A question?

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Active member
Mar 11, 2006
I was just wondering how ALS affects the bowels/bladder/kidneys. I always thought that the bowels and the kidneys weren't affected. My Dad has been having pains in his stomach this past couple of days. He also has been urinating often, usually every hour or so in the daytime. At night he wakes about 6-7 times a night to "pee". Dad is unable to have a bowel movement now unless he takes medication (which he does once a week).

Just wondering what others have experienced with this.
Hi jacq, sorry to hear about your dad. My son used to have pains in his stomach, too, at the last stages. His bladder/kidneys were okay. He had no problem peeing, but he never urinated on himself. He had a little problem with his bowel movement, he always had to take laxative or drink prune juice in order to have a BM. Isn't that weakening and loss of muscle that would keep a PALS from having a BM? I would think so, because how are they are going to push if there is no functioning muscles there? Am I making sense?

Jacquelyn: Check out a previous thread that was titled 'Pee problems and ALS'
It's probably the bladder rather than the kidney causing the frequent urination.

One link in a previous discussion that was helpful to us was this:
Symptomatic Treatment of ALS - The ALS Association

Look for the clip on urinary problems, I think it's clip #4

There may be lots of reasons for frequent urination including infections, prostate problems etc. When those problems have been ruled out then something like Ditropan, as suggested in the above link may be the answer. It worked for a while for my PALS. When that was no longer helping we then went to an external catheter.

Icanmanz is right, it is the lack of abdominal muscle (and the lack of physical activity) that's a big contributor to the bowel problem.

I'd also say (from our experience) be cautious about adding too much soluble fibre or using frequent Colace capsules to solve the bowel problem unless your dad is drinking enough fluids. They soften and bulk the stool by drawing water into the gut and you may find the urine getting very concentrated if he has difficulty getting enough fluid.

For my PALS, pureed prunes (a spoonful with every meal) and a couple of SenkotS (i.e. Senokot combined with Colace) every other day seems to work well.

If he is constipated then that's probably putting pressure on the bladder. I'd sort out the bowels first!
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