Stomach Cramp, Diarrhea, sweating , light headedness and fainting
by tomski, Mar 01, 2007
I have experienced on 4 occasions in the last 6 years a rather weird Diarrhoea attack which really is painful and scary. Here is a description of what occurs.

1. Sudden abdominal pain which increases in intensity over a short time. The same sensation one might get when they are about to get Diarrhoea.

2. I go to the toilet and try excreting whatever wants to come out. However after about a minute of sitting there with nothing coming out I suddenly few light headed and am starting to get a dizzy spell like I am about to faint and my breathing weakens.

3. This borderline fainting sensation lasts for about another minute before I break out into a sudden sweat all over my body. Within a few seconds I have sweat literally pouring out of me, my clothes are wet as if I ran a marathon or something.

4. After a minute of sweating I suddenly feel something coming out of my rear end. I try to squeeze it out and only a hard stool comes out.

5. The sweating stops and the stomach cramp subsides. I think everything is over and I clean up. I walk out of the toilet and in about 2 minutes time the stomach cramp and the fainting sensation comes back (I've fainted only once to date from this and was out for about 15-20 minutes).

6. When I get back to the toilet I have a really violent Diarrhoea episode in pure liquid state. It takes a few minutes to subside and once I
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Member Comments (788)
by cornczech, Mar 05, 2007
I get something like this too...but I have LOTS of intestinal problems...and namely...I also had my gallbladder taken out about 10 years ago....I get "attacks" where I have SEVERE pain in the midle of my gut (triggered by pain meds.....wine....greasy food...and ????) I get VERY pale...sweat PROFUSELY, drool and then either vomit....have watery stools, fart or....if I'm REALLY unlucky....suffer from these WAVES of pain, vaso-vagal(?) type symptoms for HOURS until they subside...sometimes hycosamine will work...sometimes 4 tums...and once and a while nothing but time cures it.....I have been told IBS....and intestinal intussusuption (found on two CT scans)diverticulitis...then I started to read up on Sphinter of Oddi syndrome...and it was like I was reading stories NOT from others suffering from it...but like I had written them myself....I get yellow stools and burning bile that backs up into my system and causes complete HAVOC....

All I can say is good luck to you....in 20 years, I have seen about 15 MD's and ALL of them have different opinions....and MOST of them tried to tell me it was "all in my head"
by Kiesh, Mar 05, 2007
I've suffered from a severe case of IBS (Irritable Bowel) for most of my life, and have had cases such as this happen to me often. It may or may not be related to some form of allergy. You should contact a specialist (gastro-intestinal), and please be sure to drink water, for the diarrhea and sweating can dangerously dehydrate you. It may also be the case of why you get so dizzy. Another thing I found that helped was being sure to lay down in a fetal position after the pain subsides, though I'm sure there is a much better way to deal with it.

I do hope what I said helps you, take care.
by Blulu, Nov 02, 2007
Hi, I relate to a lot of what you said, I have never fainted, but all the rest applies and I have nausea with it, though am not actually sick. My understanding is like Kiesh said, that it's IBS. Although, I'm never sure if the sweating part is a result of coping with the pain, or if it's my body sweating out something that I'm allergic or intolerant to. If it's an allergy (for me) I think it might be to MSG, if it's an intolerance (again for me) at the moment I'm thinking it's to very fatty foods. It's always worse when I'm stressing about something. Does any of that apply to you? You can get IBS tabs over the counter (we can here in UK anyway). Or you might want to try testing out foods to see if you are allergic/intolerant. It's a pain to do this (I keep meaning to, but haven't yet). You have to keep a diary of everything you eat and how you feel each day. Then eat very bland food for, say a month. Next introduce whatever you want to test for. If it brings on the symptoms, you've probably found the cause. If not, add something else into your diet to test for that. But also, if you haven't already, do get some medical advice to rule out  the nasties. The odds are very much that it's not anything really scary, but you definitely should check to make sure. My doctor told me that approx 25% of people have IBS. Wishing you well. Louise
by ajm1978, Jan 29, 2008
I too have fainted during an onset of severe cramps.  I usually squirm on the bathroom floor and then I start sweating and then I wake up about 20 min later on the bathroom floor.  It is unimagineable pain that I am in and it is always a scarey experience when I am about to faint.  It is nice to hear that I am not the only one that experiences this.. Alicia
by jr0926, Jan 31, 2008
This is a simple vasovagal reaction. It happens to many people when they have any kind of gastrointestinal upset, because  it stimulates the vagal nerve. It's the most common cause of fainting, and some people experience it nearly every time they have a bowel movement (bummer)! You can see my explanation to Trika (drinking water causes unconsciousness) for a complete explanation of how vasovagal reactions happen. Basically, though, your gastrointestinal upset +/- the valsalva pushing (holding one's breath and bearing down) are both adequate to stimulate the vagus nerve which causes an immediate drop in blood pressure and heart rate. The result? A drop in blood supply everywhere - including the brain - which causes a sudden loss of consciousness. Once our head is lower down (eg. on the bathroom floor!) it's easier for blood to get there thanks to gravity, and we regain consciousness.

Since the diarrhea attacks are pretty infrequent, I wouldn't worry too much about them. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that there's a clue in what you describe - you pass hard stool first, and then a few minutes later, have diarrhea. This can happen with people who are transiently constipated - there's a hard stool blocking the passage of everything else and your body will suffer excruciating cramps in an attempt to "move it along." Then, once the "obstacle" is passed, you'll have a bout of diarrhea, which may have resulted from the colon secreting fluid in an attempt to soften and pass the "obstruction."

Hopefully that makes these "mystery" bouts less mysterious!


by LoriDC, Feb 05, 2008
I was just looking to find out more about this same thing on the internet and found this site.  About 4 times a year I get stomach cramps that cause me to start sweating, intense diarrhea...the pain gets so severe, it makes me want to vomit. Often I find walking around or getting up and down helps the bowels to move and then I am fine; however, once, about 10 years ago, I passed out face first in the bathroom and woke up later. Then, just two days ago, another episode and fainting spell.  Unfortunately, I went head first and split open my nose, and now have a puffy lip and somewhat of black eyes.  But, I do find that it may be after a stressful event and I was probably constipated and finally relaxed and/or I have eaten some rich foods.  My husband suggested to take deep breaths more, and not hold my breath.  I just don't want it to happen where I hurt myself again, more serious, and no one is around.
by Seagram, Feb 25, 2008
Thanks Jr for the explanation.  I just experienced the symptoms you described yesterday.  After having lunch at a spicy/greasy chinese restaurant, I had a severe stomach cramp 1st, then felt dizzy and passed out in a grocery. I remembered I went in a nice dream for very short time then became concious again.  I went to the bathroom and had soft stool.  My blood pressure was so low that ambulance came and sent me to ER.  After waiting for a doctor for more than 1 hour without anyone showing up, I decided to be discharged.  I was a little bit concern for my decision to leave, after reading your post, appears something not to be worried.  Thanks for the explanation.
by kat1230, Apr 21, 2008
I to came across this site looking for answers. I have had this problem for almost 20 yrs and don't know what to do. It mostly comes on in stressful times but not always. I can eat a small amount or a large amount of food. Within the hour of eating and with about a 3 minute warning my stomach bloats up with gas. I go to the bathroom immediately have diarrhea. My ears get hot and ring, I start to sweat. the pain in my stomach is so intense the next thing I know I'm on the floor with someone slapping me to wake up. I don't know what to call it - Fainting or a sezure. When I'm out I feel like I'm shaking but my husband says I'm not.  I do have constipation but not when this happens.  I could have this 2 to 3 times a year or a few years could go by. Whenever, this is very scary and it drains me the rest of the day. What can be done? Help  ---- Sandra
by argu, May 10, 2008
Exactly what you described happens to me maybe 2-3 times per year.  I went on line trying to find some answers too. It always seems to happen at night.  I've found the best way to avoid passing out is to stay in bed with my head down and my knees bent under me until the sweating and "burning up" part passes and then I am able to make it to the toilet after that. I don't know what triggers these episodes other than the fact that I usually haven't eaten very well that day (i.e lots of fatty foods etc.)  I never thought about the possibility that it was caused by constipation.  That might be something to thing about.  It certainly feels like my body is just completely rejecting something and doing whatever it takes to get rid of it.  It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has this happen to them!