Bowel Management
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Bowel Management. The digestive system. mouth. oesophagus. stomach. bowel. Sigmoid colon. Rectum. back passage. Why do you need to look after your bowel after Spinal Cord Injury?. The feelings from your bowel may have changed Your control of your bowel may have changed

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Bowel Management

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Bowel Management

The digestive system





Sigmoid colon


back passage

Why do you need to look after your bowel after Spinal Cord Injury?

The feelings from your bowel may have changed

Your control of your bowel may have changed

The movement of stool (poo) through your bowel may have slowed down

Why learn about bowel care?

  • To stay in control of your bowel and avoid accidents

  • So that you can empty your bowels regularly and at a time

  • that suits you

  • So you don’t spend too long on the toilet

  • To avoid constipation and Autonomic Dysreflexia

  • To keep healthy

What can you do to help look after your bowel?

Empty your bowel at the same time every day or every other day

Have meals regularly through the day

Drink a lot, especially water

Eat 5 portions a day of fruit or vegetables and 2 portions of whole grain foods (for example: weetabix, brown bread, brown rice or pasta, mangos and dried apricots)

Have a hot drink 20 minutes before you start your bowel routine

Laxatives – medicines which help the bowel to work

You may be given one or more of these to help you empty your bowel

Movicol is a powder that you mix with water

Senokot is a tablet that you take 8 to 12 hours before you want to empty your bowel

Fybogel is a powder that you mix with water or fruit juice

Suppositories are made of glycerin and are inserted into your back passage.

Suppositories melt and lubricate your bowel which makes it easier to empty.

When it is time to empty your bowel:

Collect plastic gloves, Aquajel and place them by the toilet

Sit comfortably on the toilet and relax

Put on a plastic glove and squeeze a little Aquajel onto your finger

Put 2 suppositories into your back passage as you were shown by your nurse

Massage your tummy

After a few minutes you can gently rub your back passage

You may need to empty your bowel with your finger. Your nurse can show you how to do this.

Different types of stool (poo)

type 1

Separate hard lumps

Sausage shaped but lumpy

type 2

Like a sausage but with cracks in the surface

type 3

Like a snake, smooth and soft

type 4

Soft blobs

type 5


type 6

Entirely liquid

type 7

Ask for help if the following problems occur:

  • constipation - your stool (poo) is hard and dry

  • diarrhoea - your stool (poo) is runny or liquid

  • bowel accidents

  • bloated and painful stomach

  • increased spasm

  • Autonomic Dysreflexia

  • leaking urine

  • bleeding from your back passage

Who can help you?

Your carer

Telephone number:

Your nurse

Telephone number:

Your GP

Telephone number:

Spinal Outpatient Team

Telephone number: 01296 315828 or 01296 315829

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