bowel contractions?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 5/19/2008 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm new and this is my first time starting a thread.  My GI has told me maybe 5% of the information I have found on this website.  I feel like I should sack him. 
I would really like to know if the following ever happens to others.
When I have a bm (when I pass fecal material and not just blood and mucus) I first have cramps which I assume is pretty normal occurance, but as the bm starts moving down, my body goes nuts.  I get clammy and then rigid as a sick pain surges through my lower abdomen.  My mouth fills with saliva as nausea hits.  Then I have a very strong, totally involuntary contraction (not unlike pushing-time contractions during childbirth)  that often doubles me over as bm passes out.  Then I am left feeling sore, sick, and little breathless.  It is like I am having the vomiting response from the other end.
Is this business as usual?  I am flaring and have seen my GI several times already this year, but I have never mentioned it.  It just occurred to me this morning after my eighth "episode" today that perhaps I am suffering needlessly and there is something I could take to stop it.
Any idea?

UC since 10/05, first symptoms felt as early 1983
canasa and lialda daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 5/19/2008 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I had those symptoms too minus the pain. I never had pain with UC. I know that talking about symptoms with GIs can be embarrassing but you really need to share this with yours at your next visit.

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30971
   Posted 5/19/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi..yeah, the white-knuckler bms can have me in quite a state...
Call the doctor and ask for the retention enemas (Rowasa)...and if you can't use them, start using the Canasa up to 3 times a day.

How many Lialda are you on?

As well...ask him for a prescription of dicyclomine...10mg. You can take it a few times a day if necessary. It'll help with some of the digestive tract spasming.

Oh, usually I'm quite spent after those episodes....amazing how much it can take out of us.

Have you been on Rowasa before...if yes, why can't you take it?

Keep us posted.
*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
~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 !!!

Old Mike
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3886
   Posted 5/20/2008 9:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Finally found someone else that gets this. I only get this if I am really bad.
Cramping and pain rachet up, then you get what is called I believe water brash, but
this is not related to GERD. What I believe happens is that this is a protective reaction
of the body where you get all the saliva/mucus in the mouth but it also happens in the colon.
After this happens I can then pass the stool or go into a long bout of the runs after
the colon opens up. This usually happens when I am experimenting with something, like
VSL3,Isatis Cooling, or even Lutein. Lutein was the worst, very bad night.
Old MIke

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 5/20/2008 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
When flaring, this is not unusual for me. Q's suggestions are good. Definitely call your doc and ask for add'l meds.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Getting close to remission!?!?!
10mg pred, Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Co-Mod for the UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/20/2008 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been there...especially during issues with would send my body into the worst vibration of pain and discomfort, and I would have terrible lower back pain (enough to make me ball like a baby) and I'd feel so weak after which sucked because I'd have plenty of more episodes of this one right after the other, those were the times when I was really glued to the toilet.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 5/20/2008 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
What you might be experincing is "Tenesmus" (more info here ).

I've been there usually at the start of a flare, but fortunatly not that often. The worst was in a restroom at a restraunt. Just embarassing. Chewing on ones shirt to keep from crying out in pain is not a good way to spend your day.
Diagnosed UC 12/2007
Prednisone 15mg x 1/day ~ On going recent change 4/3/2008

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 5/20/2008 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
YES!!!!! I have that very often and I believe I have maybe posted on here about that...I didn't describe it quiet like you, but I definately have that...Sometimes I feel like I am even going to throw up...Its completely uncontrolable...Everything is contracting without my approval...LOL...Usually when that happens to me, its like I spend FOREVER on the toilet...My eyes water because of it...Anyway, I have started Rowasa so hopefully that will help it...I am still trying to get the last 6 or 8 inches of my colon/rectum to heal...
29 Yrs old
Dx UC 3/07
4 Lialda/day
Remicade (only had three infusions)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/20/2008 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
"Tenesmus" is the feeling of incomplete evactuation, the feeling of having to go but little to no stool comes out sometimes mucus only will come out...this is often due to proctitis and those with IBS also have issues with these feelings.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 5/20/2008 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the contraction thing when I first got UC. It sucked horribly. You explained it perfectly! It is totally like vomiting out the other end. When I explained it to my doctor at first, I said it felt like I was having contractions. Have you tried any other meds than what is listed in your signature? For me, the Asacol and Rowasa helped get rid of the contractions/pain/bleeding/"D," but if your current med combo isn't working and you're still having 8+ BMs/day plus the symptoms you just mentioned, I would suggest looking into other treatment options. Hope you start feeling better soon!
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 5/20/2008 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
perfect description, unfortunately. I used to get that "i'm going to be SICK!" feeling until i started asacol and rowasa. my doc also gave me nulev for pain/spasms, and those "white knucklers" almost totally disappeared.

I stopped taking the rowasa because it was giving me a different issue, and I stopped the nulev two weeks ago because I was going on a long road trip and wanted to make sure I didn't get drowsy, and they came back! I have a doc appt this week, but I'm taking my meds again like a good girl. I guess the moral of the story is, once you find the right med combo, don't stop unless you check with your doc first.
Get me a box of kittens, stat!
28 year old Jersey Girl
Asacol x 12, nulev x 4, generic rowasa at night
Thought it was IBS since 2002. Diagnosed left-sided UC 4/08. Plan to start SCD. Determined to get into remission before paintball season ends

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 5/21/2008 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   

Thank You very much to all who answered me!  I don't like to hear that others are suffering, but it is oddly comforting to know that I am not the only one whose body behaves strangely.  Sounds like a lot of the people who have this have uc lower down like I do.  (left-sided colitis)

My doc has never mentioned Rowasa to me tho I have seen it mentioned many times on this site and I gather it is some sort of topical steriod for the rectum.    It sounds like it must be awesome stuff.  I take two 1000mg Canasa and 2 Lialda a day.  I took those nine colozol for a short while.  I had a cscope last Monday and see my GI this coming Tues so I will definetely bring this to his attention now that I know it is part of UC.  Up until recently I have only seen my GI a few times so he really doesn't know about my little complaints.

The awful truth is this:.  Even though I have known I have UC for 2 1/2 years and have bled or had diarrhea nearly every day since - I have denied its existence.  I have not kept my doc appts and I have not taken my medicine anywhere near regularly.  I can't explain it, but I just thought I could use my will to make it go away.  None of my friends knew I had it and only a few family members knew and I was so vague about it that some of them really didn't understand what I had.  Anyone else do that?  Stupid and foolish.  I am more than old enough to know better and I am lucky I didn't end up with horrible health problems. 

Anyway, I have not tried very many kinds of treatments yet.  GI wants me give the lialda and canasa a chance to see if they help, but says there are lots of things to try and and now that I am committed to getting UC under control I should strive for 100% abatement of symptoms.

That's my dirty little secret and that is why medication wise I am practically like someone who was just diagnosed.

Phew! :-)

UC since 10/05, first symptoms felt as early 1983
canasa and lialda daily

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