As we all know, if a person with a pouch needs to pass gas, he or she ends up soiling themselves. If I am able to move around, I can normally burp and feel better. However, I have recently found myself in situations where I have to sit for long periods and I have tremendous pain. For example, last week I chose to have a sandwich with pickles several hours before I had to go to class and I was miserable. I had a break between classes and I forced myself to have a bowel movement, which I know is not ideal, but I did not have another solution. I know that having a bowel movement when you do not need one can be harmful. Has anyone tried a Gas-X type product and what where your results?
I've only had my J pouch just under 3 years; I eat absolutely everything and I've never had the need to burp to relieve gas, nor have I ever soiled myself when passing gas; in fact, I've never had issues or discomfort with gas, whether sitting for long periods of time or not.
If you're experiencing such issues, maybe you diet is the cause.
I don't believe forcing yourself to have a bowel movements will cause harm, after all, if your J pouch is empty and there"s no gas, nothing will come out, other than little mucus, unless you're straining too much, even then, the worst that can probably happen is a hemeroid.
It is interesting that you say that you have never had an issue with soiling yourself when passing gas. I read on the forum several weeks ago that another member had the same soiling issue and sought advice. I
n some respects, you are right that my diet is the cause. I ate pickles because I like pickles on chicken sandwiches. Due to j-pouch related issues my diet is limited enough already, and combine that with food allergies and needing to avoid migraine-causing foods, I am pretty limited and for once I wanted to eat what I actually desire.
As far as forcing a bowel movement, both my doctor and my Humira representative specifically told me not to force myself. I see my doctor in a month and will ask her, but I wanted to ask group members first.
I routinely empty my pouch if I’m heading into a situation which would make toilet use inconvenient or impossible. There’s no “forcing” or straining involved - it’s just emptying out whatever’s in there, even though the pouch isn’t full.
Passing gas with a pouch is a problem for some of us, and straightforward for others. There’s a third group here that engages in acrobatics or careful body positioning before passing gas. I personally try to avoid it unless I’m on the toilet, but that does mean I need to try to keep gas production down. When it became a real problem for me it was diagnosed as SIBO.
I too have difficulty passing gas when I'm not on the toilet, but I can do so if I'm lying on my back with my knees drawn up to my chest - clearly not doable in most public situations! (Yoga class notwithstanding. LOL).
In terms of gas reduction, I personally have had some success with Beano. Probiotics are great as well, though I see you are taking Humira so you may want to discuss the use of probiotics with your treating practitioners before you go that route.
You asked about Gas-X. To be honest I didn't find it to be very helpful, and moreover, Gas-X does not really reduce or eliminate gas or stop it from forming. What it does, essentially, is work to form larger gas "bubbles" from the existing smaller ones, which in theory makes the gas pass more quickly and easily. A product like Beano or equivalent, on the other hand, is an enzyme which works to break down complex carbs in certain foods, thereby helping to prevent gas from forming in the first place. Preventing gas altogether is most ideal. Doesn't mean you couldn't try a product like Gas-X just to see if it has any desirable effect for you, but based on your post it doesn't seem like the solution you are looking for.
Best of luck to you!
Thanks for the responses. I already take probiotics, though perhaps I should revisit it with my doctor since I started Humira recently.
Scott, what does SIBO stand for? It is a new term to me. I do limit what I eat depending upon what activities I have planned for later in the day. This is my first semester where the classes I need were only offered after lunch, so I am not used to having to limit my lunch, and I guess it is part of adjusting to a new semester. Having gas issues is stressed related I am sure, as I am taking a difficult class for the first time since suffering a stroke which affects my memory (another delightful part of the UC in my case as well), so I am certainly stressed. Gas has not been much of an issue until now, and I had my colectomy surgery two years ago, my reattachment six months later. I will take this up with my doctor, but I wanted responses from here (and please keep them coming, folks) since roughly half of the information I got from my doctor has been accurate, and this group has been more helpful in general.
SIBO = Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Have you tried eliminating the probiotic, at least as an experiment? Some people get gassy from them.
Here is what I do if I think I'm eating something that will make me gassy later. (At least feel gas pains.) I take two of the fake Beano type tablets before taking a bite. (Mine says: For Gas Pain and Prevention.) It helps me avoid the unwanted symptom of gas pains later.
If I do feel gas pains, I take two Gas X tablets. It usually does the trick for me, but it will take a little while to kick in.
Thought I'd throw it out there. It's worth a try - especially if you have to sit in class for a long time after lunch.
Scott, I have not tried eliminating the probiotic. I have been taking it for years without this problem, so I doubt that is a cause, plus I take it with my supper. I would imagine a day's dose would wear off by 2:00 the following day. The more I think about it, the more I think it is stress-related. I am taking Anatomy & Physiology, for crying out loud. According to my classmates, they try to fail people in this course.
It sure could be stress. Is it possible that you are gulping, and swallowing air in the process?
Stress could be a big factor, especially if this started around the same time you began your classes. But there are other factors as well that contribute to gas that you may not be aware of: excess sugary foods, aspartame, drinking with a straw, chewing gum (which may cause you to swallow air), carbonated beverages, skipping meals, not drinking enough water, not chewing your food properly and/or eating too quickly, lack of exercise, and poor sleep, to name a few. Have you considered other factors unrelated to the pouch, such as lactose intolerance? Also, some people find that eating a small fatty snack in between meals - such as a piece of cheese or a few peanut butter crackers - helps keep the gut from churning on itself and reduces gas and frequency. I realize as a student you may not have a predictable schedule and some things are unavoidable, but it's worth looking at everything to see what can be adjusted. Sometimes even tiny lifestyle changes can make a world of difference.
Air trapped in the small intestinal tract is gas. Gas trapped behind stool is a j- poucher's worst enemy. After 6 years of taking gas-x 30 mins before eating anything worked sometimes and sometimes didn't. I discovered charcoal capsules for gas one day at CVS pharmacy. I was amazed how well it worked for me and haven't looked back. I say for me because there is some truth to some things work different for different J-pouchers but after 15 years of total colectomy and half as ostomate and half j- poucher I think its much closer to the are some difference in what foods and drugs affect us differently.
IF YOUR HAVING TROUBLE WITH GAS TRY 2 CHARCOAL CAPSULES 30 MINS before you eat anything. Try it for 2wks and tell us how it works. I have had zero run to bathroom episodes b/c of gas since then.
CVS sells them.
Just wondering if you tried the charcoal chaps?
Thanks Jeremy. For some reason I did not see your first post, so I have not done it yet. I will look into it. Have you seen the caps at other stores? I have actually done a lot of things to try and be less stressed about my course and I think that has helped a lot. As in, I have not had the issue since. So for once I may not make an A, and I can live with that. Is that what I want? Of course not, but for the sake of my health, I can accept that. (And if you think I am being mature, I am not, but I saw a therapist on the advice of another member and it was well worth the money.)
For me, one of the very positive aspects of having a J-pouch is being able to empty it whenever I need to. I've taken to coughing hard when seated on the toilet and my J-pouch empties along with any gas I may have. So, before going on a lengthy car ride, etc. I take a few minutes to empty my pouch! I also limit what I eat to comfort foods if I find I'm going to be in a situation where I can't easily go to a bathroom. I think each of us has our own list of foods we consider to be comfort foods. Typically, I can eat or drink anything I want to eat or drink! I've had my J-pouch since 2003!