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Bowel Training


According to Dr. Mark Bennett Pochapin, author of WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT COLORECTAL CANCER, the goal of "bowel training" is to empty your colon fully at a certain time each day.

Do not begin your training program until after your stools have become better formed and the time between eating and needed to have a bowel movement slows down after colorectal surgery.

"There are usually five steps involved, although these may vary from doctor to doctor:

  • Because the most natural time to use the toilet is after a meal, pick a large meal around which you'll bowel-train yourself. Large meals are best, since they activate the movement response of your intestines.
  • Eat your meal.
  • Drink a hot liquid.
  • Sit on the toilet about half an hour after the meal, even if you do not feel like you have to have a bowel movement. If you have the urge to move your bowels before this time, go to the bathroom sooner.
  • Follow this mealtime procedure for three days in a row. If it does not produce results - that is, the planned emptying of your bowels - you may want to use a suppository after drinking the hot liquid in order to stimulate a complete bowel movement. Your doctor can advise you on which type of suppository to use.

If this five-step training program works, continue the regimen for two weeks. After the two-week period is up, discontinue using the suppositories. The large meal and the hot liquid should be all your body needs in order to fully empty your bowel.

Because everyone is different, you may have to adjust your bowel management program, with assistance from your doctor ot other health care professionals. You may have to take antidiarrhea medicine such as Imodium, Lomotil, or other medications.... Whatever your particular situation, bowel management involves balancing your food, fluid intake, fiber, and medication. Just be patient, work with your doctor or nurse, and your bowel function should improve."

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