Bowel damage

For the last few weeks I have been having some really bad bowel issues,urgency,the runs etc. I called my nurse who spoke with my oncologist and he said that it will be late effect damage. So I have to eliminate things from my diet so it can be managed like that. I have totally cut out caffeine,switched to low fat foods and no chocolate. Things have improved slightly,but not perfect. I thought I would try cutting out dairy totally for a week as I read that treatment can cause lactose intolerance. Got myself some soy milk,which is actually quite tasty haha. My problem is that reading up about soy milk there seems to be some contradictory info on it. Some say its good,some say that it raises levels of oestrogen amd can cause breast cancer. have any of you ladies seen a dietitian and been told its safe? I am really unsure about what to do for the best now x

Hi Brucegirl. Sorry nobody has replied to your post re the soy milk, but I can identify and commiserate with having late bowel effects. My urgency is mostly in the morningvery first thing after a cup of tea, so I can feel safe then in getting to the loo in time. If I don't go in the morning though, I can get urgency, and I mean urgency after supper and that can be tricky if you are out! I just try to cut down on the fibre a bit. I eat loads of fruit and veg, so it's easy to cut it down. That seems to work for me. Just hoping it doesn't get any worse though. Good luck with you. X

Hi Rachel,thanks for replying. Its awful eh? I have ditched the soy milk and gone for lactose free to see if it makes a difference. Do you have to go loads if times in a day when it kicks off? I am wary of going out anywhere for too long,its a nightmare. Off to a concert today and going to have to park myself near the portaloos(eewwww). Fingers crossed I dont need haha 

Tracey x

Hi Tracey 

my bowels have had there highs and lows. Some weeks I'm excretimg loads of mucus and other weeks I'm running to the loo and then other weeks all is fine. I was keeping a food diary to see if it was foods that would trigger certain symptoms but in all honesty I cannot say it is foods. I know that white bread with some soft cheese in the morning makes a huge difference because when I don't have that I'll be running to the loo. I cannot eat too much fruit or veggies. I've turned into a meat and potatoe girl. Lol. I did try to cut out caffeine but it didn't make any difference so I'm back enjoying my cup in the morning. I always was a bread and cheese girl so this diet doesn't bother me one bit. I now have a real excuse not to eat my veggies. I do make sure I'm taking my supliments and serums from natural path to keep my bones strong. Etc

now, I also want to tell you that treatment symptoms can flare up and peak anywhere from 5-9 months post treatment. These are diagnosed as long term side effects but in most cases they will eventually settle down about 12 mths post treatment. People do not realize it does indeed take awhile to completely heal from this whole thing. Think about this, the radiation works very strongly for the first 6-8 weeks from last session of brachy. Then it still continues to work at a lesser strength for another 2-4 mths. Then your body starts to adapt and continue to heal. Cells have to be replaced and so many small things are taking place on a cellular level. So that leaves you close to 5/6 mths of just pure healing and now comes the settling, where you are finding out that your body has issues maybe it's from the chemo or the radiation. This seems to be the biggist debate whenever I ask about an issue. 

What I am saying is that give yourself some time. You might not have to run to the loo forever. There are pills available to slow down your digestive track that can be taken if it's a huge issue. 

Good luck

I started treatment I think August of last year, and just this month randomly have had uncontrollably bowels as well. Dr says it's normal. He has verified sligjt radiation damage from scans I think. He isn't worried though. It just comes in bouts and then disappears for a while.

Thanks ladies. that makes total sense about the time scale Lolli,my onc said that it ties in too. I am keeping a food and poop diary so now I know what I def cannot eat. I started on lactose free milk and thats making a difference I think,and its very tasty. Its been very annoying having to run to the loo especially at work. The other day someone knocked on the door and asked i was ok#mortified.  Hopefully it will start to really calm down soon and I dont get any bleeding. X