Does your IBS wake you up at night?

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feelinglousy
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/10/2006 4:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
I've been through every test imaginable to try to figure out what is wrong with me.  I believe I have IBS-D as I have random flare ups that can last from a few days to months at a time. I am currently going through my latest episode that has lastest 2 weeks so far.  I wake up almost every hour during the night to go to the bathroom. During the day, I am pretty much ok believe it or not.
 
My Doc seems to think it is NOT IBS because he claims IBS generally does not wake you up at night to go to the bathroom. Is this true?  If it is, what can possibly be wrong with me?  Doc has no answers.
 
Any help is appreciated.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/10/2006 7:37 AM (GMT -7)   
There are several people on here who do get awakened in the middle of the night with diarrhea, although I think maybe you get up more than anyone else; I think most IBSers are worse in the morning because as soon as they eat, they get everything cranked up.  But no, it's not impossible to have IBS and to have it wake you up in the middle of the night.
 
I think it's more common for people with bad gall bladders to get awakened during the night, but they always have other symptoms, like a lot of pain, some nausea or even vomiting, and a lot of bile in their diarrhea (yellow and burning).  If you don't have any of those problems, then yes, it's probably just IBS-D.  I'm guessing your doctor has already ruled out IBD?  That usually has a lot of other symptoms too.
 
Have you tried changing when you eat supper and what you eat for supper?  That seems to be the meal that sets you off.  Maybe you can eat a medium-sized meal in the afternoon and then just have a little snack an hour or so before bed if you are hungry.  Maybe that will help your guts settle down before you settle down for the night.  You might also want to keep a diary of everything you eat and what kind of reaction you have; a lot of people have discovered things they can't eat that way.  Apples and apple juice are almost universally a no-no for IBSers, as are all forms of sugar alcohol (found in low-sugar and sugar-free products).  Caffeine and alcohol also bother a lot of us who are prone to D.  A lot of people also have problems with dairy, but then some, like me, don't; you just have to try eliminating it and see if it helps any. 
 
If you have diarrhea, you can also try taking a Caltrate 600 w/vitamin D supplement pill or two before dinner.  The calcium in that brand has a constipating effect--it absorbs excess water.  A lot of us have gotten some or even total relief from diarrhea by just using it. 

feelinglousy
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/10/2006 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Keriamon for the response.

I have had all the tests.  Everything was negative,  including the gall bladder ultrasound.  However, I do have yellow in my D and it burns like crazy.  I can't even wipe, it is so sore down there.  I have to use a numbing agent before I do.  But the Doc said the bladder test was normal.

I started taking the Caltrate.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  I am currently taking Levsin as well, which stops the cramps and gives me a good hour of sleep. That is my miracle pill at the moment.

I think I might go to another Gasto for another opinion.  Any other advice from anyone?

Thanks


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/10/2006 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Did you have a hida scan too? Some doctors only do an ultrasound and pronounce people "fine" when an ultrasound will only show stones and gall bladders can have many other things wrong with them besides stones. My gall bladder was dysfunctional, which will only show up on a hida scan. You have to have both in order to be diagnosed as okay--although I had an ultrasound and three hida scans before mine showed up bad, even though I had the exact same symptoms for 5 years.

You can also try wiping with a wet washcloth; less abrasive than paper. I haven't tried it, but maybe the Kleenex with lotion in them? They're a lot better on my nose, I know that; maybe a handful of them would help keep the old bumhole from getting too raw too. Neither of those two things will stop the pain from the bile, but you can wipe your bum raw with toliet paper when you don't have bile, so regular toliet paper can only make it worse (maybe I should invent lotioned toliet paper for people with chronic gut problems???)

But, some people with IBS do just have excess bile in their systems--I guess because everything goes through so quickly and it doesn't get a chance to get absorbed. Inape here on the boards uses the calcium I mentioned to control hers (and she's post gall bladder). Some people are also getting their doctors to prescribe post-gall bladder medicines to help with the bile. I am post-gall bladder and I'm on Welchol and recommend it highly to stop the bile diarrhea. I take it and a calcium pill everyday to keep me regular. Some people are on Questran, but it seems to give some people excess gas; I am not aware of any side affects with the Welchol.

If the calcium doesn't help any, then go see another doctor or, if your main complaint is bile diarrhea, ask for the Welchol or Questran.

What kind of cramping do you have? Just general, I-need-to-go-now cramps or something more?

sami-jo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/10/2006 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I am sometimes awakened at night with D. Not as often as you, but once a week or so I will have an attack in the night. When I get the D really bad, it can sometimes be yellow and burning. I have to be very careful what I eat- a fatty meal or eating dairy will bring it on for me. Usually I can take Pepto or Immodium and then am okay after that. I was also told that IBS doesn't usually wake you up at night. I think mine is kind of the result of anxiety and panic attacks which DO wake me up at night; then I get the gurgly belly, nausea and shortly after comes the D attack. I have heard of some other kind of gall bladder scan (hida scan??) which I haven't had, but will be asking my GI at next visit about that. I have had an ultrasound and also a CT of abdomen/pelvis (plus myriad of other tests) all normal. Have you lost weight? I have lost 20-25 pounds which is also atypical of IBS'rs.

Sami

sami-jo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 5/10/2006 1:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Keriamon- we were posting simultaneously- your info on hida scan was just what I was thinking about!

Also, I was prescribed the Questran but have not tried it yet. Just had a small bowel follow through with the lovely (constipating) barium to drink and was hoping maybe my D wouldn't rear it's ugly head again! Fat chance, but figured I wouldn't fill the scrip until it returned! My doctor said it would absorb the excess bile and that bile itself has a laxative effect so that maybe it would fix me up.

Sami

feelinglousy
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/10/2006 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Keriamon and Sami,
 
I have not had a hida scan.  Sounds like I'll be asking my gastro for that test.  It is mind boggling to me as to why he wouldn't do that test in the first place?  Great idea about the tissues with lotion...going out now to buy it tonight.
 
I just started taking the Calcium yesterday.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  My gastro also had me try Questran, but it made me so gassy and really didn't stop the D, but did help with the bile control I suppose (the D burned less when I was taking the Questran).
 
Cramps..Oh the cramps.  It begins with a very SHARP pain in my stomach area (probably intestine).  Then the cramping begins and voila, D.  I noticed today that I also get the sharp pain when I bend, but that pain didn't lead to cramps or D. I am starting to think something else might be going on in my gut? What do you think?
 
Sami - Yup. I have lost 10 lbs.  Thats the bright side of things since I need to lose about 30 lbs total.  I am sure this is not the best way to lose weight though. eyes   
 
I've been reading about the excess bile and it is recommended to go on a low fat diet.  I am wondering if I am taking in too much fat.  I admit, I am a fat lover.  Fried foods, Mayo, Ice Cream, etc...but most of the time they don't seem to affect me.  I am going to cut out some fat from my diet and see if I get improvement there as well.
 
Thanks for all your help and advice!

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 5/10/2006 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
A lower fat diet can help since bile is produced to digest the fat. Less fat, less bile.

Yep, definitely need to try the hida scan if your gall bladder is suspect. Try to schedule it when you are having a bad period. I had two of mine done when I was having a remission and, guess what?, it showed up inconclusive and then fine. When I had the third one done when I was having a bad spell, it showed up as bad. I have been known to encourage people to eat things that will make them sicker right before the test in hopes of making it show up. If it doesn't show up as bad when you're good and sick, then it's almost certainly not your gall bladder.

Fat is usually a major trigger for gall bladders, but my worst trigger was caffeine. When I cut that out, I went a long time between attacks. My mother's trigger was pizza. A lot of people have problems with fried foods, like fried chicken or fish.

Since the Questran bothered you, ask for the Welchol. It's never bothered me (past performance no guarantee of future returns).

I never had pain on my right side with my gall bladder; my pain was always cramping and sharp pains all along my diaphram. I also hurt into my right shoulder and elbow sometimes--a terrible achiness--and that's also a sign. Another sign of bad gall bladder is nausea, vomiting and a sudden feeling of fullness, even though you may not even be halfway through your dinner; you just suddenly feel like Thanksgiving full, where the food is just sitting in the back of your throat. Also, when you get sick, I don't think I have met anyone that was able to lay down; laying down makes the pain and nausea worse.

But not everyone gets all of the symptoms and sometimes they develop over time; pain in my shoulder was early on, but later went away, whereas I didn't vomit until a couple of years into my attacks.

lnape
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 5/12/2006 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
feelinglousy,

Are you taking anything at bedtime like a vitamin or something acid that may cause you to wake up at night with diarrhea. I too suspect gall bladder so a hida scan may be indicated to see if the gb is functioning correctly. It sometimes is hard to pin the gall bladder down as a problem but it sounds like it to me. Do you have pain under you shoulder blade in your back and do you get nauseated.

1st Check any current meds even over the counter to see what the side effects are. See if it is okay to take calcium with them. Stop all over the counter stuff that you can and do not take vitamins.

2nd Be sure you have the right form of calcium. Calcium carbonate with vitamin D for starters. Or you can use the calcium carbonate with Vitamin D and other minerals.

3rd Take them with food at least 4 or 5 hours apart.

4th If your worse time is in the morning instead of taking the one with dinner take it at bedtime with a small snack.

Be sure to start with 1/2 tablet at each of your 3 daily meals for the first 3 days to adjust.

Linda


Foggie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 924
   Posted 5/12/2006 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
HI,
I have FMS with IBS symptoms for about 15 yrs. After gb surgery, began taking one of those cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) For three years, couldn't figure out why I was waking up in the middle of the night having to go-sometimes barely making it. When I stopped taking it, my problem went away. I am now on something that works mainly in the digestive track and am OK.
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