What actually causes our cramps?

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Beth75
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2142
   Posted 6/3/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
does anyone know?  Is it the lining in our intestines pulling away from itself?  Is it stool aggravating the colon?
 
Just curious.
 
TIA!
Beth, 32 ~ small flare - hoping caused by aspirin - hydrocortisone e's
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 5mg 1xday (tapered from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalapril 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17820
   Posted 6/3/2008 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
It's more than likely gas, feces moving through the gut that can cause cramping...I believe cramping is mainly contractions in the intestines...most who do not have intestinal issues wouldn't notice an issue with it, but put an intestinal disease or syndrome to it and chances are there will be more sensitivity to normal activity of how the intestines function.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Beth75
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2142
   Posted 6/3/2008 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks pb4!
Beth, 32 ~ small flare - hoping caused by aspirin - hydrocortisone e's
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 5mg 1xday (tapered from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalapril 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!
 


sdaless
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1395
   Posted 6/4/2008 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
When I have cramps most of the time they are upper and can make you double over in pain.  I take something for it but can't remember (fuzzy today).  It does help.  Unfortunately it reacts with my Lexapro so I take it when I can't stand it.  Hope you feel better soon.
 
Stacy
Current meds are:
 
Asacol 6 pills a day
Lexapro 20 mg once a day
Ativan .5 mg when needed
Canasa when needed
 
 
 
 


dakotagirl
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 6/4/2008 12:36 PM (GMT 0)   
Isn't some of the cramping caused by inflammation? My first GI told me about it, but today I can't remember what he said...
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Flaring
 
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Last dose of pred: May 25
 
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17820
   Posted 6/4/2008 1:05 PM (GMT -6)   
It very well could be, that's why I said "put an intestinal disease or syndrome to it and chances are there will be more sensitivity to normal activity of how the intestines function".
 
Afterall, people with IBS that do not have inflammation with that syndrome, also get cramping so it's not likely always releated to having inflammation.

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25561
   Posted 6/4/2008 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Excellent point about IBSers, and most of us with UC have it.

I think it's all of the above plus spasming where the digestive tract's normal peristalsis is erratic...making a big deal about something....it could be as a protection to help clear something out (inflammation or the fact that one part is saying something's not normal..prepare for fight or flight). The triggers can be hormonal, stress, food, bms, inflammation, gassssssss, having a bm, after a bm...etc.

Spasming could be in one area, but it can throw the entire digestive tract out of whack causing it to react too...

Antispasmodics definitely help to calm the spasming as well as does some fibre supplements, eating, some foods, supplements..etc.

The bowel does need exercise to help keep it moving properly and can get a tad lazy when it doesn't.

When I'm stressed (subjective depending on a situation), I can feel it in my stomach/gut. I do take dicyclomine...at least one daily to help lessen the sensations and takes the focus off my gut.

I do find eating helps...go figure.

quincy
*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 6/4/2008 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
dakotagirl said...
Isn't some of the cramping caused by inflammation? My first GI told me about it, but today I can't remember what he said...

Yes, that's one of the causes. I read this illustration/comparison somewhere: Say you have a cut or burn on your arm. The area becomes inflamed... red, swollen, painful and/or hot. How would this area feel if you continued to touch, rub, scratch it or apply pressure? This is what's happening in an inflamed gut... the intake of food passing through inflamed areas and the process of digestion - contracting, spasming - makes the pain worse. This is why many really ill folks benefit from some form of liquid/predigested diet for a period of time to allow the bowel to rest and heal.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal.
 
 


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 6/4/2008 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I know menstrual cramps are caused by the uterus contracting, so I would assume UC cramps are maybe from the colon contracting more than usual because its inflamed. I'm not sure though. This is a good question.
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv


tums
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 6/4/2008 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
My brother who is a doctor and also an UC sufferer like me told me that it is the inflammation that causes the intestine to cramp, so no inflammation, no cramping.

32 year old female
UC diagnosed 2001
Asacol 6 per day
Azathioprine 50mg started 4/08
Steroids 40mg per day


hana24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 6/4/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Beth (or anyone who is having problems with cramps) - my doctor gave me dicyclomine which is what quincy takes also for IBS cramps. It makes me tired and it makes it hard to read things for some reason but they do make the cramps go away. If you take them right before you each it can help you get through the meal without having to run to the bathroom.
Jessica 26/F 30mg pred
dicyclomine 10Mg as needed
Citalopram 20 MG
Culturelle once daily
omeprazole(for acid reflex)
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone, Asacol ,colazal)


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17820
   Posted 6/4/2008 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
tums said...
My brother who is a doctor and also an UC sufferer like me told me that it is the inflammation that causes the intestine to cramp, so no inflammation, no cramping.

I respectfully have to disagree with that...IBSers (whom do not have inflammation involved with having IBS) suffer with terrible cramping issues...

Also, I have crohns-colitis, and have never really had issues with cramping, yet I've had constant inflammation in my colon for 17 yrs straight.

Besides, alot of people can get cramping in their gut from eating something that doesn't agree with them for example, and they don't get inflammation from a situation like that, it's just the muscles contracting more than usual to get the irritant (like a suspect food that doesn't agree) out.

 

:)



My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25561
   Posted 6/5/2008 1:08 AM (GMT -6)   
tums said...
My brother who is a doctor and also an UC sufferer like me told me that it is the inflammation that causes the intestine to cramp, so no inflammation, no cramping.

I would disagree big time as well...because it's simply not true.   

 


 


*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 6/5/2008 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, we all know that excess gas alone can cause painful cramping.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal.
 
 


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2142
   Posted 6/5/2008 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
right now the heating pad is helping me out and the cramps have gotten better. I'll look into the dyclomine if it gets really bad. Thanks for the advice.
Beth, 32 ~ small flare - hoping caused by aspirin - hydrocortisone e's
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 5mg 1xday (tapered from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalapril 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!
 


Got2Believe
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 436
   Posted 6/5/2008 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Inflamation is directly correlated to Diahrrea my Doc says, but not to sure about cramping. I never cramp and have severe inflamation throughout colon so I am not sure what could be the cause.

The only time I cramped was for 2 months after a small course of amoxycillen. Severe major pain when my colon moved food which was before and after eating, and before, during and after BM's. I imagined I was overly inflamed to the point where I thought it hurt my colon to pass food the usual way it does. I guess this is what is called cramping.

I am an athlete, so i see a cramp like the ones I get in my musles. I had one in my calf the other day and it formed a ball and really hurt. That's not what my colon did b/c if it had cramped like that I wouldn't have passed anything b/c it would have made the muscles in my colon tense up and not move at all. My calf tensed up and I could see the big ball of muscle.

Maybe girls understand these pains more than guys...
                                                                                         
28/M/TX single parent of gorgeous 2.5yo girl (revised 5/8/08)
Severe Colitis (pancolitis) since January 9, 2005
currently:  6th week flaring;improving; 2bm/day; very little blood
RX/day:  Currently 10mg of prednisone per day. Lost job and insurance 10/2007 and stopped taking asacol and Imuran cold turkey
OTC: seldom use VSL#3, vitamins & other natural treatments
Diet: SCD helps tremendously, but am not strictly on it.
Other: food combos, enzymes, good posture, chewing more, etc.


Got2Believe
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 436
   Posted 6/5/2008 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Now thinking about it some more I am assuming that my UC pain was not actually a cramp at all. Is anyone's UC pain even a cramp? We probably just use the word "cramp" b/c we associate it to menstrual cramping since it's an organ or muscle we don't see in our abdomen.
 
If it were like muscle cramping then electolytes and bananas and things of that sort would help.
 
What do you all think? I guess defining cramping is the first step to understanding it.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17820
   Posted 6/5/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Got2Believe said...
Inflamation is directly correlated to Diahrrea my Doc says, but not to sure about cramping.

Except in the case of IBS (or a stomach flu) in which there is no inflammation but there is diahrreah.
 
:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


hana24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 6/5/2008 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't have any cramps when I was first diagnosed. My last flare I had really bad cramps but it was a lot worse than my first flare. I have definitely had cramps and pain and there is a difference for me in that my pain is mostly on my right side and my cramps are normally when I eat or right after I go to the bathroom and pass stool(not just blood).
Jessica 26/F 30mg pred
dicyclomine 10Mg as needed
Citalopram 20 MG
Culturelle once daily
omeprazole(for acid reflex)
Tried (Entorcort EC 9ml/day and Prednisone, Asacol ,colazal)


fitmom00
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 6/5/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I tend agree w/ Got2Believe... I've never really thought of it as cramping, per se. (I've had bad non-UC related bouts of diarrhea w/ those sharp cramps and they seem different) and my UC pain seems to be more of a dull, rolling pain - hard to describe. It's often before running to the bathroom, so I've always correlated it to my stool passing through my colon, "touching" the open sores. I relate it to having mouth ulcers and eating - OUCH! Anything that touches those suckers hurt. Wouldn't it be the same in my colon/rectum? Obviously I'm no doctor, but this is just what made sense to me.
Renee
Diagnosed w/ UC in August 2007
Current status: Flare

4 Lialda/day, steroid enema at night, Wellbutrin XL


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2142
   Posted 6/5/2008 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
my own theory was just that it was anything passing against/touching my inflamed tissue.

I will be getting my period in about a week and I don't want to have both cramps again, at the same time, uuuugh!
Beth, 32 ~ small flare - hoping caused by aspirin - hydrocortisone e's
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 5mg 1xday (tapered from 60 = ), Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Enalapril 20mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!
 


Got2Believe
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 436
   Posted 6/5/2008 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't see it as something touching my sores or ulcers b/c i have bled a lot, a hell of a lot, and eaten a lot, a hell of a lot, during flares and no pain.
I think the pain comes from the natural movements the colon makes as it moves waste out of us. I don't know what it's called but it's like a wave movement i imagine. But a wave movement moving food/waste with all tissue being severely inflamed would cause pain I would assume. The only time I thought about toxic mega colon was during my antibiotic caused flare that gave me pain, b/c the pain really made me think it was more swollen/inflamed than usual. And i also assumed it was more inflamed than my usual flare b/c my BM was liquid which meant my colon was hardly working at all.

I agree with hana about the UC pain that i have in my lower back. It's different. It's constant and dull and tender to touch. And hurts more when I am flaring of course.
                                                                                         
28/M/TX single parent of gorgeous 2.5yo girl (revised 5/8/08)
Severe Colitis (pancolitis) since January 9, 2005
currently:  6th week flaring;improving; 2bm/day; very little blood
RX/day:  Currently 10mg of prednisone per day. Lost job and insurance 10/2007 and stopped taking asacol and Imuran cold turkey
OTC: seldom use VSL#3, vitamins & other natural treatments
Diet: SCD helps tremendously, but am not strictly on it.
Other: food combos, enzymes, good posture, chewing more, etc.

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