Another post about night time BM's

Hi everyone,

Recently I posted about having to get up during the night for a BM. 

I was surprised at how few replied which worried me a little.  I have read various articles which suggest getting up in the night is not a feature/symptom of IBS. 

This made me think more about this issue.   If this happens to very few IBS sufferers, it would suggest to me that if you eat something in your evening meal, which starts your gut up -grumbling , lots of flatulence, pain and  discomfort etc.- but you do not have a BM before going to bed --then you just go to sleep and nothing occurs and no waking up with sore tummy.   What happens to the sore tummy , does it just go away because you have gone to bed ?  Seems unlikely. 

This is when I find relief on occasions comes from waking up with pain and a need to go during the night.  Obviously much better if I do get to have a BM prior to going to bed.

The above scenario where nothing happens that night can often occur but sometimes , on some occasions, I wake up with gas pains and have to go for a BM, which then seems to relieve the problem.  Certainly the gas pains.   Sometimes a bit of nausea the following day and tummy can be a bit delicate.

I have had IBS for 50 years and just a bit worried ,as lately symptoms have changed a little --It used to always occur first thing in the morning, now often more after evening meal.    The last checks I had a few years ago , were blood tests and a discussion with a gastro. consultant .  I was told that there was no sign of inflammation, no weight loss, or passing blood and not really ill so just IBS . -- Just carry on as you have done for years and I have.   

I just wondered if others suffered similar issues ,but only about 2 or 3 replied saying they had experienced similar symptoms , so this issue is still playing on my mind a bit.  

I have been going to my Doc. for years with these IBS bowel issues, I think he might explode if I return -yet again , with more issues.

I would really be glad to hear from any others who sometimes ( not every night), have similar issues.   Maybe the more I think about this ,the more likely it is to occur .



22 Replies

  • Hi will1234,

    My symptoms keep changing at the moment too. I think it's because I have a lot on my mind and I'm getting quite anxious about it all and of course that affects my tummy and off we go again!

    I was awake until 3am last night & needed a few trips to the bathroom which doesn't normally happen. I suspect it will settle down again but try not to worry too much I think a lot of us are like this. Take care.

  • Hi Mc89,

    Thanks for reply , as it happens I also have some stressful issues going on and they have been a factor for quite some time, however, I was not really conscious of that causing this problem .  Perhaps it is having an effect somewhere in the background.

    Again thank you for taking the trouble to reply, I will try not to worry and perhaps things will revert to normal.


  • IBS keeps me awake 4 nights out of 7. Not usually needing a BM unless it's a major flare up, but as my GP once said - we eat our main meal in the evening and so it makes sense for IBS to be an issue at night time. Have you ever had a scan? or colonoscopy? It really does put your mind at ease afterwards.

  • Hi binks,

    Thanks for reply.  The consultant I saw said he did not think any further testing was required.  To be honest I did not push for anything.  Having had IBS since 20 and now nearly 70 ,I just don't feel like I want any invasive tests now. 

  • I am very similar, i dont often have diarrhoea in the day time. I can be drifting off to sleep& have to rush off to the loo, and it wakes me in the night and i csn be up for hours with cramps/hot sweats/diarrhoea, it is awful as it makes the next day so hard, being exausted& delicate.

    My doc dosent think much of this when ive told him, he saideveryone's different.

    Just knowyou're not alone!

    Hope things improve and u get some sleep soon. X

  • Hi AEL1989,

    Thank you for replying .  Your experience is more what I expected to hear.

    I don't know why but somehow there is comfort in knowing you are not alone and the only one suffering particular symptoms.  We probably all worry that the IBS is really something worse.  

    It just seemed reasonable for this to happen if you ate something in your evening meal which sparked off a flare up.  Is it not just related to the time it takes the culprit to pass through your system. 

    Anyway ok last night so feeling better to-day and thanks again for taking the time to comment.   I hope you are also having a good day as it is not great the day after when your tired and feeling a bit out of sorts.


  • Hi AEL 1989,

    Just had a further thought.   Very occasionally I have experienced the hot sweats that you mention.  Did you find out what causes that.  I assumed that it was probably connected to the pain and panic caused by the attack.


  • Hi Will1234,

    I ave similar issues to yours...a long term sufferer - 40 yrs or so. It is much more of a problem now and particularly churning gas etc after an evening meal. (never have to get up at night though ) I have started using silicol gel and it has calmed my evening tummy beyond all imagination. However not everything works the same for everybody, but it might be worth a try. It is expensive, but sometimes it is on offer. I also take 2 Bio kult tablets with my breakfast as I have read that lack of gut bacteria may cause problems. I rely on Immodium if I am going out and feel I may have problems.

    Hope this might help


  • Hi Angie51B,

    Thanks for reply.  Totally agree, I am also using Silicol gel to good effect and also immodium if necessary-say when travelling.   I also take high dosage probiotic capsules in the morning.    Sounds like we have similar issues.

    It was the night time thing that was bothering me.   I wondered if the other meds like silicol gel were maybe delaying the need for a loo visit and then perhaps it was all happening later during the night--who knows !!

    Thanks for taking the time to reply


  • Hi Will hope all is well

    I went through a stage of waking up around 4/5 am needing a urgent bm, the doc prescribed me 10 mg amitripyline which helps a lot. 

    Have you tried eating your main meal at lunchtime if possible to see if it helps?

  • Hi Jules40,

    Thanks for replying --eating main meal at lunchtime sounds a good idea but unfortunately it just would not fit with my lifestyle and commitments.  Not sure what amitriptyline is but I can look it up-might be helpful should this become a regular problem.

    Thanks for taking the time .


  • Hi Will1234, I have had this on occasions but not too often.  I've had IBS for nearly 21 years now and had a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy and that's when my doctor diagnosed me with IBS.  I had a Panini earlier this week when I went out with a friend for lunch, something I rarely do, and it had onion and cheese in it. I was poorly that evening and through the night, had to go to the toilet and then realised that it was far too much onion - that's never happened to me before with onions so it must have been the amount.  I have got really fed up lately and have been on here a fair bit and whilst looking I read a post around 3 weeks ago from an American Doctor and she doesn't believe we have IBS as it's a condition that doctors label us with when all other options have failed.  Of course it depends on whether you have had tests.  I read her post with interest as she carried out some research herself, obviously it helps when you are a doctor, as she got fed up with doctors sending her away.  She took a strong course of antibiotics for bacteria in the gut and she no longer has IBS.  I have been to the doctors myself now and saw the Practice Nurse, I had a routine appointment and mentioned my IBS.  She gave me a pot for a stool sample to see if I have Helicobacter Pylori, I am waiting for the results, she said that if positive then there is a course of 3 lots of different antibiotics.  I am going to report the results once I know.  I should know by next Tuesday.

    All the very best with you and hope that things improve.

  • hi crazyfitness,

    Thanks for replying.  Look forward to seeing the report of your results.

    I have had many similar occasions, similar to your description of your lunch out.  In fact I had a similar situation to-day after lunch out with my wife, when out shopping.    I am presently hoping that the multiple loo visits have just ended.  There are just so many things that can spark off a flare up, odd but I also had a Panini !  ( cheese and tomato ).

    I also read the post you refer to but not sure if some other diagnosis helps, unless there is a cure.   It seems to me, that there are so many causes for IBS attacks, that it is unlikely that there is just one cause , so each of us might have a different cause, reason or disease etc. --a lot of different reasons causing similar gut issues. 

    Good luck with your tests and hopefully you get a positive outcome . I am close to just giving up and accepting things as they are .--  If I was younger ,I might feel differently ,but I am just tired and fed up with what we call IBS and all it's symptoms.   This condition has ruined so many days out over the years,   I thought to-day was a good day, hence lunch out, then you get the problems and it just knocks you back .   Only good point is that attack did not occur until I was back home .



  • The chance of that happening in that you also had a Panini and had problems!  I've had IBS for nearly 21 years, I am just about to turn 57, and like you had basically resigned myself to it.  There are other things out there i.e. the FODMAP diet but there is also a very interesting website and that is for food intolerance testing; I messaged someone privately on here and she said that she followed the intolerance tests; it was hard work but paid in the end as she is now clear of it.  If my tests don't work out then that is the next route I am taking.  The website is, this is a very interesting site.  I downloaded all of the Adobe documents, which only cost me £12, very cheap if it works but not too expensive if it doesn't.  The person that owns the website to which this is her business is called Mary Roe and the address is 16 Ridge Park, Purley, Surrey, CR8 3PN so whoever lives near there would be able to see her in person - she only charges £100 - I think that is so reasonable.  She is a Registered Nurse Specialist in food intolerance.

    Just to let you know that I am not plugging this as a business as I never knew about Mary and her website until I was on here one day, I think most of us will do anything to find a cure for this debilitating disease.

    I hope that your system has now settled down.


  • Hi crazyfitness,

    Thanks for reply and info.  There is someone similar in my area and I have booked an appointment.  First available space for testing is in June ,so a bit of a wait.   It will be interesting to see what happens.   Apparently I tell them nothing about what I am suffering or any symptoms and they find everything out.  Cost is £125 so worth a go.    I will post after the testing.

    Thanks again


  • You are welcome Will1234.  Sounds good re what is available in your area and worth the wait.  Price isn't bad either.  Best of luck and look forward to seeing what comes out of the testing.

    Best of luck

  • When i went for my first consultation whilst on this ibs journey the first thing the consultant asked me was , did i ever have to get up in the night to go to the loo ? i said that only on one occasion had that happened , but i got the distinct impression that he had expected me to say yes on many occasions  !!

  • Hi hollypeg,

    Thanks for reply.  I think now  that this situation, in my case, seems to come and go.  It might not be a feature for months on end ,then it happens a few times and it bothers me.  It has not occurred now for a few days but to-day after lunch out, I have suffered to-night.    ( I hope it is now over and I will not now be up overnight). 

    Even after 50 years of IBS , there often just seems no obvious reasons for the symptoms and at times it gets depressing.   

    I read about many others on this site with much worse symptoms , so maybe I just need to accept I have bad or delicate guts and get on with it. It is just odd, why we all seem to need to talk about it , discuss our symptoms and seek comfort in not being alone with our problem.

    Thanks again.


  • Sounds simple but have you tried going gluten free ?  I find my ibs so much easier to manage if I avoid wheat. I wouldn't dream of eating a panini as I know I would suffer terribly. 

  • Hi marthaalice,

    Thanks for reply.   My wife says if I want to go gluten free without proof of needing to--I can sort my own food out ,as too much trouble to have me requiring a special diet.   

    To be honest , when I feel okay , I take too many chances with what I eat and drink ,then I suffer and say --What caused that !!   Then things return to normal and  I eat or drink something ,perhaps when out, which often repeats the issue.  Sounds totally stupid --I know.    It is just that sometimes I could have a Panini, or something else that I have blamed previously and have no problems at all.   

    I find it very odd that I blame a particular food --yet sometimes I can eat the same thing and its fine.   It makes excluding any group of foods a difficult issue.    I suppose if my symptoms got really bad and prevented me getting out on a daily basis etc. I would have to consider a very restricted diet .

    Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply.


  • I was exactly the same, some days I could eat bread and be fine but the next day I could, but slowly it became fact that I was bloated and uncomfortable more days than not.  I don't think your diet needs to be restricted. I just cut out bread and pasta, instead of a sandwich I have ryevitas or oat cakes, I have porridge instead of toast for breakfast, gluten free bread is fine toasted. Potatoes, rice etc is all fine. It isn't massively restrictive. I still eat a bit of cake or the odd biscuit now and again. The difference cutting down on wheat has made to me is huge. I have also replaced tea and coffee with peppermint tea, not a difficult thing to do and makes a massive difference.  If you feel as uncomfortable as I did they are very small changes for a big reward.  I sure if your wife realised how miserable it is she may be a bit more sympathetic. Take care. 

  • hi marthaalice,

    Thanks for your info.   I do have porridge in the morning and I only drink green tea.    I do still have bread sometimes and I cannot find any evidence that bread is a culprit.  

    Thanks again.  hope you are well.


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