Managing bowel function after spinal cord injury can be a challenge for many people with spinal cord injuries. However, using suitable tools and techniques, it is possible to maintain a regular bowel function and improve quality of life. This post will discuss some tips for managing bowel function in people with SCI.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help prevent constipation. Aim for at least 2000 to 3000ml daily, equivalent to about 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses or about 3 quarts of water daily.
- Eat a high-fibre diet: high-fibre foods can increase the weight and size of your stool and soften it, decreasing the chance of constipation. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and more.
- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help stimulate bowel movement and prevent constipation.
- Use assistive devices: Suppositories are a common component of successful bowel management programs. Enemas can also be a vital component of bowel programs.
- Meditations: Your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage bowel function, such as laxatives or stool softeners.
- Bowel management program: A personalised bowel program involving a combination of diet, fluid intake, medication, and other techniques can help manage bowel function.
- Keep tracking of bowel movements: Keeping a record of your bowel movements helps identify patterns and potential issues.
Moreover, the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) features an informative page covering many aspects of managing bowel function. Please visit the page if interested. Our NDIS Support Coordination team can also support you if you want to include a dietician in your NDIS plan. Meanwhile, our Peer Support team can help you with practical advice and lived experience of physical disability.
Declaimer: These tips are for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult your doctor or other health professionals to ensure this information is right for you.
Sources for the post
Hydration with a Spinal Cord Injury – Craig Hospital
Spinal Cord Injury – Bowel management and Spinal Cord Injury
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