adhesion help

From: IAS Admin (
Wed Aug 13 12:37:15 2008

From: [] Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 11:53 PM Subject: adhesion help

Dear Jenny,

In my 30 years of experience with ARD (Adhesion Related Disorder), I have found that bloating, pain and constipation are part of it.

Quickly: Years ago I had a ruptured appendix and peritonitis. Soon after I developed a serious adhesion problem and had surgery for lysis of adhesions. Later I developed endometriosis and more surgery: hysterectomy/more lysis of adhesions.

Now that I'm getting older I've been hospitalized many times for small bowel obstructions.

However, I have NOT been hospitalized in over two years--ever since I discovered two new over-the-counter pills: 1) Digestive Advantage Lactose Intolerance 2) Digestive Advantage Gas Prevention.

Only one pill a day of each and these two little pills have changed my life!  They can be found in most chain drug stores. (Honestly, I don't work for the company, but perhaps I should!)

I have learned that many people in their forties and older, no longer can tolerate foods that were not a problem for them when they were younger. Why? It's because as we get older our bodies produce less and less digestive enzymes to digest food. Foods that were not a problem when we were young begin to cause problems—-gas, bloating and pain.

Typical gas forming foods are: milk products (but yogurt and goat cheese seem to be OK for most people), most legumes (beans), broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage,  peas, green peppers, radishes, sauerkraut, potatoes, prunes, apples, pears (unless cooked), cantaloupe, bran, boxed cookies/crackers (with dry milk)-- READ INGREDIENTS!

When most older people eat these foods, they just get "gassy."  But people with adhesions get pain because our bowels are tied up with adhesions and our normal peristalsis (the action of the bowel moving to push matter and gas along) cannot work properly to move the gas through the bowel. When the adhesions restrict the gas from moving, the bowel balloons up and we have extreme pain-—and then obstruction often follows.

Sometimes if I eat a large amount of problem food I will take 2 or 3 BEANO pills in addition to my one-a-day pills mentioned above. If I still begin to get a little gas I’ll immediately take two Gas-X pills and NOTHING ELSE by mouth. That has been working well for me.

People with adhesions often have constipation problems. Sometimes it's because of the pain medication. I appreciate my doctor. He does not allow me to take meds for pain. He says many pain medications cause constipation, and that's the last thing a person with adhesions needs.

Moreover, I have discovered that as we get older our bodies become sluggish as the day progresses so that certain foods become more of a problem later in the day. Have you ever noticed how old people prefer to eat their biggest meal at midday rather than in the evening?  It's because at night they don't digest their food as well, they get bloated, have indigestion, etc.  All my obstructions have been at night--when my bowels were more "sluggish."

I cannot have a colonoscopy--my gastroenterologist is unable to get inside me with the scope because the adhesions have made the intestines so immovable. Normal bowels are supposed to be floppy--like sausages. He compared my bowels to a "garden hose tossed in a barrel and then cement poured over it."  He said the last thing anyone with my adhesions would ever want-—is surgery!  It is extremely risky.  In fact my girlfriend's sister had surgery for her adhesions and died from hemorrhage a day later.

Of course, other people may not have adhesions as severe as mine. But for me, surgery should be avoided even as a last resort. Instead of surgery, I get plenty of exercise.  I recommend taking stool softeners to keep your system moving smoothly. I take DSS-Docusate Sodium--generic brand is fine. They are not addicting and help a great deal, although you'll probably need to take a higher dose than most people. Sometimes I take 600 mg. before bedtime. My doctor suggested taking several smaller doses through the day. That doesn't work for me. It works best for me to take a larger dose at bedtime. Also, I've been eating lots more fresh fruit, especially oranges at bedtime and then I don't need any stool softeners at all. If you eat oranges, it's good to know that the white covering around the orange (under the orange peel) is high in fiber. What I do is peel the orange color part away until I have a white ball. Then I cut the entire white ball (orange) in small pieces and it's delicious.

Remember, surgery may relieve the pain for a short while, but more adhesions will eventually return with a vengeance.

God bless you,   Kathleen in California

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