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What causes abdominal cramps during bowel movements?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2816 Questions
When I poop lately I have cramping and have even thrown up leaving me exhausted
Fri, 27 Apr 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Questions so that I can help

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Please tell me more about this so that I can advise:

1. How long has this been going on? When did it start?
2. Do you hav diarrhea? Constipation
3. How long does the cramping last?
4. Is the vomiting due to extreme pain, or from baring down during having a BM, or are you nauseate before this?
5. Please list any medications you are taking and what you are taking them for.
6. Any fevers?
7. Do you have any digestive or autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's, Ulcerative colitis, a history of gall bladder disease, etc?
8. Are you having abdominal pain or digestive symptoms at other times or only during or after having a BM?

Answers to these questions and any additional information you can provide will help me to respond. Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes abdominal cramps during bowel movements? 1 hour later
1. When I had my periods when I was younger I would have a huge poo during the period and feel week and sometimes nauseated, never thought much about it. It has only been in the last month that I have been throwing up. Through the years when I finally was able to poo this would happen leaving me weak. But getting the tingling in my cheeks but never actually throwing up.
2. Diarrhea and sometimes I do not poo for awhile.
3. The cramping will start about halfway through the poo and then it's hard to shut it down.
4.About halfway through the cramping will begin and then the sudden throwing up, not really nauseated, just the saliva builds up in my mouth and I throw up, doesn't feel like a normal flu like throw up either, just comes up.
5. I take 60 mg of citaliphram p/day and feeling good on it. I have problems with sinuses and just recently gotten a steroid shot that seemed to help. When I have a headache with the sinuses I take 3 aleve. Only thing that seems to help. Not more than once every 2 weeks.
And I take prilosec prescribed. Always have had heartburn.
6. I do have sweats but don't know if they are hot flashes or fever.
7. not to my knowledge.
8. no, only during a pool.
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thoughts on this

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the additional information.

The thing that come to mind here:

- Citalopram can cause digestive side effects. There are serotonergic receptors in the digestive tract. Citalopram can be associated with diarrhea, constipation in some people, cramping, and sometimes nausea or vomiting. It usually happens when a person first starts the medication, but really it can happen at anytime. If this is a possibility for you, you may want to talk with your doctor about switching to escitalopram which is the daughter compound of citalopram. Escitalopram (Lexapro) is thought to have fewer digestive side effects compared with citalopram. If you do switch, know that the dosing is not identical. The benefits should be the same, but fewer side effects, if side effects are what are going on here.

- You didn't mention having been on any antibiotics recently for the sinus problem, but if you were, that can cause bowel disturbances for awhile.

- If you were baring down hard, with your abdominal muscles, to move your bowels, that might have put pressure on your stomach, and if the stomach pressure over rides the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter, it may be why the food came up. And of course vomiting is stressful on the body and might explain the exhaustion afterwards. It may be some kind of autonomic dysfunction too, where the act of having a bm stimulates the vagus nerve which causes the increased salivation, etc.

- You mentioned that you had these symptoms when you would have periods in the past. During periods, hormones are at their lowest. You also mentioned that you may be having hot flashes. So I'm wondering if this might be from hormonal changes.

- If you are having a lot of diarrhea and sweats, I recommend going in to see your doctor and consider a colonoscopy and possibly evaluation for colitis.

I hope this information gives you a place to start with thinking on what might be going on. I hope you feel better soon!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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