Fecal Peritonitis and short bowel syndrome belong to a group of disorders that affect the bowels. When someone has certain types of bowel problems, not only can they experience pain and discomfort, but some of their symptoms could even be life threatening. Infection is common with people with fecal peritonitis, and people who get surgery to correct peritonitis often have difficulties absorbing enough nutrition. During difficult illnesses like these, it’s important to find ways to take care of the day-to-day bills of living. To cover the costs of daily living, many people turn to SSDI disability insurance.
What is Short Bowel Syndrome and Fecal Peritonitis?
One of the first things that you should know is that while these are separate illnesses, they often cross over with each other because of the reasons that they occur. Fecal peritonitis doesn’t cause short bowel syndrome, but the surgery that is used to correct fecal peritonitis sometimes causes short bowel syndrome.
The intestines and stomach have a lining that is resistant to the acids that the body makes to break down food. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a tear in the lining. Fecal peritonitis occurs when fecal matter enters the abdominal cavity because there’s a perforation in the lining. When this happens, different parts of the abdominal cavity often become infected, and the infection can even be severe enough that it kills the person. To avoid further infection and illness, the portion of the bowel that’s damaged is removed through surgery.
Short bowel syndrome is when a person has a shortened bowel that resulted from any number of reasons. For instance, a person might have short bowel syndrome because they had surgery to cut out a perforation in the intestinal lining that might cause fecal peritonitis. Short bowel syndrome occurs when a significant portion of the bowel is removed, which makes it difficult for the remaining portion of the intestine to absorb enough nutrients because there’s less surface area where nutrients can be absorbed.
There are several reasons that a person might get the perforation in their intestinal lining. For instance, Crohn’s disease, an internal hernia, cancer, and intestinal injury are just a few of the ways that damage to the lining of the intestines might occur. Short bowel syndrome is also very rare, affecting only about three out of every one million people.
Symptoms of Fecal Peritonitis and Short Bowel Syndrome
Some of the most common symptoms of fecal peritonitis include bloating, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fatigue, confusion, thirst, and little urination. Some people will also experience chills and fluid in the abdomen, which are caused by the infection. Many of the symptoms occur because of the infection that the leak in the intestines caused. Finally, some people will have so many problems that they actually begin to vomit, and other people will have difficulties passing a stool.
Some of the most common symptoms of short bowel syndrome include diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, swelling, and smelly and greasy stools. These symptoms usually occur because there’s simply not enough intestinal surface area to properly digest food and liquids. Some other common symptoms of short bowel syndrome include lots of gas, heartburn, or cramping, which are all caused by the body’s inability to digest foods properly.
Since dehydration is one of the main concerns for people with short bowel syndrome, there are several other symptoms that anyone with the syndrome or anyone who knows someone with the syndrome should know about. For instance, dry skin, dark urine, and excessive thirst are all signs that people should be watching for to avoid excessive dehydration, which is common and easy to overlook for the patient.
The symptoms of short bowel syndrome will usually occur after the portion of the bowel has been surgically removed. In rare cases, there will be times when a baby is born with a short bowel, so the child will have symptoms from infanthood.
Treatments for Fecal Peritonitis and Short Bowel Syndrome
The treatment for fecal peritonitis is to get surgery to correct the tear in the lining of the bowels. Usually, that solution will be to cut out the portion of the bowel that’s damaged.
After this, it’s possible for someone to get short bowel syndrome, which will require a different treatment. People with short bowel syndrome will require special care and a particular diet. For instance, they will likely need to do extra to hydrate themselves because they’re more likely to have problems absorbing enough liquids to stay hydrated. They also usually need to take vitamins to ensure that they’re getting the nutrition that they need.
Some people will also require a feeding tube that’s attached directly into the stomach, or they’ll need an IV, which can deliver nutrients into the bloodstream.
Another way to treat short bowel syndrome is to do an intestinal transplant, which will help the person absorb nutrients because there will be more surface area. Usually, intestinal transplant is used for people who have tried other options.
Some people will also benefit from medications to prevent infection. For instance, antibiotics are often used to prevent infection. Some other drugs that a person can be administered includes growth hormones, which can be used to help the intestine absorb as many nutrients as they can.
Disability Benefits for Fecal Peritonitis and Short Bowel Syndrome
People with fecal peritonitis or short bowel syndrome will often have difficulties getting the nutrition that they need, but they could also suffer from weakness that’s debilitating. Getting benefits for fecal peritonitis can be difficult because it usually needs treatment before the requisite 12 months of disability has been reached. But there are a couple of ways that a person might qualify for SSDI benefits once they’ve reached gone through surgery to correct the place where there was a tear in the lining of the bowels.
One of the ways that the Social Security Administration determines if you’re eligible for benefits is by looking at how much of the intestine was removed to treat the fecal peritonitis. If more than half of the small intestine was removed and the patient relies on a feeding tube, they the patient will automatically be rewarded benefits.
Another way that a person can gain benefits for short bowel syndrome is by taking the residual functional capacity test. With this test, the patient’s doctor will make a list of all of the things that the patient can’t do. Then, the Social Security Administration will look at the jobs that the applicant has previously done to determine whether or not there’s work that the applicant could do.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Fecal Peritonitis, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.