Cramp in the bowel

Does anyone else get bowel cramp? It feels like someone has stuck a hot poker up your bottom then the pain goes up into your tummy. I mostly get it in the middle of the night if I have had a day with lots of bowel movements. It's so painful it wakes me up. My colorectal surgeon told me its cramp and to take pain killers and walk around until it goes away. I have been diagnosed with slow transit constipation and had 1/3 of my large bowel removed last year due to constant bowel obstruction. I have had the cramp for 4 years now and would like to know how any of you deal with it.

15 Replies

  • I had this a few years ago. It went on for three years before I found the right consultant who knew how to treat me. It was so debilitating I was in a terrible state, physically and mentally by the time I got it sorted. They finally did an operation, a sphincterotomy ( hope I spelt that correctly) and I haven't had the pain since. I still have other pain and problems linked with my IBS/digestive problems but not the 'red hot poker' pain anymore.

  • hi, ive the same symptoms of excruiating pain after bowel movements!may i ask how your consultant diagnosed your need for the operation? my Gastro hasnt a clue,had a rectocele op which made no difference.

  • I think it was the balloon test which made him decide that the muscles in my bowel were too tight, which made them do the operation. I still have IBS/ constipation but I don't get that stabbing hot knife pain now

  • I had that test and that part of my bowel was ok

  • Thanks Julieleesley68, i will ask about the balloon test at next appointment.inspiring to hear from someone whos had some pain relief! Ann

  • I as in hospital every 6 to 8 weeks for 2 years with bowel obstruction. My colonoscopy said I had severe constipation and my bowel was very stretched, long and to loopy which was causing the obstruction. I also had a shape marker study where I had to swallow capsules for 3 days with different shapes in then have an X-ray after 5 days to see where they had got to. In a normal person all the shapes should of been pooed out but mine were still high up in my bowel so was diagnosed with slow transit constipation (the nerves and muscles in the bowel don't work properly. My surgery was to remove my sigmoid colon as this is where the bowel was folding and twisting. The surgery took 5 hours and I was in hospital for 2 weeks. Not been back in hospital since but still take laxido daily and am gluten, dairy and soya free. What are your symptoms?

  • I've never had the shapes test but i think it would be a good idea for me. I have just suffered constipation all my life, I was on medication for it whilst still in nappies apparently. Over the years, certain laxative products have made life easier but when my body gets used to them they have to be changed and I'm running out of products that I haven't tried! I get the usual stomach cramps, bloating, bubbling, quite strong pain which doubles me up but mostly I am scared to 'struggle' with my bowel movements for fear of damaging things further and going back to the 'red hot poker' days because I would not be able to live through that again

  • Sounds like you should ask for the shape marker study. My daughter had constipation from birth and ended up in hospital when she was 3 with a compacted bowel. She used to not go for a week then have overflow which was awful for her. She is 27 now and seams ok. My twin sister also suffers with constipation but we both have an under active thyroid which doesn't help.

  • hi Kerry 1971,thanks for asking about my symptoms ( its quite a long list!)im in severe pain for approx 10hrs a day After a B M,pain is mostly just above pubic bone,im doubled up with hot water bottle daily & &struggle to do anything also have pain induced depression ,had this pain for 3years,no life just exisisting.had ,cameras up & down ,sigmoidoscopy,ct,mri scans,plus acupuncture! had pain injection in my back ,on Oramorph from Pain clinic .NOTHING works! desperate for some pain relief! thanks for reading my extensive list.Ann

  • Bless you. Morphine causes constipation. I was on it for 2 years but not every day. Hope you find someone to help you soon.

  • Aw thanks Kerry! very kind words.

  • Yes; I get this-its so painfull; if i didnt have neighbors I would scream -my -head -off !

    Its usaually gone by the time it takes pain killers to work!

    i read somewere that go to loo and try like you have a poo-it worked !

    Mine is because of stress, so I would take pain killers before i go to bed,if ive had a rough day.

    my consultant says that its the large bowel that goes into spasm.

    for other probs incontinance am looking at rectal pace maker or colostomy bag.

    S x

  • Cramps is one of the most painful things to cope with. I have always taken Buscopan for Cramps. I know you get it for IBS, but that's not what you need. You need the one for cramps. Also, and this is a very old remedy for tummy troubles, take a drink of hot water from the kettle every morning, before you have tea or coffee, in fact try not to take them either. Let the hot water do its job without interference from caffeine etc. Always east a cereal rich in bran, such as All Bran or Bran flakes. You can put some raisins in them for added taste. Even some other fruits such a soft berries. Try the hot water, see how it goes, it cannot hurt you, but it might help you a great deal, and get the Buscopan for Cramps, see how that works. If this happens at night, take then just before you get into bed and let them do their job overnight. Good luck.

  • Thanks. I will look for them. I am gluten, dairy and soya free so can't eat most cereals. I also can't tolirate to much fibre with my STC. X

  • I also occasionally have suffered this and it seems exactly like cramp. I tended to think that it was probably linked to Piles. Anyway I tend to find if I sit on the edge of something hard -like the front edge of the toilet seat and sort of stretch and press against it, then it goes away fairly quickly . Similar to the way you would stretch against cramp in your leg or elsewhere.

    Hope this is helpful.


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