Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 20 of 73 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI All, I just found this site although I've been dealing with IBS-C (sometimes D too) for oh about 20 yrs if not longer. Just wanted to see what y'all do for your spasms? I seem to get symptoms starting the week before my cycle, ending shortly after the cycle begins. I'm on 10 mg Bentyl 2 times a day for the spasms, but sometimes that just isn't enough. I also use a handy heating pad (the kind that canm be heated in the microwave, making it portable for work etc)on the actual spasm spot (which for me is directly in the center of my belly) when the spasms are real bad, consistant spasming. Sometimes a hot bath helps too. Are there any other self help remedies y'all do to stop the spasms? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Hey Sammyprint;I also experience severe spasm, although my spams on on my left side and range from just under my rib cage to to top of my hip bone.I currently take Dicetel (100 mg) three times daily (with food) to help cope with the spasms.When it is real bad (mostly at night) I too tend to use a heating pad.Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I experience extreme cramping - I think I would liken it to a contraction? It's when I'm getting diarrhea and for awhile I won't be able to go during these contractions, but then when the contractions start to get closer and closer I will experience "D", like I am today, unfortunately.Perhaps I am just more aware/sensitive to these contractions? Or maybe IBS sufferers have exaggerated or more frequent "contractions" in their intestines?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,398 Posts
I'm afraid that is that word again.
quote:perhaps I am just more aware/sensitive to these contractions? Or maybe IBS sufferers have exaggerated or more frequent "contractions" in their intestines?
For those new to the study of the IBS, I encourage people to avoid using the term because it makes everyone think something abnormal is occurring in the intestine.The "spasms" of IBS is just pain; it isn't caused by any contractions in the gut. Contractions in the gut are normal and involuntary all the time. There may be more of them and they may occur when they shouldn't occur, and they be more exaggerated than what would otherwise occur in a normal person, but they are not responsible for the discomfort per se.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Hey flux and othersI guess we use the word spasms because there are so many anti spasmodics on the market.I can neally always feel my intestines moving (peristalsis) and I do think they are out of whack (this could be spasms). When I put my hand on where I can feel the movement I feel a vibration phenomenon and this can be quite noisy and embarrasing. I tried to explain this to the gastro and he gave it some name - forgot what - and said that it was the bowel contracting very tightly forcing contents and air to quickly get squashed through causing the feeling and noise. Does anyone else have this - I have no pain, get lots of gas and have IBS - A, mainly C.Flux what do you think? Wouldn't you say that my bowel is everyow and then going through a spasm where it is tightning too much causing my problem? If I could get throught this noisy vibration like problem life would be a whole lot better - at least my work life anyway!Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
584 Posts
Sammy,You may want to try relaxation techniques. Some controlled breathing along with the hot bath can really help out those cramps.At work, I use, well, I don't remember the name of it. Basically, I keep myself busy and focused. I will usually do a small puzzle or game etc along with my work. Not let my mind wander to the pain. Think of it like this. If you twisted your ankle it would hurt, yes? Now, if we were to break your other leg you'd probably forget that your ankle hurt pretty quickly. That's because your head becomes focused on the broken leg.The idea is to have things you can immerse yourself in. To focus on completely. Like just watching tv does not work for me because it does not require my complete attention, whereas video games usually hit the spot. If I'm doing something that doesn't require my full attention, then I do something else along with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
The term was barborgmy.I get that it sounds like popping?I can hear it when I first wake up in the morning.IBS sucks......I wonder if there is someone on this planet that likes IBS?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
To me sorry they are spasms as I can feel them and it feels like my colon is coming thru my skin and lots of time it trapes gas..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,398 Posts
quote:I can neally always feel my intestines moving (peristalsis) and I do think they are out of whack (this could be spasms). When I put my hand on where I can feel the movement I feel a vibration phenomenon and this can be quite noisy and embarrasing. I tried to explain this to the gastro and he gave it some name - forgot what - and said that it was the bowel contracting very tightly forcing contents and air to quickly get squashed through causing the feeling and noise.
What you are describing is a strange phenomenon that a few posters have described. We don't know what it is, but only what it is not. It's not pain, of course, and IBSer's don't have it (which means whatever you have, it ain't IBS). It can't be a "spasm" because that has no meaning physiologically in the gut. I have no idea what the doctor could have called it unless he was calling you a Martian
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Please forgive my ignorance, but the colon in a muscle right? Muscles spasm, right? What's wrong with a colon spasm? Why do you feel it doesn't exist?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
quote------------------------------------What you are describing is a strange phenomenon that a few posters have described. We don't know what it is, but only what it is not. It's not pain, of course, and IBSer's don't have it (which means whatever you have, it ain't IBS). It can't be a "spasm" because that has no meaning physiologically in the gut. I have no idea what the doctor could have called it unless he was calling you a Martian ---------------------------------------Interesting ....You are right there is no pain. I was always under the impression that a lot of IBSers had this sort of feeling. I definately have symptoms of IBS (gas, constipation and a little D) And is started out of the blue about 3 years ago. Whatever these feelings are I can't seem to get rid of it and it sux.As for the word describing this - the gastro said barborgmy as snookman suggested.Regarding spasms - I am with sammyprint all muscles spasm occasionally for certain reasons. Sometimes I get a twitch on the eyelid or bicep. Why would the colon be any different. And also if one was constipated wouldn't the peristaltic (spelling!) waves get a little messed up trying like hell to clear the pipes?Flux do you think that these noises and vibration I feel could be from a buid up of gas in my system - I know that there is some research that suggest that IBSers don't have any more gas BUT for me it is a constant problem and has only started when all these other symptoms started. I am getting a little of topic here but there was one night that I think I must have woken up 20 times to pass wind and I had so much gas that I was in pain? Any feedback on this would be great!Cheers - bring on christmas ( tiem to party with all my martian friends!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
Smooth muscle in the intestines and bladder and such is physiologically different from the skelatal muscle so I don't know that you can assume that because skelatal muscle does it the exact same thing must be happening to your colon.Most of what IBSers experience as pain is the normal colon doing normal things but being sensed abnormally. So there isn't some misbehavior leading to the pain.IBS pain is usually treated with the probably badly named antispasmodics which I think are supposed to relax the smooth muscles or antidepressants that stop the nerves from abnormally sensing the colon and sending pain signals to the brain.K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Thanks KathleenIts great to hear other people's views on the subject.The only thing is if my bowel is functioning normally then how would one explain that I can actually feel this vibration phenomena (almost always to the right side of my abdomen). Not only can I feel it I can hear it - I guess contents being squeased through.I guess it is more complicated then we imagine. I was wondering also what causes stomach hunger noises - is this smooth muscle and is it undergoign spasms or contracting in anticipation or is it too much secretion of the stomach enzymes. Would love to know because it is a little like what happens in my bowels - that growling sound??My doc just put me on prozac but if I have no pain how could it help? Crazy times ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
If there is any nerve misbehavior it may modulate that.The gut is always making noise and moving things around. I don't know if what you have is abnormal awareness of a normal process or not. When we feel something funny we as humans tend to get hyperaware of it even if that same thing has been going on all along. If your gut is totally silent that means it is obstructed and it is a medical emergency. Now usually you have to stick the stethoscope on it like you would to hear the heart beat, but it should make noise.A gut doing normal gut things can be very loud. I'm not sure we know why the noise gets loud enough to be heard, but it doesn't as far as I can tell when it happens to me to be associated that well with other issues that would say something funny is going on (like diarrhea or constipation, etc.)K.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Question on me. I recently went through a Radiofrequescy ablation for a heart condition called Tacycardia. I was on Beta blockers, which not only reduce the heart rate but the anxiety level also. I stopped taking them about a week ago, and starting on Monday I started the um, unusual sensations in my stomach so severe they take my breath away and I bend over slightly. Has anyone else used beta blockers as opposed to antidepressents? And did it help your IBS symptoms?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
Not sure about beta-blockers but a fair number of people take anti-anxiety medication.I've used Buspar for IBS even though I don't have anxiety. It works on a different serotonin receptor than antidepressants so works for anxiety, but isn't sedating like the benzos.K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,983 Posts
I asked the experts at the UNC a while back about this as some know and technically they are not spasms but contractions.Flux, I still need to ask them about the other question, which I will do soon.A couple things, one is how the bowel actually works, it has to distend like a ballon you feel with air in order to feel anything, because it doesn't release neurotransmitters until that happens.But"Pain and BloatingNormal, Relaxed Bowel Bowel With IrregularContractions The well-functioning bowel has regular, rhythmic contractions, which in IBS, become disrupted. Depending on the strength of bowel contractions and the amount of intestinal gas, painful abdominal cramps may be experienced. Variations in intestinal contractions, which may cause material in one section of the intestine to be passing slowly while material in another section is passing quickly, and when these actions occur simultaneously, painful cramps result as well as the characteristic alternating between constipation and diarrhea. Also, prolonged contractions of the bowel may prevent the normal passage of air through the bowel, triggering bloating, belching, and flatulence. Bloating can become so severe that clothing needs to be adjusted and abdominal swelling becomes visible to others.Pain is varied among individuals with IBS. It may be ongoing or it may resolve very quickly. It can occur occasionally or frequently, and it can move around from one location in the bowel to another. Digestive pain often occurs following a meal and can last for hours."http://www.badgut.com/index.php?contentFil...+Bowel+Syndrome
You might want to read this alsoVisceral Sensations and Brain-Gut MechanismsBy: Emeran A. Mayer, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry; Director, Center for Neurovisceral Sciences & Women's Health, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAThe most common symptoms of IBS patients are related to altered perception of sensations arising from the GI tract, and frequently from sites outside the GI tract, such as the genitourinary system or the musculoskeletal system. Sensations of bloating, fullness, gas, incomplete rectal evacuation and crampy abdominal pain are the most common symptoms patients experience. Numerous reports have demonstrated that a significant percentage of FBD patients (about 60%) rate experimental distensions of the colon as uncomfortable at lower distension volumes or pressures when compared to healthy control subjects. This finding of an increased perception of visceral signals ("visceral hypersensitivity") has been demonstrated during balloon distension tests of the respective part of the GI tract regardless of where their primary symptoms are â€" the esophagus, the stomach, or the lower abdomen. In contrast to the current emphasis on mechanisms that may result in sensitization of visceral afferent pathways in the gut, it may well be that alterations in the way the nervous system normally suppresses the perception of the great majority of sensory activity arising from our viscera are essential for the typical symptom constellation of IBS and other functional GI disorders to develop.What is unique about perception of visceral events in the GI tract?There are several features which are unique to the perception of sensory stimuli arising from the gastrointestinal tract and which differ from those coming from the rest of the body. These differences may explain many of the symptom characteristics present in FBD patients.Even though the events within the GI tract such as the composition of food, the concentration of acid, or the strength of contractions are continuously monitored by sensory nerve fibers, only a small fraction of this sensory information ever reaches consciousness. The majority of sensory signals play a role in reflex regulation of the digestive process and presumably in the very basic regulation of states like hunger or well being. The only sensory signals which are consciously perceived are those which result in a beneficial behavioral response, such as: the sensation of being "full" following a big meal so that we stop eating, the sensation of rectal fullness and urgency preceding a bowel movement, and the sensation of gas which will result in an attempt to expel the gas from the upper or lower GI tract. http://www.aboutibs.org/Publications/VisceralSensations.htmlIt has been known now for a while that the "gate" for sensory information arising from the gut to the brain is lost in IBS, so all sensory information gets through.This is also a newer study about it. Study shows link between IBS and pain"Thus, people with IBS have a lower pain threshold because their pain filters appear to malfunction, amplifying rather than dampening the nervous input from the gut to the brain - resulting in a propensity for both abdominal pain, and an increased sensitivity to somatic (skin or surface) pain. "Compared to healthy subjects, IBS patients tend to have a more sensitive bowel. This can be explained by the finding that IBS sufferers have a lower pain threshold for perceiving abdominal pain, when compared to individuals who don't have IBS. "So, IBS patients may feel pain even when the intensity of a stimulation they receive is within a normal range," explained Prof Ho. "http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/hea.../239806/1/.htmlThere have been a lot of studies related to this discussion. Some of them are fmri studies and pet scans studies of the brain and IBS. The brain scans are different then normal controls as well as IBD conditions.There maybe a problem and they are looking into this for quite some time now for the brains anterior cinculate cortex to signal the release of endorphines back down to the gut for pain. However that is just one part of it all.You can get pain from normal gut functioning however in IBS. Not only that but the signal arising from the gut may activate the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with anxiety, as opposed to the ACC which is associated with pain and emotions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,398 Posts
quote:but the colon in a muscle right? Muscles spasm, right? What's wrong with a colon spasm?
The term spasm is probably most useful when describing a condition like nocturnal leg cramps. In this condition, a muscle under normal voluntary control suddenly and violently contracts on its own and this contraction is accompanied by severe pain.The smooth muscle of the gut is always under involuntary control and the way it is innervated and controlled is very different from skeletal muscle. It probably could get out of control on its own, but that would probably under very specific circumstances (i.e, severe electrolyte imbalance).
quote:The only thing is if my bowel is functioning normally then how would one explain that I can actually feel this vibration phenomena (almost always to the right side of my abdomen). Not only can I feel it I can hear it - I guess contents being squeased through.
That you can feel vibration indicates that it is not a hyperawareness because vibrations like that do not normally occur in the gut. In addition, the sensation of vibration is not transmitted by the visceral pain nerves which are sensitized in IBS. So this is clearly not normal nor is is related IBS. You could confirm this by putting your hand on your abdomen. If you can feel it there, then it cannot be due to hypersensitivity (of any kind).
quote:I guess it is more complicated then we imagine. I was wondering also what causes stomach hunger noises - is this smooth muscle and is it undergoign spasms or contracting in anticipation or is it too much secretion of the stomach enzymes. Would love to know because it is a little like what happens in my bowels - that growling sound??
Hunger stomach noises are probably not related to hunger, but are most likely the result of the gut's normal contractive cycle between meals. Most likely, phase III of the migrating motor complex. What's actually going to make the noise and why is it these noises don't result in "vibrations" is probably complicated. We are only just beginning to study the motions of the gut in realtime, so right now, I'm not sure we have good answers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Very good thread Guys and GalsVery infomativeI have an image of the Bowel kinda like an inside out snake, Would this be an accurate metaphor? I feel that instead of a nice smooth, snake like, motion We unfortunate IBS suffers have a juddering or a skipped beat somewhere along the line, which then knocks the entire system out of balance.
 
1 - 20 of 73 Posts
Top