A new Factsheet that summarizes the latest medical advice about dealing with bowel health after a spinal cord injury has just been issued in a new Fact Sheet from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC). The MSKTC collected data about the topic from the 14 best SCI research hospitals across the nation, and put it into a short Factsheet with plain language that people can understand and use in their everyday lives. In this publication, Gianna M. Rodriguez, M.D., co-investigator of the University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UM-SCIMS), collaborated with the MSKTC to develop the Factsheet: “Bowel Function after SCI.” The factsheet explains the various components of a bowel program, the importance of maintaining bowel function, and surgical options.
Here is an excerpt of the overview:
- A spinal cord injury can lead to bowel problems.
- You may have problems moving waste through your colon (or large intestine)
- You may pass stool when you do not want to, or stool may be hard to pass
- These problems can cause pain in your abdomen.
- When eating, you may feel full sooner than normal, or you may eat less than you usually do.
- Bowel problems can contribute to depression or anxiety. You may feel overly concerned about not being able to control bowel movements in public. You may not want to do things outside your home.
- A bowel program can help you control bowel movements. Following a bowel program can help you avoid other problems and perhaps bowel surgery.
A detailed description of how to develop and follow a bowel program is outlined in detail. It includes sections called, What is a bowel program? What if I cannot do a bowel program or it does not work,? What is a colostomy? and Why is maintaining bowel function so important?