Radiation Enteritis

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Radiation Enteritis

by Jelcie on Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:00 AM

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Hi. I am a survivor of cancer surgery and 25 pelvic radiation treatments. I thought that I had made it with flying colors, but about 6 weeks after my final treatment my stomach & intestines just quit working. (no peristolsis) I went to the hospital where they treated me with 2 days of antibiotics and Reglan to increase peristolsis. Since the antibiotics destroyed all the good bacteria in my intestines, I haven't been able to eat anything. I've lost 15 pounds and am getting really scared. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I am becoming very disillusioned with the medical profession.

Radiation Enteritis - What Happened to me

by Christy_S_1 on Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:00 AM

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Hi, Jackie. I also experienced significant radiation enteritis after chemo-radiation with external beam radiation (25 treatments); high dose rate brachytherapy (5 treatments) and external boost radiation treatments (x 8). I couldn't eat anything without bouts of severe vomiting and diarrhea along with cramping and chills. I was put on IV nutrition (TPN) for about 4 months. Then, after a port infection, I was started on a very nasty nutritional supplement called Vivonex Plus. It is a "predigested" formula, so all your gut has to do is absorb it -- no digestion required. I tried to drink enough to maintain my weight for about 2 months. I just couldn't. I continued to lose weight. They finally placed a gastric button so that I could get the Vivonex Plus directly into my stomach. My physician also put me on probiotics to replace the good gut bacteria(lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacter...) and glutamine powder (5 grams 3 times each day). Then, she referred me to a homeopath. He felt that the probiotics and glutamine were good. He added antioxidants and he gave me a plan to start eating again. He had me eat small amounts of overcooked rice and salmon every day for a month. Then, he slowly had me add banana, lamb, applesauce. After about 2 months I could start to add other foods, like bread and cooked vegetables. After about 5 months, I was able to eat enough regular food that I no longer needed the Vivonex. I was still very careful about what I ate -- no roughage, low fat, no milk products. Over time, I've improved to where now, I eat almost anything I want. My guts are still tender, but I can eat!! You don't realize how important your guts are until they don't work. When I was reading about radiation enteritis, I was very depressed. I wondered if I would ever eat again. I also just kept plugging away one day at a time. I also do meditation and yoga, which are very relaxing for me. You will be in my thoughts. I send you many blessings. Christy S.
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