can surgery or antibiotics change your poop?

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Susan McGrath asks:

My poop has changed twice lately. First, not too long after taking antibiotics, it started to hurt in my gut and that's how I knew I was going to poop. It hurt like bad gas pains. Slowly, that started to get better, but my poop was still a lot harder than before antibiotics. Then, I had a LEEP procedure done for displasia of the cervix. I wouldn't have figured that would change my bowel but after that, I feel like I'm sick with diarehea before I poop but when it comes out it's not diarehea but small -- not very satisfying : ) -- poops that have a lot of mucus in them.

I miss my big, normal, healthy poops with no pain or gas or sickness. Do you think the things above caused this conditions? If so, is there a way to get my system back and normal?


Dear Susan,

Antibiotics kill off some good stuff as well as killing the bad stuff that they were prescribed for. Eating some yogurt or taking a type of dietary supplement called Probiotics could be beneficial. This can help restore the gut flora to a more normal balance.

The surgery on your cervix did not likely cause any damage to your intestines. The more logical explaination here would be that the stress that you were under during the diagnosis of your problem and the treatment that you underwent played a part in messing with your mental state, which can cause IBS type disturbances to occur.

In any event, sometimes it just takes a little time and patience to get back to a normal bowel routine. Drink plenty of water, avoid fatty or fried foods, and eat plenty of fiber. If the problem persists, you should seek help from your doctor.

Thanks for asking Motherload!

Motherload is a Certified Nurse Assistant as well as an IBS sufferer, which means she knows a lot about poop. Got a question for her? Ask it here.

22 Comments on "can surgery or antibiotics change your poop?"

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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You might also want a second opinion on the antibiotics. Many doctors over prescribe them, to the detriment of your body.
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healthy 1's picture
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Yes, absolutley. I was on an antiboitic a few years back. The whole time I was taking the antibiotics, I was having monster logs so big, that I would have to use the turd chopper almost every day in order to get them to fit down the toilet. (Story coming soon).
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It's not nice to fool mother nature.

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daphne's picture
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When my daughter was very sick in Germany, the diet was carrots, mashed taters without butter, and apple juice. She pooped great.

Maybe you should give it a try.


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.....hugging bunnies since 1969
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The Shit Volcano's picture
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Watch the antibiotics. They will give you the squirts something awful. I was on some for a skin infection a few years back and the doctor said I needed to eat yogurt. Unfortunately, this was a year before I discovered organic yogurt (which I eat every day) and the stuff made me gag, so I didn't take it. The probiotics helped a little, except that I reacted to the gelatin capsule, which was full of coconut, and blew up like a balloon. It took nearly a year for my bowels to recover.

Follow Sam's advice. Doctor's overprescribe antibiotics, plus they don't always work. My skin infection remained stubborn after the full course of medication. The thing that got rid of it turned out to be an organic oil mask.

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healthy 1's picture
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I do agree that doctors DO overprescribe medicines. Hey, they have to keep the big pharmaceutical companies rich. This is why certain pathogens are developing resistance to antibiotics.

About three years after I was on the antibiotics, I found a great natural antibiotic, Silver. The use of Silver as an antibiotic goes back about 5,000 years, to the Egyptians.

I found this miracle mineral when my diabetic father burned his toe. He was given a silver cream (Silverdine)(pronnounced (silverdean)).

But yes, antiboitics can really fuck up a digestive system. Like TSV said, yougurt is helpful while taking an antibiotic. In my case, I eat lots of organic yougurt. We have a local yougurt company up here in NE (Stoneyfield Farms). The combination of yougurt and vitamin C may have been what spared me from diarreah. I also did a cleanse after I got off the antibiotics.

To sum it up, be ware of excessive antibiotics.
_______
It's not nice to fool mother nature.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

The Big Wiper's picture
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I second the recommendation of yogurt for what ails you. In the last three years, I had two very minor surgeries, but the anesthetic did bung me up. I've also taken a couple courses of antibiotics in recent years for minor things, and I recall that I was finally able to restore my system to normal functioning with yogurt.

Try Activia.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Here are sources of good bacteria:

Genuine saurkraut and old fashioned dill pickles. These have lactobacteria, which are probiotic. Go to a Jewish, Polish or Russian delicatessen or, failing that, find an expensive health food store.

Miso soup. You can buy miso paste at a grocery store and just eat a tablespoon at a time or stir it into some hot water. Never boil miso in water--the temp will be too high and that will nuke the good bacteria. But its OK to pour some boiling water over it, stir it around and then drink it. If you like garlic, squash some in.

Yogurt---try a good brand like Brown Cow, Nancy's or Pavel's. I like to buy mine plain and stir in a bit of vanilla extract. You can use either sugar or your own choice of artificial sweetner and it will taste much better than pre-flavored yogurt from the store.

Putting yogurt in a blender with some straw berries, or rasperries is terrific. Or toss in a bit of banana and squeeze in some orange juice and puree.

and--if you can handle hot spices:

Korean Kim Chi--pickled cabbage with red chili

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I got sick twice this year and had to take an antibiotic both times. But it didnt screw up my poop--and I usually have a sensitive gut.

I took miso soup nearly every day during my two illnesses and had some yogurt, too. I wasnt trying to prevent gut problems--the miso warmed me up and settled my tum.

So perhaps the stuff offset the effect of the antibiotic.

What I used was something hard to find--Hatcho miso. It's chocolate colored, and you may need to go to your Japanese neighborhood to get it.

The darker the miso, the more it warms you up. In Japan and China, they eat dark miso in winter time and use the lighter colored misos for summer cooking--learned this from my practitioner of Chinese medicine.

Miso is a nice source of mineral salts--very helpful if you are running a fever. Mix 1/2 to one tablespoon ful into a cup of hot water and you have a very nice and nourishing broth.

Cyanocobalamin's picture
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Or Lucerne yogurt, the Safeway brand for cheap bastards like me.

daphne's picture
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I've read alot about Silver. It's a special kind to use, I believe, and cannot remember the type. Colloidal or something?

Anyhoo, I'm tempted to order some for my gramma. I've even read it has helped fight Cancer, but who's to say.


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SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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Mary Mary swears by the Colloidal (or whatever) Silver. It does not do shit for me.
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healthy 1's picture
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Yeah Daphne, silver is great. If you are trying to help someone overcome cancer, Cesium will be a big help.
www.rainbowminerals.net/Minerals/cesium.html

I hope that link will be helpful.

Oh, one other thing that will help an antibiotic ravaged tummy is Kefir.
_______
It's not nice to fool mother nature.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

The Big Wiper's picture
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I forgot to mention Kefir when I mentioned yogurt. Thanks for the reminder, healthy 1. Kefir is similar to a thick, pourable, liquid yogurt and has a pleasant tart flavor in several varieties.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

shitwit's picture
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I'd definitely advise caution with the antibiotics too. I had a kidney infection this summer and took some very strong antibiotics to wipe it out. I didn't shit for 5 days, then my poops were so hard and large I was worried I may have to practice manual disimpaction! EW! EW!! They wipe out EVERYTHING - including your good resident bacteria. I ate yogurt for a few weeks to restore my "flora" (and frequented Taco Bell on the way home from work!). I've also heard good things about Kefir, but am too chicken to try it.

TSV- Probiotics have coconut in the capsule??? Thanks for the info - I absolutely CANNOT have coconut either. I'll remember that for sure!


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Anonymous Coward's picture
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I once had a barium swallow test and I pooped radioactive day-glo green for a day or two. You know that pale-white-green color of kids' glow in the dark toys? That was my poop. I wish I had taken a picture. AND the doctor didn't warn me. I was sitting on the bowl later that day, glanced down and had the poop scared out of me, so to speak.

the log of hazzard's picture
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Antibiotics are real nasty buggers. If you want your poops to come out a little softer, eat some of your favorite mashed foods.

Examples:

mashed potatos
apple sauce
my moms nasty cheese chicken cream o' mushroom cuncoction

anything works.

Some are born crappy, some achieve crappiness, and some have crapiness thrusted upon them. (Do NOT be the last one)

daphne's picture
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Thank you healthy1.

I think I've seen that cream soup, cheese chicken recipe in woman's magazines, log. I have used cream of mushroom soup for pork chops, and the family likes that; but when it comes to chicken, dredging in flour, cooking in oil with sautee'd onions, and covering tightly with a lid seems to make such a rich gravy that the cream of mushroom soup isn't even necessary.

I like to put some sake in it and a bit of tarragon at the last minute. And no one shits their pants.....

And I just thought of something else a hospital gave me when I had Thing One and was readmitted for severe tearing to help me poop - this bread called volkenbrot. Something like brown whole wheat bread, heavy as a brick, and full of seeds and lawn clippings. But man, it did the trick. Fiber-O-Rama.


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.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Kefir is the same as plain yougurt. It just a Russian version.

PooperTrooper's picture
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Please, please, please stay aware of any changes in your poop while taking antibiotics (and after treatment is finished)! It was already said that antibiotics wipe out the good bacteria with the bad, and unfortunately, I can relate all too well with that. I was on antibiotics for strep throat and ended up going to the ER two days after finishing the treatment. They admitted me to the hospital, and I was transferred to ICU the next day. I had a very severe case of pseudomembranous colitis caused by the overgrowth of Clostridium difficile and am lucky to still have my colon. My hospital stay was 16 nights, and I want to shout out to the world that antibiotics have the potential to be very dangerous to save other people from the misery I went (and still am going) through because of antibiotics.

Tabetha's picture
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Do you want to swallow this?! Imagine eating yogurt eaten out of dog’s rear!

Ewwwwwwww! Light and Fit doggish model or actress sounds and looks like my dog licking his! She may love it but it would be less disgusting to eat yogurt out of any other container … or no yogurt at all!

Disgusting yuck!

MSG's picture
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I have written elsewhere on this site about my specific experiences with antibiotics and with surgery. To sum up: Every time I have to take antibiotics, I dread the possibility of diarrhea, though it doesn't happen every time. After my two surgeries I have had to take pain-killers like Percocet, and they contipated me both times, once rather severely.

sarah Hayday's picture
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I am actually seeking help and have been searching this site for a place to ask a question and couldn't find one. I have been miserable! I recently injured my back and ended up in and out of the hospital eventually resulting in L5S1 back surgery on a severely herniated disc. As you can imagine I've been on an arsenal of pain meds and muscle relaxers and steroids! I was extremely impacted a week ago and they had to give me TWO enemas to get things moving! Now I am 4 days post op and I am only moving acorn size rocks! I have NO URGE! I have taken colace, glycerin suppositories and senekot! I want to avoid another enema....ANY HELP WOULD BE AMAZING!!! I'm uncomfortable! I want to POOOOOOP!!!!!