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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board
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Old 03-11-2006, 01:14 PM   #1
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IBS spasms?

Can anyone tell me what spasms in the colon from IBS feel like?

I saw one web site that had an animation of a spasm... where it actually constricted the colon and made it hard for waste to pass through. Another web site said it is just the out of order contraction/expansion that screws up waste movement through the colon. Are these both right?

I always thought a muscle spasm was like that twitching you get sometimes on your arem or leg where a surface muscle jumps around for a few minutes then stops... of like when you get a knot in your back muscles by your shoulders that a massage therapist tries to work out.

Can abyone tell me what a colon muscle spasm really is and what it feals like?

Can they happen anywhere in the colon? Or are they more common in certain places? What do they feel like to the person having them? Once you feel one does it tend to stay in one place or move around?

I am really curious to hear feedback from people who's doctors have told them they have spasms and possibly even put them on medication for it...

Any input would be greatly appreciated...

 
Old 03-11-2006, 07:35 PM   #2
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Re: IBS spasms?

Mine feels like a grinding feeling that just keeps grinding. It reminds me of a cat with his paws pushing on my lower intestines but a REALLY BIG CAT. It just keeps on and on. it is not very sharp pain for me. I would guess everyone might explain it differently. It is very low in my pelvic area and if you were a women I would say mine remind me of menstraul cramps(but that was a long time ago so I might have forgotten) I find a heating pad either on the area or on my back helps a great deal. Sort of like a kneading feeling. Mine stay in the same place over the entire area.

 
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:26 AM   #3
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Re: IBS spasms?

Jeff,

I think you'll find everyone has a unique experience w/gut spasms. I was dx'd several times w/this, starting in childhood. All of my spasms have had a stabbing, cramping quality to them. Have you ever had a painful muscle cramp in your leg that lasted hours at a time? Mine was like that, but the pain worse than the leg cramp, and usually lasting the better part of a day. Mostly mine were on the right side, in part possibly due to an anatomical variation, I'm told. But I've heard of people w/left side cramps, midline, upper, lower, you name it.

About 5 yrs. before I got rid of my IBS-C w/spasms, I also developed rectal spasms. These delightful pains can only be described as ... imagine a white-hot knife being jabbed in. Totally nasty & debilitating.

The only symptomatic relief I got from spasms was to use heat. A really hot bathtub, keep it hot, lie in there for hours. It didn't totally relieve the pain, but it did keep me from going insane. I was put on anti-spasmodics but they only made the constipation worse & I couldn't function on them at all because I was too drugged. Have to say I never had the pleasure of trying those newer gut-SSRI type drugs.

But for me that's all a thing of the past now. Thank God. Both the IBS-C & all the spasms gone on gluten-free diet. I assume the anatomical variation is still there, but I'm not suffering, not constipated. Wish this had been discovered in my childhood.

Best wishes.

Last edited by elmhar; 03-13-2006 at 09:28 AM.

 
Old 03-13-2006, 07:11 PM   #4
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Re: IBS spasms?

Elmar, is this something that you had all your life? Does one become gluten sensitive in later life? And how were you tested? My endoscopy came back negative for a gluten problem. I was dx'd as IBS but I think mine is more in my stomach as it always feels a little off and I have one and off nausea but all the tests came back negative. I am going back to Gastro Dr. this week and see if we can come up with something else as I just don't think this stomach part is IbS. I am not constipated nor do I have diahrea but I do feel better after I go because the gas is gone.

 
Old 03-13-2006, 07:42 PM   #5
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Re: IBS spasms?

Hi CanyonDweller,

I believe I must have had gluten sensitivity all of my life, however I do not have objective information to prove that. Only that, since infancy I had severe constipation w/stomach pain (in the 50's called spastic colon, later on called IBS-c) which continued throughout my life until a couple of yrs. ago when I made the connection to gluten.

The connection was made for me when my 2nd child was dxd w/gluten intolerance. The first child had IgE gluten allergy (wheat, barley & rye). That is not a celiac thing, but was dxd by an allergist w/scratch-testing of the skin. That child "lost" his lifelong tootiness ... we thought he just 'was that way,' as well as his pediatric migraines & brain fog, by going on a gluten-free diet.

Four yrs. later my other child went through a very difficult patch, had severe mono that seemed to be all in her gut ... was to the point of being tested for cancer, lymphoma, etc. The only thing that was found were antibodies suggestive of celiac disease, IgG & IgA. Her endoscopy was negative, but due to the fact that we were desperate & that she was positive for the main gene for celiac disease, she did a trial of gluten-free diet. Her results were very positive in terms of regaining her health & ending the diarrhea that had plagued her on & off for several yrs ... which her pediatrician had simply shrugged off. This child is very sensitive to gluten & easily relapses with minor exposure (crumbs, etc.) to gluten. Her extreme gluten sensitivity has been confirmed by a gastroenterologist.

I have had the blood & allergy tests my kids had, but they all came back clean. However when my second child began this diet it was just easier to prepare all of our food gluten-free. Within one month I realized I had not lost any days to IBS grief. My lifelong constipation has evaporated. My whole life used to have to be worked around those blessed BMs, their absence or the pain they caused. That is all a thing of the past. My bowel habits now are painless, soft, quick, regular, no straining. Sorry if that's too graphic.

I have belonged to a gluten intolerance support group for a number of yrs. Many people are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance later in life. Since the NIH did their conference & position statement on Celiac disease in 2004, more & more people are being tested & dxd in the USA. But it sounds like you've had that testing.

Well, I am not here to say that everyone w/IBS has gluten intolerance. Probably just a minority of us. But ... there can be other food intolerances that cause gut grief. Have you been tested for lactose intolerance? It's a real humdinger for causing gas.

Best wishes.

 
Old 03-14-2006, 11:34 AM   #6
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Re: IBS spasms?

Elmhar, could you please tell me what kinds of foods have gluten and what may be gluten free? Thanks!

 
Old 03-14-2006, 02:29 PM   #7
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Re: IBS spasms?

I don't eat any dairy as that is the first thing that I noticed having a problem with when this all started. My Dr. also said no dairy and that it was not just the lactose part of it that was the problem. That was his first big no-no with the IBS diagnosis. frankly, I don't think I have IbS as I don't really have a bathroom problem. Mine is gas and nausea until the gas goes up or down. Everything I eat seems to gas me up and it has gotten worse instead of better. it is just that quesy feeling on and off day in and day out. I am going back Thurs. to talk to him because I need to try another approach. Ginger helps the nausea but and fennel helps the gas but I need to find out why. I have always had a gassy stomach but never this nausea. I have no more parts to check out. LOL They did do a gluten test when the did the endoscopy and it was negative. If I eliminate gluten, I can't imagine what will be left to eat. I will check into it though.

 
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