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Hi all, I had a small bowel study yesterday. docs said that things look good, except upper bowels are slow, which is why I keep throwing up. Lower part of bowels move fast, once things can move beyond slower upper bowels.

How do I get things normalized? I've been trying to walk as much as I can (6-9 laps around the floor each day). My nutrition levels are low so may need to start TPN soon. I'm hoping my guts will kick into gear soon.

Any suggestions?

Thanks much!
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For nutrition, I'd focus on supplements like Ensure, or whatever you think is palatable. Those provide balanced nutrition and areeasy to digest, without overtaxing the upper GI. You don't want to take anything to speed up or slow the gut right now, since it is not synchronous. Even narcotic pain meds are counterintuitive at this point. Meds to tone down nausea are OK though.

Keeping the activity level up is important too, but you are already doing that. If you have not had your potassium levels checked recently, that should be done to rule that out as contributing to your slow upper GI.

You'll get there, and hopefully without TPN.

Jan Smiler
I was found to have a dramatically low level of potassium immediately after my ileus in the aftermath of step 1, and later had a sodium overdose in the aftermath of step 2. The sodium/potassium imbalances are due to the removal of the colon and the period of readjustment. When I had the low potassium issue right after my ileus I was made to drink liquid potassium (it's deep red looking something like blood and it has an EXTREMELY VILE taste) to correct the situation. They stopped giving potassium intravenously because it is absorbed too rapidly and can cause cardiac arrest, and is absorbed more slowly (and more safely) by drinking it, even though it has a horrid taste. Eventually these problems all go away but for a while things are hairy.

I am not sure if your doctor explained to you but as mentioned by Jan electrolyte imbalances, which are to be expected especially after surgery, can cause these issues. Eventually the J Pouch gradually begins to assume some of the functions of the colon and your body learns to adjust electrolyte levels accordingly, but you recently had removed from your body the electrolyte regulator.

Hopefully you get tested, your diet adjusted accordingly and this will prove to be a temporary issue.

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