Why do I get diarrhea during my period? This is a question we often get from our users. Today, we investigate the causes of diarrhea during your period and find out how to get rid of diarrhea on your period or before it.
Kate Shkodzik, MD
- Diarrhea before your period
- Diarrhea during your period
Diarrhea before your period
Cramps, bloating, back pain, sore breasts, and mood swings are all common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Diarrhea is another symptom you might experience before getting your period.
If you’ve found that your diarrhea appears before your period, you’re not alone. Many people experience severe diarrhea with PMS. Your menstrual cycle and digestive system are closely linked.
Why do you get diarrhea before your period?
Levels of progesterone and estrogen change during your menstrual cycle. There are receptor cells for these hormones in your gastrointestinal tract. This suggests that the gastrointestinal tract is designed to sense and react to these hormonal changes.
Apart from hormones, another cause for diarrhea before your period is the increased amount of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins can make the muscle that lines your bowels contract and push waste out quickly.
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Diarrhea a week before your period: is it normal?
Most premenstrual symptoms begin one to two weeks before your period. They might last up to seven days after the start of menstruation.
When your period is about to arrive, digestive symptoms tend to fall to the extremes. Some people get constipated, and others have diarrhea. One study has shown that 73 percent of women experience at least one of the primary gastrointestinal symptoms either before or during their period. Roughly 24 percent of women said they experience diarrhea before their period, while 28 percent experience diarrhea during their period.
Diarrhea right before your period: a symptom of PMS?
Experts in gastroenterology have found that you are more likely to experience bloating and constipation in the days of your cycle following ovulation.
However, things start to change as you get closer to your period. In the days right before your period, you are more likely to experience diarrhea and abdominal pain. Diarrhea right before your period is normal. In most cases, a healthy diet and medicine can make the symptoms go away.
How to treat diarrhea before your period
Here are some steps you can take to manage diarrhea:
- Drinking plenty of water to ease your abdominal bloating
- Maintaining a caffeine-free diet
- Eating a nutritious diet to improve your overall health (fiber-rich or plain food is best if you have diarrhea)
- Reducing your intake of sugar, salt, and alcohol
Your health care provider can also advise you on treatment and prescribe medication to treat your diarrhea.
See your health care provider if your diarrhea starts to affect your daily life or if your symptoms don’t go away. Make sure to contact your health care provider immediately if you have one of the following symptoms: your stools are bloody or black, you become dehydrated, you have a fever, or you have severe abdominal or rectal pain. Your health care provider may do the following tests to rule out other medical problems:
- Physical exam
- Gynecological exam
- Complete blood count
- Blood tests
Diarrhea during your period
The severity of your symptoms may be linked to your period. Although diarrhea can occur before your period, many people find that their symptoms get worse when they have their period. For some, their bodies are more reactive to food in the days during menstruation, particularly gassy foods.
Is diarrhea a period symptom?
Some people find that symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and constipation get worse during the days immediately after ovulation. Others report that they have an increase in the severity of these symptoms during their period.
Is it normal to have diarrhea on your period?
Diarrhea during your period is a common complaint. During your period, the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen as well as prostaglandins can change the behavior of the smooth muscle in your intestines. As long as it doesn’t cause such severe gastrointestinal pain that it keeps you from leaving your home, it’s typically nothing to worry about.
If you notice that your diarrhea is bloody, you should see your health care provider as soon as possible. There can be different causes of bloody stools, such as trauma, infectious diseases, endometriosis, and a tumor.
Causes of diarrhea during period
Medical researchers don’t yet fully understand the exact reasons why diarrhea occurs during your period. The most likely cause is prostaglandins, which are chemicals released during your period that affect the contractions of smooth muscles in the uterus and the intestines. They send a “squeeze” message to your bowels and can sometimes go into overdrive.
How to treat diarrhea on period
Some of the things you can do to manage diarrhea during your period include:
- Eating foods rich in soluble fiber like bananas, peeled apples, and oats
- Staying well hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids
- Taking medication that relieves menstrual symptoms
- Avoiding foods that are highly insoluble, like whole grains, broccoli, and other high-fiber vegetables
When Mother Nature (or Aunt Flo) decides to come and visit, it’s typically uncomfortable and inconvenient at best. Yes, it’s a totally natural thing that happens to every woman, but the few days we experience cramping and shed uterine tissue from our bodies always have us readjusting everything in our lives to make us feel more comfortable.
And then there are some of us who get really bad side effects during our periods, like nausea. I used to get cramps so bad that I had to be picked up from school and lie in bed all day. Luckily for me, the pain that comes with the cramps never led to nausea during my period, but according to Gunvor Ekman-Ordeberg, MD, Ph.D., ob-gyn andВ co-founder of DeoDoc, pain from cramps can lead to that sick feeling. Here, she explains why you might feel that way and how to treat nausea during your period.
“There are several reasons to explain why a woman may experience nausea during their period. One of the most common reasons is pain caused by menstrual cramps,” says Eckman-Ordeberg. “Nausea can also occur from the hormonal changes in the body during the menstrual cycle.”
She also explains that based on genetics, some women are more prone to nausea during their periods and before they get pregnant. “We know that nausea during menstruation is more common before women get pregnant for the first time. The reason for this is not yet known, but there are studies indicating that it is likely due to the uterus changes made after a pregnancy, like the uterus being able to handle increased pressure,” she says. “Additionally, there is a genetic factor involved: Studies show that women with pain-related diseases are more prone to nausea during menstruation.”
There is bad news and good news when it comes to fighting off the urge to throw up, Ekman-Ordeberg told us. The bad news:В “There is no real way to prevent nausea, as it is caused by internal bodily functions,” she says. “If the tips do not help and the symptoms persist, I recommend seeing your ob-gyn, as some diseases, such as endometriosis, can cause nausea during the period.”
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The good news, though, is there are options to help ease nausea during our periods. The first thing she recommends is anti-inflammatory medication.
“Before menstruation begins, the inner lining of the uterus starts to make prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances/chemical compounds,” she says. “When the inner lining breaks down during menstruation, prostaglandins are released, causing inflammation and uterus contractions, thus creating painful cramps. Therefore, I recommend anti-inflammatory medication since it reduces bothВ inflammation and pain.”
Feeling sick or vomiting during your period is really unpleasant. In this article, we’ll talk about what causes menstrual nausea and what you can do to relieve the symptoms.
Iryna Ilyich, MD
- What is the connection?
Nausea from your period: are the two connected?
Nausea during your period is a common symptom linked to substances known as prostaglandins. Normally, among many other things, prostaglandins help your body launch an inflammatory response to pathogens. During your period, they help your uterus contract, shedding the lining. As a side effect, they can make you feel nauseous during your period, sometimes leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches.
Nausea during your period can also be caused by a mild fluctuation of sex hormones, which prompts the stomach to overproduce gastric juices containing hydrochloric acid. This can cause mild heartburn or, in extreme cases, vomiting.
Your period may also come with a migraine, which can also cause nausea.
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How to alleviate period sickness
If menstrual nausea has you feeling down, don’t worry — there are several ways to treat it. There are several possible causes of nausea during menstruation:
- Changes in the levels of hormones that sometimes initiate the overproduction of gastric juice, which contains hydrochloric acid
- Your body’s reaction to the release of prostaglandins, which cause cramping not only in the uterus but also in the stomach
You can make some dietary changes to help you with nausea. Avoid fatty or spicy foods (opt for small portions of bland food instead), avoid intense odors, and stay hydrated. Ginger, chamomile, and mint tea may help calm your stomach. Take small sips of cold, clear, carbonated, or sour drinks.
You can also try an antacid. It can help alleviate symptoms by neutralizing hydrochloric acid.
Relieving the cramps may also relieve your nausea. Applying heat (like a hot water bottle) may reduce pain in your lower abdomen. Physical activity may also ease your pain in some cases.
If these methods are not enough, you can try over-the-counter or prescription pain medicine from your health care provider. Make sure to consult with your health care provider before taking any medication.
Besides riding a hormonal roller coaster and dealing with uncomfortable cramps, many women also experience diarrhea during their period.
You have enough to deal with during your period — diarrhea and changes in bowel habits are just more things you don’t want to put up with.
Though diarrhea is caused by the same bodily changes that cause period cramping, many women find it can be managed and prevented with medication.
Why Diarrhea Happens During Your Period
The exact reasons why diarrhea occurs during your period aren’t fully understood, but it is quite common and often tied to menstrual cramps. Believed to be at the root of the cause are prostaglandins, chemicals released during your period that allow the uterus, and thus the intestines, to contract.
Prostaglandins can also cause other pain associated with dysmenorrhea, the medical term for painful menstrual periods. Prostaglandin-related cramps and diarrhea usually occur in the first three days of your menstrual period.
“[Bowel movements] can change with differing hormone levels,” says Francisco J. Marrero, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Lake Charles Memorial Health System in Louisiana. In fact, some women may even notice the opposite and become constipated during their period, Dr. Marrero says.
Diarrhea, as well as other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating and nausea, may also occur during the week prior to your period. In this case, the diarrhea may be part of a group of symptoms, usually including mild mood changes, called premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Managing Diarrhea During Your Period
Women who often experience bouts of diarrhea during their period should prepare for what is about to come.
“Try some agent that will slow [diarrhea] down,” says Marrero, such as Imodium (loperamide) or Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicylate). “If women can predict when it’s going to happen, they can start taking medication before symptoms start.” If the diarrhea is only occasional or isn’t bothersome, you don’t have to do anything, since you know it will pass quickly.
What to Eat and What to Avoid When You Have Diarrhea
Taking loperamide or another anti-diarrheal can help soothe or prevent diarrhea symptoms, but make sure to check with your doctor before taking these medicines. Also, be sure to stay well-hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids. Bulking up on extra fiber can also help solidify loose stools and perhaps reduce your diarrhea symptoms. Another tip is to try to eat foods that contain active cultures of beneficial bacteria (probiotics), like the ones found in yogurt.
But, Marrero cautions, if you’re experiencing significant pain or bloody stools, the cause could be more serious than just PMS symptoms or dysmenorrhea. Endometriosis, a chronic illness affecting the reproductive system, can (although rarely) have an effect on the bowels, causing bloody stools.
Juggling Diarrhea and PMS
You can manage and prevent some premenstrual symptoms and dysmenorrhea by taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like Ibuprofen or Naproxen to inhibit the release of chemicals related to pain. Taking birth control pills to prevent ovulation may also help to prevent many painful symptoms for some women.
Believe it or not, exercise is one of the best medicines for managing PMS and menstrual pain. Moderate exercise can help alleviate cramps by improving blood flow — and what works on cramps may work on diarrhea, too. Also, avoid caffeine and junk foods, as both can cause diarrhea and worsen PMS.
Of course, a heating pad, warm water bottle, or warm cloth across your abdominal area can also help relieve the pain brought on by period cramps.
Remember that a healthy diet and regular exercise can keep your belly and your bowels happy all the time — especially during your period.
If you ever feel nauseous during your period, it may make you worry that something is wrong. But most of the time, it’s pretty normal. And it’s something many women deal with.
Hormones are usually the cause
For most women who experience nausea during or before their periods, it’s just a normal part of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). A hormone called prostaglandin circulates around your body during your time of the month. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches.
PMS typically begins a week or two before your period. Your breasts may be sore, and you may be constipated. Back pain, headaches and bloating or swelling may also occur.
Emotionally, you may feel anxious or irritable. Some women go through mood swings or find themselves crying for no reason. You may even have trouble sleeping.
Painful cramps can also cause nausea
If you suffer from dysmenorrhea, which is just a big word for painful cramps, you may also experience nausea. Strong pain in your back, stomach, legs, hips and pelvis can make you feel like you might throw up.
Two serious causes of nausea during your period
PMS is often harmless. However, there are two causes of nausea during your period that can be serious.
The first is endometriosis. If you have this disorder, the tissue in your uterus that sheds and causes your period each month grows outside your uterus instead. Sometimes, endometriosis is so painful that it can make you sick.
Other times, that tissue grows near your intestines. This can also make you nauseous. Other symptoms you may have include fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and heavy bleeding during your period. Some women with endometriosis also find sex to be painful. They may even feel pain while urinating or having a bowel movement.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is another serious cause of nausea during your period. Most women get this when bacteria move from the vagina to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It can cause cramps, pain during sex, pain during urination and pelvic pain. In more serious cases, you may have a fever and chills. PID is usually due to bacteria from a sexually transmitted disease. It can also develop during childbirth.
Dealing with nausea during your period
If you find yourself feeling nauseous during your period, there are some things you can do to feel better. Sometimes, just getting some fresh air or going for a walk can help. A cool compress may also do the trick.
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and sticking to a bland diet. Ginger may also help. Drink some ginger ale or keep some ginger-flavored candy on hand. Many people swear by drinking peppermint or chamomile tea. If none of those help, try taking an antacid.
When to see your doctor
While nausea is normal during your period, you may want to see a doctor if you’ve never felt it before. If you start throwing up, especially to the point that you’re dehydrated or losing weight, seek medical help as soon as possible.
If you have a fever, feel severe pain or have unusual discharge from your vagina, you’ll also want to contact your doctor.
If you have questions about your period, we’re here to help. Learn more about the obstetrics and gynecology services we offered at Bon Secours.
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If you have diarrhea during your period, it’s not due to your period. This is not a normal symptom of what happens during PMS. So
technically there’s no such thing as PMS diarrhea. Therefore, there’s no treatment for PMS diarrhea because it doesn’t exist.
You may have been wondering why does PMS cause diarrhea, how long does PMS diarrhea last, and is diarrhea a symptom of PMS, but there technically is no medical connection. There may be a connection of a faulty intestinal tract with diarrhea, and during one’s period the intestinal tract gets more upset than usual, but that’s the extent of the connection.
If there is diarrhea with nausea and vomiting that happens to occur during PMS, it’s a sign that you may have other health issues. So you can have diarrhea during the same time you have PMS.
For example, any of the following are the reasons why diarrhea occurs:
- The bacterial flora in the intestines are not correct.
- You have irritable bowel syndrome.
- You ate something that contained a bacteria or virus in it that causes food poisoning.
- You are traveling and have traveler’s diarrhea.
- Your body is trying to purge itself.
- You have parasites.
How long does PMS diarrhea last?
Well, again, it’s plain old diarrhea, not PMS diarrhea! Diarrhea can last anywhere from a few hours to several months. For example, there’s a bacterial infection called Clostridium dificile that causes diarrhea for a few months, or until the doctor can get it under control.
Diarrhea can be a life-threatening condition if left unchecked. In fact, babies can die from diarrhea because they lose their electrolytes – and it’s the same thing with adults. You always want to do something about diarrhea whenever you have it.
Six Natural Ways to Treat Diarrhea (No such thing as PMS diarrhea)
- Take a probiotic with 150 billion colony forming units (cfu) per capsule. Take one twice daily about 8 hours apart. Continue this until the diarrhea leaves.
- Clean out the colon with regular colonic hydrotherapy sessions to regain health of the intestines from the irritable bowel syndrome.
- Take two capsules charcoal with a large glass of water twice daily until the diarrhea relieves itself.
- Be more careful with drinking water and ice and eating vegetables or fruits in foreign countries. In the meantime, take charcoal as explained in #3.
- Mix one heaping tablespoon slippery elm herb with ½ cup applesauce. Add cinnamon if you need more flavor. Eat this mixture. Repeat twice. This is a way to stop diarrhea (or if you want to call it PMS diarrhea…)
- Do a complete parasite cleanse for 90 days. You’ll have to find these online, complete with instructions.
Take Care of the PMS – It’s Easy
If you have PMS, you should be working on ways to eliminate the PMS. One of the easiest ways to do this is to take a Period Vitamin. The term period vitamin may be a new one that you are unfamiliar with. It means a multivitamin that contains vitamins and minerals but is made specifically for those women that are in their reproductive years. They still have their period and can still get pregnant.
Women who aren’t in their reproductive years don’t need the same amounts of vitamins and minerals as those who are. For example, women that have their periods lose a lot of iron via their menstrual periods whereas women in menopause don’t have this issue at all. The women with their periods therefore need extra iron whereas women in menopause don’t. There are other nutrients that have to be different for women in their reproductive years as well.
A period vitamin is taken once daily. Most women can remember to take something once daily so it’s an easy addition to the daily habits. You simply add it to a few other daily habits you are already doing.
Diarrhoea and vomiting are common in adults, children and babies. They’re often caused by a stomach bug and should stop in a few days.
The advice is the same if you have diarrhoea and vomiting together or separately.
How to treat diarrhoea and vomiting yourself
You can usually treat yourself or your child at home. The most important thing is to have lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.
stay at home and get plenty of rest
drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick
carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby – if they’re being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual
give babies on formula or solid foods small sips of water between feeds
eat when you feel able to – you do not need to eat or avoid any specific foods
take paracetamol if you’re in discomfort – check the leaflet before giving it to your child
do not have fruit juice or fizzy drinks – they can make diarrhoea worse
do not make baby formula weaker – use it at its usual strength
do not give children under 12 medicine to stop diarrhoea
do not give aspirin to children under 16
How long diarrhoea and vomiting last
In adults and children:
- diarrhoea usually stops within 5 to 7 days
- vomiting usually stops in 1 or 2 days
Diarrhoea and vomiting can spread easily
Stay off school or work until you’ve not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days.
If you also have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
To help avoid spreading an infection:
wash your hands with soap and water frequently
wash any clothing or bedding that has poo or vomit on it separately on a hot wash
clean toilet seats, flush handles, taps, surfaces and door handles every day
do not prepare food for other people, if possible
do not share towels, flannels, cutlery or utensils
do not use a swimming pool until 2 weeks after the symptoms stop
A pharmacist can help with diarrhoea and vomiting
Speak to a pharmacist if:
- you or your child (over 5 years) have signs of dehydration – such as dark, smelly pee or peeing less than usual
- you need to stop diarrhoea for a few hours
They may recommend:
- oral rehydration sachets you mix with water to make a drink
- medicine to stop diarrhoea for a few hours (like loperamide) – not suitable for children under 12
Call a pharmacy or contact them online before going in person. You can get medicines delivered or ask someone to collect them.
Urgent advice: Get advice from 111 now if:
- you’re worried about a baby under 12 months
- your child stops breast or bottle feeding while they’re ill
- a child under 5 years has signs of dehydration – such as fewer wet nappies
- you or your child (over 5 years) still have signs of dehydration after using oral rehydration sachets
- you or your child keep being sick and cannot keep fluid down
- you or your child have bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from the bottom
- you or your child have diarrhoea for more than 7 days or vomiting for more than 2 days
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Other ways to get help
Get an urgent GP appointment
A GP may be able to help you.
Ask your GP practice for an urgent appointment.
Check with the GP surgery before going in. A GP may speak to you on the phone.
Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E if you or your child:
- vomit blood or have vomit that looks like ground coffee
- have green or yellow-green vomit
- might have swallowed something poisonous
- have a stiff neck and pain when looking at bright lights
- have a sudden, severe headache or stomach ache
What we mean by severe pain
Causes of diarrhoea and vomiting
You probably will not know exactly what the cause is, but the main causes of diarrhoea and vomiting are treated in the same way.
The most common causes are:
- a stomach bug (gastroenteritis)
- norovirus – also called the “vomiting bug”
- food poisoning
Other causes of diarrhoea or vomiting
Diarrhoea can also be caused by:
- medicines – check the leaflet to see if it’s a side effect
- a food intolerance or food allergy
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- inflammatory bowel disease
- coeliac disease
- diverticular disease
Vomiting can also be caused by:
- medicines – check the leaflet to see if it’s a side effect
- reflux – where a baby brings feeds back up (“spitting up”)
- other infections – such as a urinary tract infection (UTI)
Page last reviewed: 07 December 2020
Next review due: 07 December 2023
Having their menstrual cycle means riding the hormonal roller coaster for many women.
Besides dealing with painful symptoms, such as abdominal pain, menstrual pain, bloating, pains, and uncomfortable cramps, many healthy women also have to deal with experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, during their period.
Menstrual cycle and other hormonal changes are enough to deal with, and no one needs drastic changes in bowel habits on top of everything else.
The same bodily changes cause PMS symptoms, period diarrhea, and period cramping, but many find that period diarrhea can be prevented and managed with medication, as well as natural remedies.
Why Does Period Diarrhea Happen?
Unfortunately, the exact reasons why these symptoms happen during the period aren’t fully known and understood.
Many experts and peer-reviewed studies believe that diarrhea is often connected to inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and a troubled digestive system. However, period diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms, and it is often tied to menstrual cramps.
Experts widely believe that the cause of period diarrhea and period cramps are prostaglandins, which are chemicals released during your period that cause the uterus to contract.
During your period, your body produces more prostaglandins than usual, and the prostaglandin causes the uterus and the intestines to contract, causing cramps, pain, and period diarrhea.
In most cases, prostaglandin-related diarrhea and cramps usually occur during the first three days of the menstrual period, while the uterus is actively shedding its uterine lining.
Diarrhea, as well as bloating and nausea, can occur during the week before your period as well. In this scenario, the diarrhea is a part of changes caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
How Long Does Period Diarrhea Last?
The length of this uncomfortable symptom that causes more frequent bowel movements will depend on several different factors, and it is different for every woman.
In some cases, period diarrhea occurs often and might last up to seven days after the first day of menstruation.
How To Manage and Treat Diarrhea?
Period diarrhea is a very uncomfortable period symptom, and it requires some special attention and care in order to be managed.
Some of the ways to manage period diarrhea include:
Drinking plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water will ease your abdominal bloating and reduce diarrhea, and being hydrated never brings any harm.
If you experience diarrhea often, try battling it with hydration.
Maintaining a caffeine-free diet
Caffeine can worsen all period symptoms, but that is especially true for women who experience diarrhea.
If you happen to get period diarrhea every time you get your period, make sure to stay away from caffeine during those five to seven days.
Eating nutritious, healthy food
Eating a nutritious and healthy diet is going to improve your overall health.
Quality nutrition is also especially beneficial for those who suffer from period diarrhea and other issues with their gastrointestinal tract.
Make sure to make your food rich in extra fiber, and stick to plain foods, as those are the best choices if you have diarrhea.
Reducing your intake of salt, sugar, and alcohol
Sugary foods, spicy foods, salty foods, and alcohol can worsen all period symptoms, but that is especially true for period diarrhea.
All four kinds of foods have to be ingested and then passed through. Avoid them to ease gastrointestinal symptoms.
Being on hormonal birth control can help regulate your cycle and reduce period diarrhea.
Using birth control will make the period lighter and shorter, and it will aid cramping, therefore helping with period diarrhea. If you think that this option might be feasible for you, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider to find out.
To deal with period diarrhea, it is imperative to take steps to reduce stress in your daily life.
Excessive stress and excessive anxiety can worsen common symptoms of menstruation and they make the suffering even harder, cramping, diarrhea, bloody stools, and vomiting included.
When To See A Doctor Regarding Period Diarrhea as one of the menstrual symptoms?
Dealing with period diarrhea can be uncomfortable, and it can affect your daily life, but not every instance of period diarrhea requires a visit to the doctor.
However, in some instances, period diarrhea does require a visit to the healthcare provider.
Make sure to see your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- diarrhea lasting more than two days
- blood in the stool, which may indicate a different, underlying health condition, as well as an infection
- severe physical or psychological symptoms before or during periods, which can indicate an underlying health condition that needs to be treated
You should also make an appointment with your doctor or other healthcare professionals if you think you might have endometriosis.
The healthcare professional is going to be able to diagnose the condition and provide appropriate medication to ease the symptoms.
Ultimately, abnormal period poop is actually quite normal because it is normal for a bowel movement to be affected by all of the hormonal changes going on during the cycle.
If you are experiencing uncomfortable period diarrhea, certain lifestyle changes can help prevent and manage it.
However, if the pain is unmanageable and this side effect is messing up your daily life, a visit to the doctor is recommended.
What you need to know about period poops.
You’re probably pretty comfortable commiserating with your friends about how much cramps, bloating, and aches and pains suck on your period. But there’s one problem we talk about far less, and that should change: getting diarrhea on your period. Yup, period poops are totally a thing.
In fact, crappy symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation can all be pretty common during that time of the month, says Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at the Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. Nearly three-quarters of menstruating women say they have GI issues before their period, and another two-thirds get these types of symptoms during their period, per a 2014 study published in BMC Women’s Health. The most common GI complaints, though, are abdominal pain and diarrhea.
So, why must the period fairy bless you with period diarrhea on top of everything else? Read on for the answer, plus how to make period poops and gas a lot more bearable.
Tell me: Why do some people get diarrhea before or during their period?
While more studies are needed to determine *exactly* why, research suggests that hormone-like substances called prostaglandins and the sex hormone progesterone could be to blame, says Dr. Greves.
Here’s what happens: A few days before your period, the lining of your uterus begins to break down and releases prostaglandins, which cue the smooth muscles in your uterus to contract. If you have an excess of prostaglandins, though, your uterus could really start squeezing (the result: painful cramps). If that “contract, now!” message spreads even further, your intestines might start to get movin’, too. When that happens, what’s inside (you know, fecal matter) doesn’t have much of a chance to harden, which might be why you get period diarrhea.
Here’s what hormones could be contributing to those unpleasant bathroom trips — and how to control them.
Getting your period can throw your entire day out of whack. Cramps, fatigue, headaches, and spotting are just a few of the annoying symptoms that many people deal with before and during their periods. But one of the lesser-talked-about bodily shifts that many women experience are stool changes like diarrhea and constipation.
Diarrhea during your period isn’t something to worry about, according to certified nurse practitioner Lois McGuire from Mayo Clinic. She told Woman’s Day that many of the women she has treated experience constipation before or during their periods, so the diarrhea can be a relief. For others, however, it can be incredibly inconvenient. And, unfortunately, medical experts aren’t sure exactly what causes it, but they have a few theories.
Stool changes during your period could be the result of progesterone levels and uterus contractions.
According to one theory, changes in stool during your period might have something to do with levels of progesterone, one of the sex hormones involved in menstruation and pregnancy. “In the luteal phase of the period, or second half of your menstrual cycle, which is just before you menstruate, the progesterone levels go up,” McGuire said. “And progesterone, we think, slows down the motility of the GI tract and might have some impact on why people have constipation first, and then frequent stooling or diarrhea as soon as that progesterone drops.” Levels of progesterone dropping is what also causes you to have a period, she said.
Second, when your progesterone levels drop, your uterus will contract to help expel its lining (which produces the blood of a period). Prostaglandins, which are “hormonelike substances involved in pain and inflammation,” are what cause those muscles to contract, according to Mayo Clinic. “Prostaglandins can have sort of a laxative effect,” McGuire said, leading experts to believe that they may also contribute to diarrhea during your period.
There are a few different ways to control your stools just before and during your period.
McGuire suggests eating less roughage, which is the part of plant foods that you can’t digest, generally the outside or skin. The skins of fruits, beans, potatoes, whole grains, and whole-grain cereal products are all roughage and contain insoluble fiber, according to WebMD. Whole foods such as brown rice, broccoli, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, and zucchini, also contain insoluble fiber and could contribute to diarrhea. Cutting these foods out of your diet entirely might not be a good idea, though, since they are thought to help with weight management, lower some risk factors for heart disease, and are a source of good bacteria for your gut, according to Healthline.
Food with soluble fiber, on the other hand, might help diarrhea by “absorbing water and adding bulk to stools,” dietician Hilary Shaw told WebMD. Foods with soluble fiber include oats, legumes, sweet potatoes, apples, mangos, plums, berries, peaches, kiwi, and figs, according to WebMD. McGuire also suggests using a stool supplement like Citrucel, which also contains fiber that absorbs fluid to help make stools a little bulker.
Additionally, people who struggle with diarrhea during their periods could also consider using a birth control pill with estrogen and progesterone continuously, McGuire said. Using a birth control pill continuously, versus cyclically, would mean skipping the white placebo pills and immediately starting a new pack. Mayo Clinic notes that this approach works best if you’re on a monophasic pill, which has “the same hormone dose in the three weeks of active pills.”
But even just being on the birth control pill might help with diarrhea or changes in stool, McGuire said, because the pill helps prevent progesterone levels from increasing as much. It also stops you from ovulating, and ovulation is what causes progesterone to increase. So McGuire said that even if you took birth control the traditional way, with the placebo pills, “that might be helpful, or you could take it continuously just to avoid periods and avoid the other symptoms that go along with a period too.” She said that people often worry that taking a birth control pill continuously will hurt them in some way, but a number of studies have shown that there are no negative health consequences.
Other hormonal birth control methods, like some forms of IUDs, might also help relieve diarrhea or constipation because they usually help to prevent cramps, but McGuire noted that they don’t stop you from ovulating.
In some cases, you may want to contact your doctor.
McGuire said that diarrhea or constipation during your period usually isn’t something to worry about, but if it’s accompanied by significant pain — worse than cramps — you might want to see a doctor. “If they’re having cyclic pain and the diarrhea, then they may want to be evaluated for endometriosis,” she said. If your pain can’t be controlled with ibuprofen, for example, that might be a sign of endometriosis, according to the Winnie Palmer Hospital. People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may also experience an increase in symptoms during their periods, McGuire said, but that usually isn’t cause for concern.
Generally, stool changes during your period are totally normal, and a few lifestyle changes might be all you need to prevent those unpleasant bathroom trips.
Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.
Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
Nausea is the feeling of having to vomit. Pregnancy, vertigo, motion sickness, digestive infections (such as food poisoning), reactions to medication, and alcohol are the most common causes of nausea, but there are others. Motion sickness—more specifically, seasickness—is actually where the word nausea comes from; it has the same roots as the word nautical.
First Figure out Why You Feel Like Throwing Up
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Russell Underwood / Getty Images
The best way to fix nausea is to fix the problem causing it. If the victim is getting motion sickness from a ride in the car—stop the car and take a break. Some folks have an easier time if they are driving the car, so if that’s a choice, let them drive. Reading or concentrating while riding can also trigger nausea, and the earlier you stop reading, the better you’ll feel.
If alcohol caused the nausea, don’t drink any more alcohol. Hair of the Dog is complete nonsense, by the way.
Since you can’t “cure” pregnancy or many of the other causes of nausea, here are a few things you can do to try reducing this miserable feeling.
There are a few studies indicating that inhaling the fumes of isopropyl alcohol calm the feelings of nausea. However, when isopropyl alcohol was compared to saline—saline doesn’t have a smell—both helped ease feelings of nausea equally well. The authors suggested, and I tend to agree, that it was the deep, slow breathing that really made the patients feel better. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Repeat.
Ginger or Vitamin B6
Ginger is emerging as a pretty good anti-nausea treatment. Vitamin B6 also has had some success. There’s not yet enough information to say whether ginger or vitamin B6 are safe in pregnancy (see below). For everyone else, it appears that ginger (at least 1,000 milligrams or 1 gram) or vitamin B6 (10 milligrams) are worth a try.
Pregnant women should be very careful about taking any type of medication or dietary supplement to control nausea and vomiting. It’s very hard to test medications during pregnancy since the effects could be permanent and devastating. Because of that, little evidence exists to show how safe certain medications are for pregnancy and even less evidence exists for dietary supplements, a category that doesn’t have the greatest track record for research anyway.
Anti-Emetics (Anti-Nausea Medications)
Antihistamines—usually used for allergies—are pretty good anti-nausea medications, and a few are sold strictly for that purpose. Two other classes of anti-nausea medicines are also available. Anti-emetics, the official term for anti-nausea medications, are not perfect.
Food poisoning causes vomiting for a reason. It is the body’s way of emptying the stomach of the offending bacteria. For the first 24 hours at least, vomiting from food poisoning should just happen. Your body knows when it really needs to expel nasty stuff from your gut and, when it does, anti-emetics aren’t going to help much.
If vomiting doesn’t stop after 24 hours, victims of food poisoning may need to see a healthcare provider. Too much uncontrolled vomiting can lead to dehydration.
Just like dietary supplements, medications aren’t always safe for use during pregnancy. Like I said before, it’s very hard to test medications on a pregnant woman because failure can be absolutely devastating.
See the Healthcare Provider
If all else fails, go to the healthcare provider. Because of the issues with pregnancy and anti-emetics, pregnant women should always consult with a healthcare provider before trying to treat any condition with medications.
For the rest of us, going to the healthcare provider should be the last resort, but there are some important triggers:
- Signs of dehydration, fatigue or confusion deserve a trip to the healthcare provider’s office. If you are sick enough to have any of these, you shouldn’t wait any longer.
- Vomiting blood
- Extreme vertigo (dizziness) that won’t go away
If you can’t make the nausea go away and it is affecting your daily life, seeing your healthcare provider is the next logical step.
In this section:
How can I treat my acute diarrhea?
In most cases, you can treat your acute diarrhea with over-the-counter medicines such as loperamide (Imodium) and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate). Doctors generally do not recommend using over-the-counter medicines for people who have bloody stools or fever—signs of infection with bacteria or parasites. If your diarrhea lasts more than 2 days, see a doctor right away.
In most cases, you can treat acute diarrhea with over-the-counter medicines.
When you have acute diarrhea, you may lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can go back to eating your normal diet. Learn more about eating when you have diarrhea.
How can I treat my child’s acute diarrhea?
Over-the-counter medicines to treat acute diarrhea in adults can be dangerous for infants, toddlers, and young children. Talk to a doctor before giving your child an over-the-counter medicine. If your child’s diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours, see a doctor right away.
You can give your child his or her usual age-appropriate diet. You can give your infant breast milk or formula as usual.
How do doctors treat persistent and chronic diarrhea?
How doctors treat persistent and chronic diarrhea depends on the cause. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics and medicines that target parasites to treat bacterial or parasitic infections. Doctors may also prescribe medicines to treat some of the conditions that cause chronic diarrhea, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis. How doctors treat chronic diarrhea in children also depends on the cause.
Doctors may recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms, most often bacteria, that are similar to microorganisms you normally have in your digestive tract. Researchers are still studying the use of probiotics to treat diarrhea.
For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicines or practices. If your doctor recommends probiotics, talk with him or her about how much probiotics you should take and for how long.
How can I prevent diarrhea?
You can prevent certain types of diarrhea, such as those caused by infections—including rotavirus and traveler’s diarrhea—and foodborne illnesses.
You can reduce your chances of getting or spreading infections that can cause diarrhea by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 15 to 30 seconds
- after using the bathroom
- after changing diapers
- before and after handling or preparing food
Rotavirus, which causes viral gastroenteritis, was the most common cause of diarrhea in infants before rotavirus vaccines became available. The vaccines have reduced the number of cases of rotavirus and hospitalizations due to rotavirus among children in the United States. 1
Two oral vaccines are approved to protect children from rotavirus infections:
- rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent (RotaTeq). Doctors give infants this vaccine in three doses: at 2 months of age, 4 months of age, and 6 months of age.
- rotavirus vaccine, live, oral (Rotarix). Doctors give infants this vaccine in two doses: at 2 months of age and at 4 months of age.
For the rotavirus vaccine to be effective, infants should receive all doses by 8 months of age. Infants 15 weeks of age or older who have never received the rotavirus vaccine should not start the series.
Parents or caregivers of infants should discuss rotavirus vaccination with a doctor.
To reduce the chances of getting travelers’ diarrhea when traveling to developing countries, avoid
- drinking tap water
- using tap water to make ice, prepare foods or drinks, or brush your teeth
- drinking juice or milk or eating milk products that have not been pasteurized—heated to kill harmful microbes—viruses, bacteria, and parasites
- eating food from street vendors
- eating meat, fish, or shellfish that is raw, undercooked, or not served hot
- eating raw vegetables and most raw fruits
You can drink bottled water, soft drinks, and hot drinks such as coffee or tea made with boiling water.
If you are worried about travelers’ diarrhea, talk with your doctor before traveling. Doctors may recommend taking antibiotics before and during a trip to help prevent travelers’ diarrhea. Early treatment with antibiotics can shorten a case of travelers’ diarrhea.
You can prevent foodborne illnesses that cause diarrhea by properly storing, cooking, cleaning, and handling foods.
How can I treat or prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea?
To treat or prevent dehydration, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes—called rehydration therapy—especially if you have acute diarrhea. Although drinking plenty of water is important in treating and preventing dehydration, you should also drink liquids that contain electrolytes, such as the following:
- caffeine-free soft drinks
- fruit juices
- sports drinks
If you are an older adult or have a weak immune system, you should also drink oral rehydration solutions, such as Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, or CeraLyte. Oral rehydration solutions are liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes. You can make oral rehydration solutions at home (PDF, 184KB) .
How can I treat or prevent my child’s dehydration caused by diarrhea?
To treat or prevent dehydration, give your child liquids that contain electrolytes. You can also give your child an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, or CeraLyte, as directed. Talk to a doctor about giving these solutions to your infant.
 Rotavirus in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. www.cdc.gov. Updated May 12, 2014. Accessed November 21, 2016.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.
Media reports earlier this week described a Queensland nurse with stomach pains who went on to test positive for COVID-19.
Could stomach pains be another symptom of COVID-19? And if you have stomach pains, should you get tested?
Although we might think of COVID-19 as a respiratory disease, we know it involves the gut. In fact SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, enters our cells by latching onto protein receptors called ACE2. And the greatest numbers of ACE2 receptors are in the cells that line the gut.
COVID-19 patients with gut symptoms are also more likely to develop severe disease. That’s partly because even after the virus has been cleared from the respiratory system, it can persist in the gut of some patients for several days. That leads to a high level of virus and longer-lasting disease.
We also suspect the virus can be transmitted via the fecal-oral route. In other words, the virus can be shed in someone’s poo, and then transmitted to someone else if they handle it and touch their mouth.
What type of gut symptoms are we talking about?
A review of more than 25,000 COVID-19 patients found about 18% had gastrointestinal symptoms. The most common was diarrhea followed by nausea and vomiting. Abdominal pain was considered rare. In another study only about 2% of COVID-19 patients had abdominal pain.
Some people believe COVID-19 causes abdominal pain through inflammation of the nerves of the gut. This is a similar way to how gastroenteritis (gastro) causes abdominal pain.
Another explanation for the pain is that COVID-19 can lead to a sudden loss of blood supply to abdominal organs, such as the kidneys, resulting in tissue death (infarction).
Are gut symptoms recognized?
The US Centers for Disease Control has added diarrhea, nausea and vomiting to its list of recognized COVID-19 symptoms.
However, the World Health Organization still only lists diarrhea as a gastrointestinal COVID-19 symptom.
In Australia, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are listed as other COVID-19 symptoms, alongside the classic ones (which include fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath). But abdominal pain is not listed.
Advice of symptoms that warrant testing may vary across different states and territories.
How likely is it?
Doctors often use the concept of pre-test probability when working out if someone has a particular disease. This is the chance a person has the disease before we know the test result.
What makes it difficult to determine the pre-test probability for COVID-19 is we don’t know how many people in the community truly have the disease.
We do know, however, COVID-19 in Australia is much less common than in many other countries. This affects the way we view symptoms that aren’t typically associated with COVID-19.
It’s far more common for people’s abdominal pain to be caused by something other than COVID-19. For example, about a quarter of people at some point in their lives are known to suffer from dyspepsia (discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen). But the vast majority of people with dyspepsia do not have COVID-19.
Similarly, irritable bowl syndrome affects about 9% of Australians, and causes diarrhea. Again, the vast majority of people with irritable bowel syndrome do not have COVID-19.
So how about this latest case?
In the Queensland case, we know the nurse was worried he could have had COVID-19 because he was in close contact with COVID-19 patients.
As he seemed otherwise healthy before developing new abdominal symptoms, and considering he worked on a COVID ward, his pre-test probability was high. Doctors call this a “high index of suspicion” when there is a strong possibility someone may have symptoms due to a disease such as COVID-19.
What does this mean for me?
If you have new gastrointestinal symptoms and you’ve potentially been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or if you also have other classic COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat) you should definitely get tested.
If you have just gastrointestinal symptoms, you may need to get tested if you’re in a “hotspot” area, or work in a high-risk occupation or industry.
If you have gastrointestinal symptoms alone, without any of these additional risk factors, there is no strong evidence to support testing.
However, if COVID-19 becomes even more common in the community, these symptoms now regarded as uncommon for COVID-19 will become more common.
If you have concerns about any gastrointestinal symptoms, seeing your GP would be sensible. Your GP will provide a balanced assessment based on your medical history and risk profile.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
- Many women experience fly-like symptoms while on their period.
- The reason for this is the hormonal changes occurring in your body at that time.
- Luckily, they are easy to treat.
PMS is the worst. It seems to sneak up on you every month like clockwork — even though you know approximately what’s coming and when to expect it. Maybe you’ve enlisted natural remedies like probiotics and exercise. Or maybe you’ve tried couples therapy to reduce your PMS symptoms . But if, despite all of your defenses, you still find yourself feeling really under the weather around that time of the month, you’re not alone. (Yet another reason why you really need to talk about your period .) The internet is full of people trying to get to the bottom of cold- and flu-like symptoms that coincide with their monthly cycles: things like sinus pain , dizziness , fevers , head and body aches , and stuffy noses .
There’s a simple reason for all of these symptoms, but you’re not going to like it: hormones. According to Dr. Nieca Goldberg, Medical Director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at the NYU Langone Medical Center, “Hormonal changes prior to your period can cause a range of symptoms, fatigue, abdominal cramping, bloating, back pains, and other body aches.” In other words, it’s all connected. One sufferer’s cramps have the same root cause as someone else’s headache. Dr. Goldberg explains that these symptoms “may be due to hormonal changes [like] lower levels of estrogen around your period.” Estrogen levels fall the week before your period — hence the achy aspects of PMS. There are knock-on effects for other hormones, including the ones that regulate sleep — so sleep deprivation might explain the fatigue.
Dr. Molly O’Shea has another answer: prostaglandins. “Prostaglandins can cause intestinal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of being flushed, and general achiness.” Since these chemicals can also impact your body’s temperature, they’re likely responsible for the flu-like fluctuations between warm and chilly. These temperature shifts might feel like a fever, but a quick thermometer reading should reassure you that everything is just fine.
Luckily, “period flu” is a lot easier to treat than the real one. (Gentle reminder: You need a flu shot to prevent that.) “For the body aches and cramping, over the counter medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help,” says Dr. Goldberg. “Treatment should be based on the severity of the symptoms and you should speak to your GYN, particularly if the symptoms keep you from work or your activities.” And if you’re not sure what painkiller is right for your symptoms, check our guide to avoiding wrong and harmful period cramp meds.
Above all, keep an eye on your symptoms, just in case they’re trying to tell you something. “Unlike the flu, these symptoms do not cause fever, and they improve after your period,” clarifies Dr. Goldberg. “So if you have a fever or the symptoms do not improve, you need to see your doctor.”
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In this Article
- Remedies and Treatments for Nausea
- When to See a Doctor
- Emergency Care
Nausea or an upset stomach makes you feel uneasy, weak, and sweaty. The queasiness that comes from nausea may lead to vomiting, but it doesnвЂ™t always happen.
The feeling of nausea can be caused by numerous conditions, including:В
- Chemotherapy В
- Emotional distress
- Food poisoning
- Gastritis, or an inflammation of the stomach lining
- Morning sickness
- Motion sickness
- Stomach flu
Nausea is not a disease but a common symptom of many conditions вЂ” from bacterial or viral infections to problems with internal organs, like the brain. Some medications list nausea as an adverse reaction or side effect.
Remedies and Treatments for Nausea
Most of the time nausea is not a cause for concern. However, there are actions you can take to minimize the unpleasant feeling.
Because nausea upsets your stomach, eating food may temporarily make things worse. A diet of clear liquids can provide the sugar, salt, and some nutrients your body needs until you can eat solid food again. Clear liquids are easy to digest and don’t put extra strain on your stomach or intestines.В
The best things to drink when you’re nauseous are:
- Clear broth
- Clear juices
- Clear sports drinks
- Clear soft drinks such as ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, or club soda
- Coffee or tea without milk
- Plain popsicles
You should avoid alcoholic beverages, dairy products, smoothies, and vegetable juice.
If your nausea causes frequent vomiting, doctors may give you oral rehydration therapy, which involves drinking a rehydration solution that replaces the minerals and body fluids you lost.
Because peppermint tea contains a range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it is used for a variety of ailments. One of its most well-known traditional uses is to reduce nausea by soothing your stomach.В In oil form and through aromatherapy, peppermint has been studied as a nausea remedy among pregnant people.
To make this kind of tea, steep 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water and strain it after ten or so minutes. When it becomes a safe temperature to drink, slowly sip the infusion and let the benefits take effect.
Ginger is an herb that is widely used for its medicinal properties. One of the most common uses of ginger is as a remedy for nausea.В Multiple studies show how taking ginger powder capsules or concentrated ginger syrup can reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Although some women report heartburn or reflux when taking ginger, it is considered a safe and effective treatment for pregnancy-related morning sickness. It can also help with digestion and the flow of saliva.
You can find fresh ginger root at your grocery store, or you can buy ginger supplements.В
When to See a Doctor
Although nausea often isn’t serious, you should reach out to your doctor if your vomiting lasts more than two days for adults, more than 24 hours for children, or more than 12 hours for infants. You should also schedule an appointment if you’ve dealt with bouts of nausea for more than a month, or are experiencing unexplained weight loss in addition to nausea or vomiting.В
While you wait to speak with your doctor, make sure to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and eat bland foods. Keep track of your symptoms and watch for any signs of dehydration.
If you experience nausea along with any of the following warning signs, you should call 911 or your primary doctor immediately вЂ” or go to the nearest urgent care facility or emergency room:В
- Dark urine or infrequent urination
- Dizziness or confusion
- Dry mouth and other signs of dehydration
- Extreme abdominal pain
- Extreme headache
- High fever
- Multiple bouts of vomiting during a period lasting more than 24 hours
- Reason to think that nausea and vomiting is due to food poisoning
- Severe stiff neck
- Some blood in your vomit
Cedars-Sinai: вЂњClear Liquid Diet.вЂќ
Mayo Clinic: вЂњNausea and vomiting – Causes.вЂќ
Mayo Clinic: вЂњNausea and vomiting – When to see a doctor.вЂќ
Integrative Medicine Insights: вЂњThe Effectiveness of Ginger in the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy and Chemotherapy.вЂќ
Johns Hopkins Medicine: вЂњNausea.вЂќ
Journal of Reproduction & Infertility: вЂњEffect of Aromatherapy with Peppermint Oil on the Severity of Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy: A Single-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled trial.вЂќ
Mount Sinai: вЂњPeppermint.вЂќ
Stanford Health Care: вЂњChronic Nausea Treatments.вЂќ
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses what to do if amoxicillin is causing too much nausea or GI distress.
I have been taking Amoxicillin 125 mg tablets 2x/day for 5 days for an ear and sinus infection. Since the second day, my stomach has been hurting and has been worse each day. I have 3 more pills left and can’t stand the thought of taking it for two more days. My sinuses feel better but my ears still have fluid in them. Rolaids helps a little but only for a few minutes. Should I tough it out or call for something different? Is there anything I can do to ease this terrible stomach ache?
Nausea from courses of antibiotics are extremely common. With amoxicillin specifically, nausea and related GI problems (e.g. diarrhea, vomiting) are the most commonly reported side effects.
There are some strategies that could potentially help to reduce the nausea you are feeling from amoxicillin, including:
- Taking amoxicillin after food.
- Taking a probiotic continuously through the course of amoxicillin.
- Taking amoxicillin with a large amount of water.
- Remain standing and do not lie down after taking amoxicillin for 30 minutes.
We discuss these in more detail below. If these strategies don’t work to reduce the nausea you are feeling, be sure to reach out to your doctor for an alternative antibiotic that may be better tolerated for you.
Strategies To Reduce Nausea From Amoxicillin
Take Amoxicillin After Food
While it is a fairly common recommendation to take medication like amoxicillin with food to reduce nausea and GI upset, it generally is more beneficial to have food in your stomach before taking a dose of medication.
Eating stimulates gastric acid secretion, which will help to digest the amoxicillin. In addition, food generally delays gastric (i.e. stomach) emptying, which will help the medication to release a little slower into the GI tract, making it more likely to be better tolerated.
If eating any food in general causes nausea, with or without amoxicillin, you may have a problem with acid reflux or other related issues. In this case, it may be beneficial to take an antacid at the same time, such as Tums or Rolaids.
It should be noted that antacids interact with many medications so be sure to discuss the use of antacids with other medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Antacids are considered safe to use with amoxicillin however and may help.
If antacids only work temporarily, try continuous dosing for at least a few days with other antacids such as H2 blockers like Zantac or PPI medications like Prilosec. These generally are more effective for longer periods of time than antacids like Tums and Rolaids.
Taking Amoxicillin With Probiotics
Probiotics have growing evidence that they can be very effective for treating what is known as “antibiotic-associated diarrhea” as well as nausea caused from them.
Antibiotics, like amoxicillin, kill off the normal gut flora, giving an opportunity for pathogenic (i.e. disease causing) bacteria to overgrow. This can be a particular problem with antibiotics such as amoxicillin, which is a “broad spectrum” antibiotic, meaning it kills off many different kinds of bacteria, both good and bad.
Taking a probiotic is thought to help replenish normal, healthy bacteria in the gut, preventing and decreasing overgrowth of “bad” bacteria.
Both adults and children who take probiotics with antibiotics, like amoxicillin, reduce the risk of diarrhea by almost half according to some studies.
Taking an over the counter probiotic may be a good option and there are many different products to choose from. Most evidence points to lactobacillus species, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, being the most effective. Lactobacillus products include:
Other bacteria species, such as bifidobacteria and Saccharomyces boulardii also have good evidence for benefit. They are available in such products as:
- Garden Of Life RAW Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe to use and have a good safety profile. They are a good option to take alongside amoxicillin to reduce nausea.
Take Amoxicillin With Water
Drinking a large amount of water, at least 8 ounces, with amoxicillin may help reduce nausea. A sufficient amount of water allows the medication to properly dissolve in the stomach. Many times, the actual contents of medications (e.g. the powder) can be extremely irritating to the stomach, which can cause nausea. Water also helps dilute stomach acids, which can be irritating and cause nausea.
Do Not Lie Down After Taking Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin has been associated with esophagitis (irritation of the esophagus) in some individuals. Not only can esophagitis be irritating, it can actually induce nausea. To avoid the risk of esophagitis, it is important to not lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking amoxicillin. This is a common recommendation for many other medications as well.
There are many strategies to reduce the nausea caused by amoxicillin. They include:
- Taking amoxicillin after food
- Taking amoxicillin with an antacid
- Taking amoxicillin with probiotics
- Taking amoxicillin with plenty of water
- Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking amoxicillin
If all else fails, be sure to talk to your doctor about alternative antibiotics which may be better tolerated for you.
Have you ever wondered why poops are different during your period? While people might not talk about it, most women will experience a monthly change in their toilet habits. In addition to your period causing symptoms like headaches, bloating, and skin breakouts, your menstrual cycle can also affect your digestive system. One reason for this is because the same hormones that stimulate uterine contractions can also stimulate your bowels. The result: period poops.
So, what exactly are period poops? Although you wonвЂ™t find this term in a medical dictionary, itвЂ™s a common way to describe changes in your bowel movements around the time of your period. A recent study showed that gastric symptoms (similar to those experienced with IBS), are common during your period.
Some symptoms of period poops can include:
- Abdominal pain
In addition to proving that period poops are a common occurrence, the study also showed that youвЂ™re more likely to experience digestive issues during your period if youвЂ™re also experiencing emotional symptoms, like depressed mood and anxiety.
What causes period poops?
Who’s the culprit? First off, it might be your hormones. Period poops can be caused by two hormones called prostaglandins and progesterone.
Additionally, your digestive symptoms might worsen due to stress levels or changes in your diet (like, for instance, how your period makes you want to eat a box of donuts for dinner).
1. Higher levels of prostaglandins
Before the start of your period, the cells in your uterus begin to release prostaglandins to kick start contractions that shed the lining of your uterus.
Prostaglandins may also be released into your bloodstream. While prostaglandins do a good (and sometimes painful) job of getting the walls of the uterus to contract as part of your monthly menses (aka, your period), these hormones can also cause the muscles of the intestines to contract.
This can cause symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain
Additionally, prostaglandins may cause the body to absorb more water and make stools softer, causing diarrhea. This may be worsened if you drink coffee while on your period, as caffeine has a laxative effect.
2. Higher levels of progesterone
Progesterone is another type of hormone released into your body as part of your monthly cycle. Progesterone helps regulate your period: levels of this hormone rise to prepare your body for conception and pregnancy, then drop at the start of your menses if no egg is fertilized.
Progesterone helps thicken the lining of the uterus so that a fertilized egg may develop, but this hormone can have other effects on the body too.
In some people, progesterone can also cause loose and watery stools and diarrhea. While for others, it can cause constipation. This is because high levels of progesterone can cause digested materials to travel more slowly through your system.
For people living with existing bowel issues, such as CrohnвЂ™s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), progesterone can make their symptoms worse. For example, people with IBS are more likely to experience additional symptoms, such as abdominal pain and headaches, during the period.
3. Changes in diet
Ever wondered why you reach for more sweet or salty foods during your period? Once more, your hormones are to blame. During the luteal phase (after ovulation and before you period) increased levels of progesterone may induce unusual cravings and influence your diet.
For people who eat a generally healthy diet, the sudden introduction of new or unhealthy foods can also change the smell of poop.
For example, eating foods high in fat and sugar lead to a change in the consistency, regularity, and smell of your stools during your period.
If youвЂ™re worried about your poop suddenly smelling worse during your period, try and avoid overeating and cut out refined sugars and processed foods.
4. Stress and anxiety
Changes in mood and stress levels are common during your period. Again, this can be linked to changes in hormone levels throughout your menstrual cycle. Studies have shown that your cycle can affect mood regulation and increase negative emotions and sensitivity to stress.
Stress and anxiety have been shown to affect bowel movements and can cause diarrhea or constipation. This is because what happens in your brain can affect what happens in your gut.
The nerves in your stomach are linked to the brain through an internal link called the gut-brain connection.
While this means stress and anxiety can directly upset your gut, it also means you have the power to help reduce physical symptoms with your mind.
A recent study by Australian researchers showed that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because it helps people retrain their gut-brain connection.
- Medical Author: Karthik Kumar, MBBS
- Medical Reviewer: Pallavi Suyog Uttekar, MD
- Medical Author: Dr. Jasmine Shaikh, MD
People with diarrhea should eat small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals—clear liquids and plain foods that are easy to digest. Diarrhea, or loose watery stools, may be caused by stomach flu, food poisoning, radiation, chemotherapy, other medications, and infections. The following diet tips may help control diarrhea.
- People with diarrhea should include binding foods such as bananas, plain white rice, applesauce, and white toast while they have active episodes of loose stools.
- Drink plenty of water or low-sugarbeverages to replace the fluids lost from diarrhea.
- Drink plenty of clear liquids and electrolyte beverages such as water, clear fruit juices, coconut water, oral rehydration solutions, and sports drinks. These drinks help replenish fluids and electrolytes in the body.
- Add plain yogurt, buttermilk, and kefir to your diet.
- Eat foods high in potassium and sodium to replace the minerals lost from diarrhea.
- High-potassium foods include apricots, avocado, bananas, canned tomatoes, oranges, pears, potatoes and sweet potatoes (especially baked), and tomato juice.
- High-sodium foods include broth or bouillon, canned soup, salty snacks (chips, crackers, pretzels), seasoned rice, and pasta packets.
- Applesauce is an awesome aid to get your stomach back in working order. It’s easy to digest, but still delivers important nutrients such as pectin (a type of fiber) and potassium, a mineral that functions as an electrolyte to help keep fluid levels balanced.
- Cooking vegetables such as carrots or spinach makes them easier to digest and they’re perfect in egg scrambles or broth-based soups. Eggs are an easier-to-digest alternative and an easy way to meet your protein needs without getting too full, too fast.
- Adding whole grains can both soothe stomach ailments and prevent any future intestinal issues. Soluble fiber from oats draws water into your digestive tract and moves food through your body.
- Try some ginger tea bags or simply grate fresh ginger into some hot water with lemon and sip it. Ginger is anti-spasmodic and is considered very good for soothing an unsettled stomach.
- Chicken soup is also a classic choice when people are ill. The chicken component is lean meat (alternatives can also include turkey, white fish, or oven-boiled eggs) that allows you to benefit from some protein and not too much fat that could risk bogging down your system. Protein is required for repair and recovery processes around the body—just what you need after fighting off an infection.
What type of food and drinks should be avoided during diarrhea?
People with diarrhea may be on a clear liquid diet for a day until the body recovers. Below are a few foods and drinks that should be especially avoided during diarrhea.
- High fiber, whole-grain foods (bran, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain cereals, whole-grain crackers, and brown rice)
- Raw fruits with skin, juices with pulp, prune juice, apple juice, and canned fruit in heavy sugary syrup
- Raw vegetables and vegetables with skins and seeds
- Gas-forming vegetables (corn, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, and peas)
- Full-fat dairy products (whole milk, cream, sour cream, ice cream, and cheese)
- Spicy and high-fat meats (fried meats or fried fish, bologna, salami, bacon, and hot dogs) nuts, seeds, and chunky nut butter
- Caffeinated or sugary drinks (coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, alcohol, and drinks that contain sugar alcohols such as xylitol or sorbitol)
- Fried, greasy foods, sweets, and desserts
- Spicy foods (pepper, strong spices, and hot sauce)
- Foods and drinks made with sugar alcohols (Sugar alcohols include xylitol and sorbitol. They are found in many sugar-free products such as candies, gums, and snack bars. Read ingredient lists to look for sugar alcohols.)
Why does diarrhea develop?
In practical terms, diarrhea develops when there is a larger-than-normal amount of water in the stool. When your digestive tract is healthy, processed food from the stomach and small intestines proceeds to the colon. In the colon, water is absorbed from the remaining waste matter until a solid stool is formed. However, if excess water is absorbed or if the processed food moves through the gastrointestinal tract too quickly, the stool won’t be solid and it will be passed in a loose or watery form.
There are various possible reasons why the colon might not be absorbing enough water or why the digested food is moving too quickly through the intestines, but here are some of the most common causes.
- Ingesting food or water that has been contaminated by bacteria and bacterial toxins
- Ingesting food or water that has been contaminated by parasites
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects the gastrointestinal tract
- Viruses such as norovirus, rotavirus, or the flu
- Sensitivities or intolerances to certain types of foods; a classic example is lactose intolerance
- Some medicines including cancerdrugs, antibiotics, or magnesium-containing antacids
Diarrhea and vomiting affects over a million people in the United States each year. It can be caused by viral gastroenteritis, bacterial infections, or even food poisoning. Eating undercooked fish or meats can also cause an infection.
Vomiting up food or having diarrhea is the body’s way of getting rid of something that is upsetting your digestive system. During this time, you don’t want to eat much and this helps to give things a rest so you can heal from whatever made you sick. This article will help you understand some of the common causes and what you can do to feel better.
Common Causes of Diarrhea and Vomiting
Virus Stomach Flu
The “stomach flu” isn’t actually a flu, but a viral infection known asviral gastroenteritis. There are several viruses that can cause the symptoms and they are very contagious. One way it can be spread is through contaminated food or water. This condition is often found in daycares, cruise ships, and school settings.
Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache, body aches, weight loss, and abdominal cramping. You may also have chills, fever, and cold sweats.
- At-risk group
People at higher risk for the stomach flu include young children in daycare, elderly living in nursing homes, and people with low immune system function.
- Treatment and prevention
Viral gastroenteritis usually clears up on its own in a few days to a little over a week. Treatment includes increasing fluid intake so you don’t get dehydrated. Some people have to be put in the hospital to receive extra fluids intravenously.
Stomach flu can be prevented through increased hand washing, drinking bottled clean water, and only eating foods and meats that are fully cooked. People who are suffering from the stomach flu should not prepare foods that others will be eating. In daycare centers, keep all toys clean and sanitized since small children tend to put toys in their mouths.
Food that is contaminated by either a virus or bacteria, and other contaminants can cause food poisoning. If hand washing isn’t a common practice prior to handling foods, it can transmit germs and make people sick. It can also be caused by undercooked foods likeeggs, meats, and seafood. Food poisoning is a common cause of diarrhea and vomiting and the illness can set in within minutes to hours after eating contaminated food.
The symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, headaches, and fatigue.
- How long it lasts
Food poisoning usually lasts between 24 hours to 10 days depending on what caused the illness and your health condition.
Food poisoning usually just has to run its course. In the meantime, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. In some cases, if the illness was caused by bacteria, antibiotics may be needed.
Other Causes of Diarrhea and Vomiting
There are a few other causes of vomiting and diarrhea that are unrelated to contaminated foods or viral infections. These include:
- Antibiotic side-effects
- Narcotic drugs
- Food allergies
- Alcohol intake
- Insect bites
- Eating toxic plants or wild mushrooms
- Head injury/concussion
- Anxiety or panic disorders
- Bowel disease
How to Deal with Diarrhea and Vomiting
For anyone suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, the most important part of recovery is to prevent dehydration. Use the following instructions to help replace lost fluids:
- Infants under one year: Breastfeed as normal if you are nursing your baby. Breast milk contains all the necessary electrolytes and fluids your baby needs. For bottle-fed babies, give he/she a formula that is lactose-free until the vomiting and diarrhea stop. If your baby continues to vomit or have diarrhea, your pediatrician may want to use only electrolyte replacement for 12 to 24 hours. Do not give plain water to infants.
- Toddlers over one year and children: Give your child electrolyte replacement solution to prevent dehydration for the first day. For toddlers and children having diarrhea and vomiting, you can start clear liquid diet after the first 24 hours. Try not to use soda or plain water, because they do not have the proper electrolytes and can make your child worse.
- For older children, adults, and elderly: Use an electrolyte replacement drink for the first 24 hours and try to drink at least seven 8-ounce-glasses of water daily. Elderly adults need to use electrolyte replacement until the illness clears off completely. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as they can dehydrate you more.
Eat the Proper Foods
If you can’t tolerate a full diet, eat nutrient-rich things that are easy to keep down. Make sure you eat foods high in potassium like baked potatoes with the skin on, bananas, high-sodium foods, and yogurt for the active bacteria. Try these recipes that contain electrolytes and nutrients:
- Smoothie with banana, almond and kale
Bananas will give you potassium, while kale has the important electrolyte calcium. You can also get lots of magnesium and extra potassium from almonds. A dash of salt will give you needed sodium to help balance everything. To make this smoothie, place two bananas in your blender and add a small handful of almonds and pour in some soymilk. Blend this mixture first and throw in some kale and a dash of sea salt. Blend for a minute more and enjoy.
- Papaya tea
You can get an electrolyte boost from papaya. Take a raw papaya and grate. Add grated papaya to boiling water and boil for ten minutes. Place extra tea in a jar and drink a few times a day while you are sick.
- Follow the B.R.A.T. diet
The B.R.A.T. diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These are helpful during the first 48 hours of having vomiting and diarrhea.
When You Should Get Medical Attention
Diarrhea and vomiting usually go away on their own with no complications. However, you should get medical attention as soon as possible if the following occurs:
- You begin vomiting blood or have blood in your bowel movements
- You notice that your skin or white of your eyes are turning yellow
- You develop severe abdominal pain with bowel movements
- You cannot keep any fluids down for longer than a 12-hour period
- If you are vomiting after a head injury with a headache
- If you are running a fever over 101°F (38.3 °C) with diarrhea
- Constant vomiting that lasts longer than a 12-hour period
- Constant and severe pain in the abdomen
- Your heart is beating very fast
- Continuous diarrhea and vomiting
- Diarrhea that does not subside after a 2-day period
Diarrhea is a common ailment that most everyone experiences from time to time. It is characterized by the passing of loose, watery stool accompanied by abdominal pain and cramping.
Diarrhea typically clears up on its own within a few days, but severe or chronic diarrhea that lasts for weeks can be a sign of a serious health problem that needs medical attention.
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Symptoms of Diarrhea
The main and most recognizable symptom of diarrhea is the passing of loose, watery stool that occurs three or more times a day. Diarrhea may also lead to the following symptoms:
- Pain or cramping in the abdomen
- An urgent need to go to the bathroom
- A loss of control of bowel movements
If diarrhea is caused by an infection, people may also experience:
Diarrhea may also cause dehydration and malabsorption, each of which has its own symptoms.
Signs of dehydration include: thirst, urinating less frequently than normal, dark-colored urine, dry mouth, feeling tired, sunken eyes or cheeks, light-headedness or fainting, and a decreased skin turgor (when the skin is pinched and released, it does not flatten back to normal right away).
Symptoms of malabsorption include bloating, gas, changes in appetite, weight loss, and loose, greasy, foul-smelling bowel movements, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (1)
Common Questions & Answers
Causes of Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be caused by a number of factors. The most common causes of diarrhea are:
Infection The three types of infections that cause diarrhea are:
- Viral infections, including norovirus and rotavirus
- Bacterial infections, which can enter the body through contaminated food or water. Common bacteria that cause diarrhea include Campylobacter, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, and Shigella.
- Parasitic infections, in which parasites enter the body through food or water and settle into the digestive tract. Common parasites that cause bacteria include Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia.
Traveler’s Diarrhea This type of diarrhea is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites while traveling abroad, usually in a developing country. Traveler’s diarrhea is usually acute, but certain parasites cause diarrhea to last longer.
Side Effect of Medication Many medications may cause diarrhea. If you believe your medication is the cause of your diarrhea, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she may alter the dose or switch you to another medication.
Food Allergies and Intolerance Sometimes diarrhea is caused by an allergy to certain foods, such as dairy, soy, eggs, or seafood. In these cases, diarrhea is often chronic.
Lactose intolerance is a common condition that can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms after you eat foods or drink liquids containing cow’s milk or milk products. Celiac disease, which is caused by an allergy to gluten, can also lead to chronic diarrhea.
Digestive Disorders Diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious health problem, such as a disorder of the digestive system. These can include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Diarrhea may also be a sign of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. (1)
Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.
According to studies, diarrhea after colonoscopy affects about 6.3% of people under colonoscopy ( reference ).
Loose stool or diarrhea are considered minor complications. It is usually due to the preparation solutions before colonoscopy. This article will discuss the major causes of acute and chronic diarrhea after colonoscopy.
The two major causes of ACUTE diarrhea after colonoscopy are:
- Colon preparation after effects.
- Infection (enteritis or colitis).
The two major causes of CHRONIC diarrhea after colonoscopy are:
- Persistence of the original bowel disease.
- Disturbance of fecal microbiota.
1- Normal “colon preparation after effect”
Colonoscopy preparations such as MiraLax (Polyethylene glycol) intend to cause diarrhea. So, you should expect to have diarrhea or loose (thin) stools during the intake of colon preparation and after colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy preparation is far the most common cause of diarrhea after colonoscopy ( reference ).
For how long shall you have diarrhea after a colonoscopy?
Diarrhea from bowel preparation may last for about 1-3 days. If diarrhea lasts for more than three days, it is better to call your doctor.
Colon preparations (such as MiraLax) may also cause side effects as ( reference ):
- Abdominal pain after colonoscopy .
- Gas and bloating.
- Abdominal discomfort.
- Dehydration and disturbance of your body electrolytes (such as potassium and sodium).
- Vomiting during or after colonoscopy preparation.
How to deal with post-colonoscopy diarrhea due to colon preparation?
- Avoid using laxatives or other medications that cause diarrhea.
- Avoid fatty and difficult-to-digest foods.
- Drink plenty of water or other fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
- Eat bland, easy-to-digest foods such as BRAT Diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast).
- Diarrhea or loose stool often resolve after a couple of days. Call your doctor if diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days after colonoscopy.
The gut or colon infection is rare after colonoscopy, but it happens. The risk increases with certain diseases or procedures such as polyposis, IBD, or polyp removal.
Diarrhea due to infection after colonoscopy tends to be more severe. It can also be associated with systemic symptoms. The following may help you identify infection-related diarrhea:
- The diarrhea is more intense with frequent bowel movements.
- Abdominal cramps are unusually severe.
- Fever may be present, and it can be high grade.
- Muscle aches and fatigue.
- Nausea and vomiting may also occur.
- Passage of mucus or blood in the stool.
Also, a systemic infection may occur due to the leakage of bacteria into your blood ( reference ).
The infection is predominant during colonoscopy procedures. Common procedures include removing a polyp or taking a biopsy from a colon mass.
What to do if you suspect infection as a cause of diarrhea after a colonoscopy?
- You have to call your doctor if you have signs of inflammatory diarrhea.
- Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic and antispasmodic medication to treat the infection.
- You should also bear in mind that this is a rare complication. And Antibiotic prophylaxis before a colonoscopy is still not recommended by The Americal Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) .
- The general tips such as staying hydrated, eating bland food, and avoiding alcohol also helps.
3- Allergy to the disinfecting solution (chemical colitis).
Accidental contamination of the endoscope with a disinfection material called (glutaraldehyde) can result in inflammation of your colon.
However, the condition is less common. Under normal circumstances, The colonoscope is rinsed after sterilization. This is to get rid of such a substance before its usage.
The disinfecting solution causes chemical colitis which results in diarrhea after colonoscopy with severe symptoms such as ( reference ):
- The symptoms start 1-3 days after colonoscopy.
- Severe abdominal pain (cramps).
- Mucoid and sometimes, bloody diarrhea.
- Rectal bleeding.
- Tenesmus (constant urge to poop, even immediately after bowel movements).
- Nausea or vomiting can occur.
The condition is difficult to diagnose due to:
- the symptoms are similar to infectious colitis, post polypectomy coagulation syndrome, and other causes of colitis.
- There is no specific test to diagnose such a condition and re-endoscopy only reveals non-specific inflammation of the colon mucosa.
The condition is unlikely to happen if the colonoscopy center adheres to the standard disinfection and rinsing protocols.
Call your doctor if your diarrhea shows inflammatory signs (blood, mucus, fever, intense abdominal pain).
4- Persistence of the original cause (chronic or recurrent diarrhea after colonoscopy.
Often, You’re are undergoing colonoscopy for a reason. Some chronic bowel diseases may be the cause of your diarrhea after colonoscopy.
Check if you already have been diagnosed with one of the conditions. The conditions below can be the cause of diarrhea after colonoscopy (rather than the colonoscopy itself):
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Celiac disease.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Colorectal cancer.
- Microscopic colitis.
- Bile acid diarrhea.
- Food intolerances Such as lactose intolerance.
- Recurrent Clostridioides difficile diarrhea.
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
- And many others .
If you’re already a chronic diarrhea sufferer before colonoscopy, the cause usually persists after colonoscopy.
5- Disturbance of Microbiome (can lead to chronic diarrhea).
We are still don’t understand the gut microbiome well enough. The microbiome is the colonies of beneficial bacteria that live inside your gut (including the colon).
The microbiota helps to:
- Regulate your bowel movements.
- Digest food and nutrients.
- Prevent indigestion, bloating, and abdominal pain.
- Help to fight the bad gut bugs.
- Improve your gut immunity.
Bowel preparation essentially cleans out your entire small and large intestine.
Theoretically, Bowel preparation will push the beneficial microbiome out of your body. Loss of gut microbiota may result in diarrhea after colonoscopy. Diarrhea from microbiome disturbance may become chronic.
However, Current research states the “most” of the microbiota return to your colon within two to four weeks ( reference ).
We don’t have strong evidence that disturbed gut microbiota leads to post colonoscopy diarrhea.
We still don’t know if it reverts to 100% of its previous condition or less than 100%.
Discuss the issue with your doctor if you have chronic diarrhea after colonoscopy.
Your doctor may prescribe a probiotic for such a case. A probiotic is a living microbiota in the form of tablets or powders. Taking a probiotic may help your colon to restore its normal microbiota. Learn More.
Around 80% of women have experienced stomach pain during periods, also known as menstrual cramps at some point in their life. Usually, menstrual cramp pain is mild. But sometimes it can be severe. The pains can vary from sharp stabs that make you double over to a nagging pain that spreads through the lower abdomen and lower back. Some women also experience dizziness, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting.
Menstrual Cramps (Medical Term Dysmenorrhoea) are Classified as
1. Primary Dysmenorrhoea
- Arises in women under the age of 20.
- One may feel mild to severe pain in the lower abdomen, back, and thighs. It starts right before the period and usually lasts between 12-72 hours.
- Due to pain caused by uterine muscle contractions. During menses, a high level of prostaglandins has released that act as chemical messengers which shed the uterine lining (when fertilization has not taken place) by uterine contraction causing pain during menstruation.
2. Secondary Dysmenorrhoea
- One may feel mild to severe pain in your lower abdomen, back, and thighs. It starts right before your period and usually lasts between 12-72 hours.
- It often first arises after a young woman has already been menstruating for several years. Here, women may also have pain at times of the month other than during menstruation.
- Pain during menstruation such as benign uterine growths (fibroids and polyps), endometriosis – uterine tissue lining growing outside the uterus elsewhere in the abdomen or pelvis, PID(pelvic inflammatory disease) – infection of the upper part of the female reproductive system.
Treatment for Stomach Pain During Periods
Scientifically proven advice has always been the NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), these lower the level of prostaglandins. (eg- Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meftal spas). Another piece of advice is to take on Oral Contraceptive Pills, these will prevent ovulation and before following these treatment options you must get consulted with the best doctor to identify the underlying causes of the pain.
The Following Approaches also Should be Tried
- Applying heat by using hot water bottles or heating pads, taking a warm bath or going to the sauna
- Fortify: Vitamin B1 or magnesium supplements may reduce cramps, bloating and other PMS symptoms. (You know the parental approval deal). Special diets and dietary supplements
- Herbal products and herbal teas for medicinal us, homeopathic medicines.
- Procedures which target pain stimuli, such as acupuncture, acupressure or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
Lifestyle Changes That Help Relieve Stomach Pain During Periods
It may be possible to find ways to deal with the “painful” days so they are less of a problem. For example, many women try to take things a bit easier in those days. Some find that relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, yoga or tai chi help them feel more relaxed and reduce stress. Getting a lot of exercises also helps relieve stomach pain during periods in some women.
Measures that may reduce the risk of Menstrual Cramps Include:
- Eating fruits and vegetables and limiting the intake of fat, alcohol, caffeine, salt, and sweets
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing stress
- Quitting smoking
If these also do not help over 2-3 months, then you can ask a gynecologist, to rule out infection or growth. Hence invasive procedures might be done for diagnostic purposes.
There is Another Type of Pain known as the Mittelschmerz
Mittelschmerz is one-sided, lower abdominal pain associated with ovulation. German for “middle pain,” mittelschmerz occurs midway through a menstrual cycle — about 14 days before your next menstrual period.
The Exact Cause of Mittelschmerz is Unknown, but Possible Reasons for the Pain Include these
• Just before an egg is released with ovulation, follicle growth stretches the surface of your ovary, causing pain.
• Blood or fluid released from the ruptured follicle irritates the lining of your abdomen (peritoneum), leading to pain.
Mittelschmerz Pain Usually lasts a Few Minutes to a Few Hours, but it may continue for as long as a day or two.
• On one side of your lower abdomen
• Dull and cramp-like
• Sharp and sudden
• Accompanied by mild vaginal bleeding or discharge
• Rarely, severe
Mittelschmerz pain occurs on the side of the ovary that’s releasing an egg (ovulating). The pain may switch sides every other month, or you may feel pain on the same side for several months.
If the cramp/pain occurs mid-cycle and goes away without medication it is more likely to be Mittelschmerz. That’s the way to differentiate between dysmenorrhea and Mittelschmerz, and this type of pain rarely requires medical attention as it goes on its own.
Do you have diarrhea almost every month? If you are having diarrhea for fourteen days or less, it’s highly likely that the cause is linked to an infection, a new medication, stress, a certain item in your diet, running, or menstruation. In this article we will look at how diarrhea is linked to menstruation. Keep reading to find out why you might have diarrhea before menstrual cycle.
The most common stress and pain causing factors during and before menses are bloating, acne, nausea, headaches, backaches. These are accompanied by emotional issues such as food carvings, mood swings, low tolerance levels, irritability, and reduced concentration.
Diarrhea is also one of the common symptoms and problems for most women. When you have abdominal problems such as diarrhea, bloating, and constipation, they will help to cause bouts of pain during menstruation.
Diarrhea before Menstrual Cycle
Your hormones play a vital part during monthly menstruation as the estrogen and progesterone levels increase to trigger the discharge of chemicals from the uterus lining cells.
These chemicals are prostaglandins, which are hormone-like compound, that cause the uterus muscles contract and the lining to shed. When the cells in the uterus lining produce more prostaglandins than needed, the contractions will become stronger and painful.
The excessive amount of prostaglandins causes it to circulate throughout the blood stream. Once this blood gets to other organs the prostaglandins ability to simulate smoother muscle contraction will affect the intestines and digestive tract.
Smooth muscles line the bowels in the body, so the effects of prostaglandins will cause the bowels and intestines to contract. This in turn triggers the bowels to release their substance and eventually leads to diarrhea .
Causes of Diarrhea during Pregnancy
These factors are related to the normal changes your body goes through as it adjusts to your baby. For instance, your pregnancy might have caused you to become sensitive to foods that didn’t affect you before, causing you to experience an upset stomach and loose bowel movements.
Hormonal changes can also be the culprit. Some hormones can slow down bowel movement, leading to constipation, while others can speed it up and cause you to have diarrhea.
Loose bowel movements can also be attributed to the lifestyle changes you make due to your pregnancy. For example, if you started to eat more fruits and vegetables when you found out you were pregnant, the increase of fiber in your diet can lead to diarrhea. This can also be the case if you’ve increased your water intake or are doing some pregnancy exercises.
The prenatal vitamins you take may also cause diarrhea. Don’t stop taking them, though; after all, these vitamins are essential to your baby’s growth and development and help him have good health. Talk to your doctor to know whether you should stick to your current vitamin supplements until your body adjusts to them or if you need to take a different brand.
Non-pregnancy related causes
Of course, not all cases of diarrhea can be attributed to pregnancy-related factors. In many instances, it’s caused by medical issues unrelated to pregnancy at all. For instance, women who have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, or irritable bowel syndrome are more prone to having episodes of diarrhea during pregnancy and beyond than those who don’t.
You might also experience loose bowel movements if you catch the stomach flu or if you get infected by any other type of virus or bacteria that affects your digestive system. This is also the case if you get intestinal parasites.
Take note that certain medications can cause diarrhea. Some examples include antacids, antidepressants, antibiotics, and proton pump inhibitors (which are used to treat acid reflux and ulcers). Talk to your doctor if you have just been prescribed any of these medications.
He might switch to a different drug that doesn’t cause diarrhea as a side effect and/or give you tips on how to manage loose bowel movements while pregnant.
Diarrhea can also be caused by food poisoning, which can happen any time during your pregnancy. To avoid this, make sure the food you eat is always fresh and clean and prepared in a hygienic way. If you’re eating out and are not sure of the quality of the dishes served, it’s better to go home and prepare your own meal than risk the chance of getting food poisoning.
Diarrhea and labor
As mentioned above, you can get loose bowel movements at any time. However, they become more common in your third trimester as you near your due date and your body starts preparing itself for labor. There’s no need to be alarmed, though, since getting diarrhea doesn’t automatically mean you’ll go into labor right away.
It’s also important to note that not all pregnant women will have loose bowel movements in their third trimester. Each person has a different experience, and the degree and frequency of diarrhea varies from one mother-to-be to another.
Here are some tips to get relief from diarrhea
Diarrhea before the monthly period is basically caused by hormone changes as well as the release of some hormone-like substances.
In addition, studies show that women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are more likely to experience diarrhea before and during periods. There are several home remedies that you can use to deal with diarrhea.
These include keeping your body hydrated, eating foods with a lot of beneficial bacteria (including yogurt and various other related items), and maintaining a fiber rich diet.
If you have moderate diarrhea, you can treat it at home with moderate exercise, adequate rest, as well as a heating pad that can help to relieve pain and cramps. In addition to those things, you can take drugs for diarrhea symptoms. You should consult your doctor to get the right treatment for severe cases.
In most instances, diarrhea will resolve itself after a day or two. Just make sure to drink plenty of water to replenish what you’ve lost. Remember: dehydration can lead to premature labor, so make it a point to increase your fluid intake.
You’ll also want to avoid foods and drinks that can contribute to loose bowel movements. Milk and dairy products are great for pregnant women, but you’ll want to stay away from them while you’re experiencing diarrhea since they can upset your stomach. This is also the case for oily, fatty, spicy, and high-fiber dishes.
Instead, stick to foods that are gentle to your stomach and won’t make your diarrhea worse. The recommended diet is BRAT, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. You can also add crackers, potatoes, and unsweetened cereal (without milk) as well as rice- or noodle-based soups made without any dairy products.
Hopefully, this information will help you to know more about diarrhea before menstrual cycle. You should take a little extra care and follow the simple tips above to get relief from the symptoms.