Welcome to your favorite topic – your bowel program. Having a bowel movement after a spinal cord injury can be frustratingly difficult. Paralysis causes a neurogenic bowel, which means your brain can no longer communicate with the muscles in your butt, making going to the bathroom hard. There are a multitude of options for taking care of this and many of them work!
Because every person is different, there are some options that won’t work for some, but that doesn't mean you should give up and only think a normal bowel program is possible until paralysis is cured. There is a lot of trial and error involved, and we have a list below that'll help you whittle down that list faster and without so many headaches.
Drink Plenty of Water Daily
You've heard this from your doctor, but it is something you should take to heart strongly. Drinking water is one of those things that can not only help with your bladder after a spinal cord injury, but it can help your bowel program as well. When you drink enough water, everything moves better and makes it a lot less difficult to go. When you have a neurogenic bowel, you need to give it as much help as you can, and drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest things you can do to make everything move.
Use Enemeez Suppositories
There are a lot of suppositories on the market, but the number one suppository recommended by people with spinal cord injuries are Enemeez suppositories. These are filled with a powerful stimulant laxative, but in liquid form. This is inserted anally and produces a bowel movement within a few minutes. This works great on most people with spinal cord injuries, but you must have a healthy diet in order for it to work properly. This is also something you can buy on Amazon. A prescription is not required.
Eat Enough Fiber
You’re told to eat enough fiber, but most don’t understand this can be the golden ticket to a good bowel program. Try eating a Fiber One bar every day, or something along the same lines that gives you around 20% of your daily needed fiber for the day. Having just one of these each day can transform your bowel program. Nature Valley also has low-carb fiber-infused bars.
Do Your BP in a Commode Chair
While some people do their bowel programs in bed, try to do it over the toilet as much as you can. Using gravity to help you go to the bathroom can help immensely, especially when you're paralyzed.
Drinking coffee in the morning is a great stimulant for the bowels. It helps encourage a bowel movement in many people. Try a small cup and wait 15 minutes. It can do wonders.
Stretch Before You Go
Never neglect your range of motion before your bowel program. For many people with a spinal cord injury, they sometimes have scoliosis or bad posture which can inhibit a bowel program. Stretching your body, especially your torso area before you begin your bowel program, can help get things moving.
It's encouraging to know that things do relegate themselves over time; especially if you have a healthy diet. Treat your body right, and even if you're paralyzed, you'll see the results in the bathroom.