Is holding it in bad?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 2/20/2010 1:15 AM (GMT -7)   
For those times when a bathroom isn't convenient and you clench and grimace and attempt to keep from having an accident, do think doing so can do damage? Like lead to fistulas, diverticulitis, or maybe even ruptures?
Cimzia, Asacol

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3042
   Posted 2/20/2010 2:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I would never hold it can result in an accident.
Hi, I am teddybearweiser, I am a male.
I was diagnosed with crohns disease when i was admitted to the hospital

in 1992, in Jan of 1993 I was back in the hospital for surgery for my crohns. I had part of my right colon resectioned with ilecolonstomy.

My GI doctor has me on and Humira. B-12 injection once a month.
Also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 832
   Posted 2/20/2010 2:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I am not sure but when I hold it in for some time.
I get very sick in my colon. like bad cramps and stuff after I have gone to the toilet
25 year old female
Diagnosed with :
Endometriosis march 2007
Anxiety disorder august 2007
CD/UC they dont know witch October 2008
Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009

Medication - Humira, Asacol, Cipralex and Cerazette.
Past medication Remicade, Imuran
My wonderful dogs :) ~ ~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2088
   Posted 2/20/2010 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I'd say quite the opposite. With many people it seems it is impossible to hold back, and they just have to run; the severe and sudden urge is often caused not by any real need but rather due to inflammation or damage to the nerves that control the two sphincters at the anus. From what I could gather when once upon a time I was reading up on how the anus operates ( eyes I really need to get out more yeah) the nerves are under semi-autonomic control. This means, as we all know, we have some control of what we do with them. But how much control we have is modified by practice - so if we practice lots at keeping the muscles clenched and fighting what the nerves are saying, then the strength of impulse that they send and the answering response from other parts of the body may well be mitigated. There is a feedback mechanism by which you can "teach" your anal sphincter and gut muscles to behave.
In other words, if you keep on trying to hold on for a few seconds more, then in time your gut might learn not to be so hasty at opening the floodgates.
It's a fine works that way with me, anyhow. What I find is that the more I delay going, the stronger the impulses get, until eventually I have no choice - but over the years my control has improved.
I think I might just be lucky. Like I say, it seems this doesn't apply to everyone. It will no doubt depend on how severe your inflammation is.
One thing you can be sure of, unless you already have a really severe weakness like a fistula, you are not going to cause a rupture. The spasms you feel run along your gut, that is how the muscle cells are aligned, in order to push materiel along the gut - the violence of diarrhoea coming out is not like a chemical reaction boiling under ever more pressure, it is more like a syringe effect. Turbocharged peristalsis. Very much in one direction only.
idea Good luck with the experiment...! shocked smilewinkgrin

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
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   Posted 2/20/2010 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
That jives with what one gastro at a conference said. Inflammation in the rectum reduces capacity (of course) and when anything enters it, the urge to go can be overwhelming. At one support group a nurse recommended Kegel exercises to help.
Cimzia, Asacol

artist guy
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 2/20/2010 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
man I have done everything, pulled off on busy freeways, gone in plastic trash bags in a city, i have a roll of toilet paper in my truck, always. for me it's bile that comes with mucus, but if don't gert rid of it, can cause very severe gas blockage, that is super painful, those I call the grip's, because it's those horrible griping pain, like every 45 seconds, it's as bile tries to go thru my inflamed area and can't, that can last up 2-4 hr. just from not getting rid of those eruptions. everybody in this forum knows what I mean.

I forgot to mention when I've had to grocery(plastic) I eat alot of papaya's so my gas nor my bm's have no odor, it's the digestive enzyme in papaya's
artist guy

Post Edited (artist guy) : 2/20/2010 7:10:25 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 2/20/2010 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
i don't think it causes bad stuff. I try to hold it all the time. Especially til i get to the bathroom... doesn't always work tho. lol

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/21/2010 12:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hold it??? I can't hold it if my life depended on it, when the urge hits, there is no holding it back for me, as I'm making my way to the can, I often feel it making it's way out, just lucky they're formed....many people think that with having formed stools that it can be held back but definitely not in my case, my "hold back" muscles must be shot.

I have often read though (regarding healthy people) holding it in too often, can cause constipation...don't know if that would pertain to a flaring crohnie though.

bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 2/22/2010 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if it caused it, but when I was in my 20's, I used to work as a waitress. I had incredible control back then, could cross my legs, clentch up, do some deep breathing, and it would stay in long enough for me to finish up what I was doing and get to the bathroom. Then one day, I felt a "pop", alot of pain, and discovered I had a perivaginal fistula. Like I said, don't know if it caused it, but from then on, if I try to hold it in, it just comes out the fistula.
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 14, have had minor flares throughout the years, but mostly kept in remission. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. Was on Pred. Dr. wants to try Humira...
Currently just take a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, and fish oil.

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