question-icon

What causes acute diarrhea during menstrual cycle?

default
Posted on Fri, 11 Dec 2015
Question: I had an acute bout of diarrhea on Tuesday evening. No bowl movement on Wednesday, and on Thursday I had soft bowels and cramps, and today I have gas and some mild abdominal discomfort. I have episodes of acute diarrhea which typically happens once a month around my menstrual cycle, and generally lasts 24 hours or so. What period of time should I allow for this to continue prior to seeing a physician, and should I be concerned. I have suffered from constipation and stomach issues for many years.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (29 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
should last less than 3 to 4 days

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Some women do experience diarrhea as part of their premenstrual symptoms.

This can occur a few days before or with the onset of the period.

In most cases , the symptoms last less than 3 to 4 days, if you find that your symptoms last longer than this time frame or they are very severe then you should see your doctor.



Constipation can be initially treated with diet and lifestyle changes but if this does not help then you can visit your doctor to rule out other causes- electrolyte disturbance (high calcium, low potassium, diabetes), thyroid disease, nerve related conditions.

Initial treatment includes: (1)use of enough daily fluids - not including any caffeine drinks or alcohol since these cause the body to lose fluids by urination
(2)use of enough dietary fiber by increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods
If difficult then a fiber supplement such as benefiber, metamucil or cetrucil can be added

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (3 minutes later)
The most recent episode was 3 days after the start of my period, and mild periodic discomfort has persisted for an additional 2-3 days. Since I have suffered from stomach issues for so many years, it's difficult to discern if something is "new issue" to be concerned about, or just the same issues acting a little different.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
if different time period or more severe

Detailed Answer:
HI

Sorry about the delayed reply

If you have a history of issues around the time of your period then symptoms occurring around that time are likely related to the hormonal changes.

If you find that your symptoms occur at a different time period or they become severe eg if the abdominal discomfort is more severe, then you should be assessed.

Also if you are not entirely comfortable, it is always best to follow instinct and be assessed

Please feel free to ask anything else


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
What causes acute diarrhea during menstrual cycle?

Brief Answer: should last less than 3 to 4 days Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Some women do experience diarrhea as part of their premenstrual symptoms. This can occur a few days before or with the onset of the period. In most cases , the symptoms last less than 3 to 4 days, if you find that your symptoms last longer than this time frame or they are very severe then you should see your doctor. Constipation can be initially treated with diet and lifestyle changes but if this does not help then you can visit your doctor to rule out other causes- electrolyte disturbance (high calcium, low potassium, diabetes), thyroid disease, nerve related conditions. Initial treatment includes: (1)use of enough daily fluids - not including any caffeine drinks or alcohol since these cause the body to lose fluids by urination (2)use of enough dietary fiber by increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods If difficult then a fiber supplement such as benefiber, metamucil or cetrucil can be added I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions