, soups, juices, and easy-to-digest foods–just in case. I know that if/when I have an obstruction, that will make the whole episode much easier to deal with.
Talk to your Gastro doctor, but don't expect him to have any real solutions. Generally they will just tell you to get to the ER (and they should) if you start getting another one, but no one seems to know how to prevent them.
Read through the posts on this thread about diet strategies, etc., that we've all tried.
I wish you all the best!

Apr 6, 2019 · Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions in Digestive Health

@bentley33 , I'm so sorry. I've said it many times before, but it's so frustrating that cures have been found for so many things but no one has a clue about sbo's. And it makes me really mad that anyone would try to take advantage of that with snake oil cures that cost a fortune.
May I ask what your specific symptoms are? As I said, I've only had (many) acute episodes, but I can't imagine how anyone could survive that for more than a day or two (especially if you have a child to care for).
The only thing I've come up with on my own (and does seem to help) is a pretty strict diet, which I've detailed elsewhere here. Once I figured out that it's really purely a mechanical issue (not like a food allergy or stomach virus), it helped a lot in deciding what, when, and how to eat.

Apr 5, 2019 · Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions in Digestive Health

@bentley33 , you sound so much like me, except that my episodes are acute (short and very severe) as opposed to chronic. Either way, it sucks!
I've said this several times here, but I'll repeat it–think very carefully before you spend large sums of money on Clear Passage. I have seen ZERO credible evidence that it helps (if I thought it did I would do it in a heartbeat!).
Any "studies" I've found in medical "journals" have been co-authored by the owners of Clear Passage–not exactly objective! And I assume that real GI doctors would be recommending it (and insurance would probably cover it) if it really worked.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but the whole thing seems like a money-making venture that tries to prey on desperate people like us. And they've made sure that they pop up first on almost any kind of internet search regarding obstructions!

Mar 18, 2019 · Tips for managing chronic Small Bowel Obstructions in Digestive Health

@dc10 , some of the things I blend into smoothies to make them healthier (and still not too bulky) are Greek yogurt, protein powder, spinach, tofu, flax meal (for fiber that is, again, not too chunky), and occasionally a little peanut butter (although I'm more careful with that, as it's a little harder to digest, I think). I have a bunch of different kinds of frozen fruit that I can throw in, too.
I also use different kinds of milk–cow, soy, almond, and coconut–at different times, because they all have different nutritional benefits.

Mar 5, 2019 · Chronic small bowel obstruction from adhesions in Digestive Health

@dc10 , I don't believe that diet is irrelevant, but let me clarify. I don't think that your diet will affect whether or not you have obstructions (although I believe I have a sensitivity to gluten that MAY cause inflammation that could make them more likely), unfortunately.
However, I believe that you can control their severity to a large degree by sticking as much as possible to healthy juices, smoothies, soups, and–as @marciakeren just mentioned, foods no thicker than the consistency of pudding. In an earlier comment I said that I try to think of things that I can eat that could pass as easily as possible through a straw. With sbo's from adhesions, in my experience, there is a gradual narrowing in the area where the obstruction is forming. If what you eat is able to pass through that area quickly before it really closes up, and get beyond it, it won't build up behind the obstruction and sit and cause the pain, vomiting, and bloating. After a certain point, however, nothing will pass through. So by eating liquidy kinds of things (fortunately that can include ice cream 🙂 ), you're at least decreasing the chances of larger food particles getting stuck.
My obstructions usually last for a day or two before resolving. Usually I'm in horrific pain, and have sometimes vomited like 15 times overnight.
But the last time I got one, I'd spent the day on smoothies, etc. I could feel an obstruction coming on just after I went to bed. I panicked, of course, but I got up and walked around and stretched.
Miraculously, although I definitely had some pain and bloating, it was a million times better than usual. I didn't vomit all that night–I only did once on the second night, and that was because I was so thirsty that I overdid it with water and Gatorade before the obstruction had resolved (I always know that it's over when I can comfortably lie on my stomach again–I just didn't wait long enough to get to that part before I started drinking stuff).
So, that's my theory, anyway–but it worked in practice, so I'm sticking with it!!