Keeping a Healthy Pooper to Help my Endo

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Here we go again!  Discussing taboo topics that nobody ever really wants to talk about.

You may remember a few months ago I met with a gastroenterologist to discuss my complaints of pain before, during, and after bowel movements.  Didn’t read it?  Check it out here.  Anyway, he referred me to a colorectal surgeon here in San Diego for some further testing.  A few months later and my insurance finally approved the appointment!  And *poof* my very first visit to a colorectal surgeon took place last week (nearly five months after my initial visit with my PCP to discuss these complaints)…

Again, we talked about my Endometriosis and my fear that it may be on my bowels due to my recently-returned issues with stabbing daggers and pain, constipation, and diarrhea.  He (and I) also agreed with the GI’s plan to ride out the symptoms as best I can until a second Endo excision surgery is (if needed) ever scheduled…we’d check out the bowels then rather than scheduling a potentially needless exploratory surgery.

Butt (haha see what I did there?) Dr. Worsey (the colorectal surgeon) wanted to examine my guts with a little camera, which is something I’ve never had done and wanted to  make sure I checked out fine.  Two enemas that morning before my appointment and now I’m in a very (dis)graceful pose on a mechanical table, my toosh up in the air 45 degrees and my face pointed toward the floor. Let me tell you : a flexible sigmoidoscopy is not a pleasant experience.  Not one bit and I took the rest of the day off of work due to the discomfort.

So, everything inside my bowel (up to the sigmoid colon) looks great.  The only thing he found wrong was an anal fissure.  Well now, that doesn’t sound good…It’s a tear in your bunghole or your bunghole canal.  “But how can a tiny little tear cause such severe pain throughout my pooping process,” I wondered.  Apparently, they can cause “severe pain during, and especially after, a bowel movement, lasting from several minutes to a few hours,” rectal bleeding, itching, and funky butt discharge…all of which I have had in the past.  And 10% of patients who visit colorectal surgeons for poopy pain end up having anal fissures.  So he gave me fierce instructions with a wagging finger to include more fiber in my diet and gave me a gallon-size ziploc baggy of sample packets of various fiber powder packets.  He also prescribed…medicated suppositories *oh joy* to help the fissure to heal.

So, since February 10, 2016, I’ve been drinking my powder fiber drink (easing it into my diet once a day per the instructions; will eventually up that dosage to three times per day) and using my nightly suppositories (he gave me a 12-day supply).   And guess what?

My gut still burns right before I have to poo…but that’s nice because it’s a kind of tell that I better get over there soon.  But since two days after my appointment and medication regimen, I haven’t felt the daggers/stabbing pain/glass tear through the length of my gut.  Or the excruciating stretching/tearing pain of my poop-hole, either.   My poops have been…quick, easy, and dare I jinx it…normal.  And every day…sometimes multiple times a day!  I used to go maybe once every 3 days…this is so much better!

But what does fiber have to do with helping my pain? And my Endo? And my peace of mind?  Well, besides smoothing out the transportation of my angry poos, it is believed that fiber may actually decrease excess levels of estrogen in the body by binding to it and pooping it out.  Why is that important?  Many physicians believe that Endometriosis is an estrogen-driven disease.  It’s also believed to do the same with toxins and the “bad things” in our guts.

I eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and beans in my diet.  I figured that was enough fiber for me…apparently not.

Looking for good fiber to include in your diet?  I went through the sample packets given to me by my colorectal surgeon (these included Metamucil and Konsyl).  Read the labels!  All of the sugar-free samples contained Aspartame.  And they also all contained psyllium, which may plug you up worse if you’re not drinking enough water.   Do your research and find the right one for you.  I take Maxi Health Fibermax once a day…I used to drink it with orange juice, until I realized how much sugar was in OJ.  Now I drink it with watered down V8 Harvest Vegetables.  And it gets me half my daily requirement of fiber, and I’d like to think I get the rest of it with my daily food : 1 serving of shredded wheat with berries, as well as snacking on fruits and veggies.

I’d like to believe that the anal fissure was causing my very painful bowel movements and that the addition of fiber and these medicated suppositories have helped immensely.  As of right now, I don’t have the painful poopy complaints that I’ve had of late.  So I’d like to believe the anal fissure was the sole cause of my crazy pain in my gut.  And that the fiber intake and healing suppositories will fix it.  Time will tell.  And anal fissures may recur at any time due to a hard or strainful poo…so if I keep up on my fiber regimen, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.  And if the symptoms return or worsen, I will advise my colorectal surgeon and we’ll go from there.  And feel comfortable that if I do go in for a second excision surgery, they’ll be taking an in-depth glance at the exterior of my bowels to make sure there aren’t any Endo implants.  I’ve now laid a foundational relationship with my PCP, my gyno, the gastroenterologist, and the colorectal surgeon.  They each understand my concerns and my Endometriosis diagnosis.  And each of these physicians have stated how much they enjoy working with each other, so I’m having fun building my Team. 🙂

I’ve spoken with several EndoSisters (who don’t know if they have Endo on their bowels or not) who have also complained of the same stabbing/knives/glass dragging through their gut pain, or painful poops.  I encourage you all to see your physician and get a referral to a specialist in the butt-area.  It may be Endo (or not), but it may be something else…possibly as simple as a lack of fiber in your diet or a tear on your butthole. (Sorry, just really trying to keep this lighthearted…rhymes with farted…hehe).

And, remember, “Some people are so positive, that when they slip in dog poop, they pirouette.” ~Josh Stern

*Have you had poopy gut pain and found out the cause?  Feel free to drop us a comment!  I’d love to hear what it was, if you fixed it, and how…*

Resources:

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons – Anal fissure

Flo Living – Endometriosis symptoms and how to heal

Home Remedy – Diet remedy for Endoemetriosis

Livestrong – Good foods to eat when you have Endometriosis

Love to Know – Diet for Endometriosis

Medical News Today – Anal fissure : causes, symptoms, and treatment

Medicinenet.com – Anal fissure

Physicians’ Desk Reference – Endometriosis treatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Keeping a Healthy Pooper to Help my Endo

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post! For me I actually had a few things causing gut pain and pain when going #2. I was diagnosed with SIBO small intestinal bacterial overgrowth which was treated under the direction of my doctor by the use of antibiotics, probiotics, and a very plain diet. I was diagnosed via comprehensive still testing and a breath test. The second issue was that even though I didn’t have endo on my bowel I had it in close proximity which was causing tremendous bowel pain and irritation on my left side. After my excision I learned my left side was where the deeper endo was and was what was causing my bowels to become enraged. Thirdly, I have pelvic floor dysfunction and my muscles weren’t relaxing allowing for the poo to come through! Pelvic therapy with a pt certified in women’s health helped me with that tremendously. Anyway, I love this post because there are things that can in fact cause pain similar to endo but that can be treated relatively easily. Thanks again for this post it was really informative!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always love your feedback, Marisa! And I, too, am glad to hear you had pain which wasn’t (mostly) Endo-related. It really can be many things. 🙂 And I’m glad to hear you’re doing so much better after your treatments! ❤ ya! ~Lisa

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  2. I have so many things to say to this… where do I start!??! 🙂

    Before my diagnosis of Endo I was seeing my GI almost biweekly. I was having horrible diarrhea, with frequent (5-6 times a day) painful, urgent poops. I would also have very bloody mucasy poop for about 2 weeks a month. I had a gastric sleeve surgery 2 years prior and 1 year prior had my gallbladder removed because they thought that was causing the abdominal pain. (it was the endo…sorry gallbladder… guess you could have stayed :P)

    Anywho, he gave me this nasty powder to drink because his thought was that it was a bile issue… it didn’t help.

    So then we did a complete FODMAP elimination diet and then reintroduced food groups one at a time. It was a two month process and it SUCKED! My symptoms markedly improved once I found my food triggers… but the pain was still there as well as the urgent frequent poops. So my GI did a flex sigmoidoscopy and found a rectal polyp. So then he did a full colonoscopy and found NOTHING else wrong. I was devastated. The polyp was too large to be removed in a colonoscopy and he was going to refer me to colorectal surgeon but the pathology showed the rectal polyp was just inflammatory in nature but as nothing else was inflamed in my colon it was a mystery as to why it was there. He then tested for everything else… blood tests for inflammatory markers, Chrohns testing, etc etc. All negative.

    As a last hope he did an MRI which discovered a cyst on my left ovary and commence GYN testing. Apparently, the endo is not growing in my bowel but since tissue had connected to the outer bowel, the inflammatory polyp was a result of that irritation. The GI felt it best to wait to see if the excision of the endo causes the polyp to decrease in size. So now we wait. The urgency is still there but most of the other GI symptoms are no longer there as long as I keep to my diet.

    I am also in the same boat as Marisa. While I do not have SIBO, I do have pelvic floor dysfunction and found pelvic floor therapy so helpful.

    Also, get a squatty potty! So good if you have pelvic pain and poopy issues! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a long and crazy process! I’m so glad that you’re feeling *mostly* better and have discovered your food triggers, too! Here’s to hoping you stay well 🙂 And I am also happy to hear the pelvic floor therapy has helped you, too! A lot of gals in my support group ask about it! And, ah, the squatty potty!! Now I want to watch that commercial again and again! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I KNOW this is off the topic of the “poop shoot”, but I’m wondering if you could write a post about how much and many times you think endo gets undiagnosed (not necessarily MISdiagnosed, but Undiagnosed). For instance, I had very bad dysmenorrhea and severe constipation; my laparoscopy years ago came back as minimal endometrial implants that were cauterized. I was told by my GYN that most every woman has some degree of endo and that what I had was “normal”. I’m wondering IF I should have gotten a second opinion, had another laparoscopy before my hysterectomy, and that perhaps I really did have a case of severe endo instead of simply “dysmenorrhea”.

    What are you thoughts on this? My hysterectomy has tremendously helped me and I no longer have painful periods (duh, no uterus), but do suffer from intermittent constipation.

    Your feedback is ALWAYS appreciated!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That may be harder to research and prove – in order to be undiagnosed, yet have Endo, you’ll have to (at some point) have received a correct diagnosis of Endo. But I’ll see what I can do. I’m so glad your hysto helped! Try the fiber thing with your constipation…see if it helps 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Humorous and helpful! Pain and weird poos are some of my endo symptoms. I had endo removed from on and near my bowel during my laparoscopy 3 years ago. Recently, felt the symptoms coming back, like ouchies during #2. Ultrasound confirmed endo’s back. I am curious to try fiber supplements and see if that helps or some of these other suggestions while I wait for a very likely surgery in my future. Thanks for sharing on this difficult topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh girl, what.a.post!! After endo adhesions that attached my pooper regions to my lady parts were finally removed, I was like, “Wow, so THIS is what it’s like to poo without pain!” It was like a whole new world opened up lol. So I def get where you’re coming from.

    Hope you continue to feel better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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