Bowel programs are essential for those who have suffered a spinal cord injury or have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In these scenarios, the nerves that help your bowels run smoothly have been damaged, giving you a lack of control over your bowel movements. Bowel programs help you take control of your bowel movements once more by putting you on a set schedule.
There are many factors that go into a successful bowel program. These include:
- Sticking to a regular time to sit on the toilet
- Using a suppository
- Choosing foods high in fiber
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Avoiding foods such as dairy, raw fruits, fruit juice or beans
- Being active to avoid constipation
Your nurse will help you set up and manage your daily bowel program, monitoring your progress and reporting the findings back to the doctor.
Bowel programs help to prevent accidents and social embarrassment. As you may not have feeling or control of your rectum, sometimes bowel incontinence is a surprise. Be sure to follow your bowel program and tell your nurse of any accidents that occur.
It is important to stick to your routine so that your body acclimates to voiding at the proper time.