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severe abdominal pain, fainting, diarrhea, chilling

Jul 05, 2008 - 19 comments

severe abdominal pain







For several years I have been having what I call "episodes".  They were very infrequent, maybe two a year.  In the last couple of years, they have become more regular and very scary.  I have had five in three weeks.  They are almost always at night after I have been asleep for a couple of hours.  I wake up having lower abdomenal cramping, then I feel an extreme heat come over my whole body.  Sweat pours off my body and I become pail in color. I am so hot that my husband says he can feel the heat coming off of me.   I feel like I am going to pass out (and have several times), so my husband helps me get to the floor (which is cool) and he gets ice packs and puts them on my neck and back.  Then I have a buzzing sound in my ears and I have to go to the bathroom for a severe pain/diarrhea attack.  Sometimes it starts with regular stool, then diarrhea and sometimes extreme diarrhea to start with.  I am extremely thirsty and after several minutes (the longest was 45 minutes) I am very weak and start to chill.  I am then helped back to bed where I turn on my electric blanket because my teeth are chattering.  The next day I'm washed out.  ANY SUGGESTIONS???

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by Ed71, Nov 18, 2008
I have had two similar episodes resulting in fainting,falling and hospitalization. The end result was low blood pressure and dehydration. Neither the hospital or other doctors could determine the root cause.
If you do get some relief please let me know. Good Luck.

Avatar universal
by exkiwi, Nov 28, 2008
I too have experienced episodes like this since my teenage years, which is a very long time ago. I have learned like you, to get on the floor quickly, but I experienced an episode 2 months ago where it came on so fast that I ended up on the bathroom floor (again). This is not good when the bathroom is very small when head and/or facial bruising results! Sometimes the episode affects me neurologically as well and I cannot walk properly and have to crawl up the stairs. The last episode was more scary because it took 2 days to get rid of that washed-out feeling. I described it to my doctor and he thought it was a vasovagal event and recommended keeping very well hydrated.

Avatar universal
by Geri62, Sep 19, 2009
I too have experienced this and I found an article in Consumer Reports on Health that attributed the symtoms to vasovagal fainting.  It occurs after fear, extreme heat, or straining while in the bathroom.

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by Gabby20, Dec 17, 2009
Hi everyone i just turned 17 and i been havin some of these problems for the past year. I have severe abdominal pain, i feel faint, and have horrible diarrhea, and sometimes i have to get on the floor cuz the bed feels to high and it makes me throw up. The pain is so bad that i makes me cry nd sometimes i just fall asleep from the pain nd cryin and a really bad headache. When i wake up I'm still sick though, it doesnt go away. Nd recently i started to hear the buzzin in my ear. My Doctor has been takin blood and doing stool samples and Ultrasounds but she hasnt found anything. What do i do?

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by trousers, Mar 23, 2010
I dont believe it, i have been going through this for approx. 2 years, maybe longer, i get this horrible pain that can only be described as my lower insides chilling. I have this a few times a week and cannot stand up straight when it happens, i can only get relief from lying down, after maybe an hour or 2 sometimes. I over heat and go through panic attack like sensation when this occurs and also get severe diarrhea. This is ruining my life, i have asked for help for this and my doctors have no idea what causes it...

Avatar universal
by psmith57, Mar 23, 2010
Dear trousers,

I have started taking (before bed)  2 Gaviscon and a cheap allergy over the counter pill.  Since I started taking this faithfully, I have only had a couple of very small attacks.  The doctors never could find out what was going on with me and they still don't know.  They seem to think it is some sort of gastro/allergy attack.  Something I'm around or eat causes a huge allergy reaction, but they aren't sure.  Do you have any kind of acid  reflux/upset stomach often?  

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by jazzman999, Nov 13, 2010
I also have suffered from these attacks from time to time over the last 35 years. Waking up after several hours of sleep with intense stomach pains, severe diarrhea, intense itchiness, red welts, and finally dizziness ( caused by a severe drop in blood pressure).  I have seen several Specialists who have been unable to discover what the problem is. I have had some success controlling the symptoms by taking up to 300 mg of Benadryl within 30 minutes of waking up with the attacks. However, I have had 2 attacks were I took the Benadryl and then used an epi pen without success. Both of these attacks required an ambulance trip and intravenous fluids to keep me from losing consciousness due to very low blood pressure. If any of you ever find out what causes this please post to this site as these attacks are ruining my life. Thanks

Avatar universal
by mscox80, May 02, 2011
My family found that cutting corn syrup out of our diet completely cured this problem! The last time I had this problem I had two cans of Sprite that day and some other stuff I know I'm not supposed to eat like cake and waffles w/ syrup!
This means NO pop, white bread, sugared items of almost any kind, no fruit snacks, no corn snacks, no syrup AND NO Gatorade! Many processed foods have it in there too. Read labels if one of the first three ingredients is corn syrup don't eat it. I can eat it in very slight moderation, but that's it. For those of you who say Benadryl helps try this diet! It sounds like a food allergy of some sort. If this doesn't work it could be a different food so randomly take what you think it might be out of your diet. I advise trying each diet for a month, and at least the 1st week tracking what you eat. So if you have a problem read the labels on everything you ate in the last 48 hours to see if you find something in common.  Good Luck!          

Avatar universal
by Pagestomach, Dec 17, 2012
My family calls this the page stomach.  Several of us have the same thing and pancake syrup is one of the culprits.  We talk about it quite often and think ours should be a true medical condition.  Our attacks can be brought on fast or we wake up with them. We all take prilosec daily and all watch for trigger foods. The pain is so severe, I have been in the bathroon floor screaming for relief, breaking out in sweats or chilling and wanting to die.  I do avoid spicey foods and also corn syrup/ pancake syrups of all kinds.   Pure maple syrup, the real stuff will  not bother me. Only the artificial kind.  I feel for you all, but we named this condition years ago when I was younger.  

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by Lorid2790, Mar 06, 2014
I am 46 have a Sensative stomach and have recently developed these horrible symptoms . I am in need if help . I have been to a neurologist who put me on lamictal . The gastro dr isn't sure what is causing this . Please help  

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by sbRN, Jul 23, 2014
Hi, I too suffer from the exact symptoms described above from many people. Im 41 years old and am a Registered Nurse who works (ironically) in a GI dept at the hospital. This is most certainly a vasovagal reaction and for those of you who dont know it is a reaction that causes your heart rate and bloodpressure to drop very low.  This leads to the diaphoretic ( cold sweats/ clammy skin) feeling. Vasovagal reactions happen from severe pain ( in my case waking up with sharp cramps), bearing down to have a bowel movement, and anxiety can cause it too ( many vasovagal reactions happen to people when I'm about to start an IV or draw blood from someone).
The best thing you can do is find out what food is causing it and avoid it.  I would bet that all of us have a form of IBS and have diarrhea from certain foods from time to time. I've actually linked mine to sodium diphosphate ( a food preservative) that is only in certain foods one of which for me is Quaker Life cereal. Might sound funny but if I eat a bowl right now, I can almost guarantee that in about 6 hours I'll be in the bathroom.
Additional note to make...daytime diarrhea attacks are painful but I dont vasovagal because when you're awake your sympathetic nervous system is " alert" and fully functioning.  But to be woken from a dead sleep with pain..forget it, I'm done!  So now I avoid foods at night that might wake me up later.  Staying very hydrated is crucial too!  Hope this helps you all.

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by MF1972, Jul 03, 2015
I had the very same thing happen to me. The abdominal pain came on so quickly and I went to the bathroom only to get into the ground because the pain was so intolerable. I was writhing on the floor and was going to faint but I fought not too. I could feel a cold sweat. It was absolutely horrible! I could not get up and my daughter found me. I had to lie down but ended up going to the bathroom 3x. I was in do much pain I can't describe it. I eventually slept for 3 hours but I still don't feel 100% ok even after taking yoghurt. My insides feel raw... How come we can't found out what this is? This has happened before but never as severe. I was scared, honestly. Is it an allergy to a food? I only had grapefruit and eggs. My husband thinks that low iron and sugar causes me to faint.

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by bandmomof2, Sep 19, 2015
I'm so surprised that so many people have this as i do and no doctor can diagnosis it. I've and my mother has had this for years. Fortunately for us, we don't get symptoms often, only about once a year. Once i had an attack just as i was waking up. It drew me out of bed as i made it to the bathroom,  extreme diarrhea, then the cold sweats, then i was fanning my self i was so hot, extreme pain and was very light headed and on this episode i actually passed out, fell off the toilet and hit my head. When i could make it back to bed to lie down i would still have to go back to the bathroom many times. After a few hours it passes like nothing ever happened. In the future episodes i have learned to prop my self on the wall so i don't fall if i pass out.
One time at lunch i felt like I needed to use the restroom that i couldn't make it back to work and this time they called the ambulance and rushed me to the hospital and after a few hours, symptoms gone and they can't figure it out. They are diagnosing it as vasovago as a dr. diagnosed my mother as well. But it doesn't add up to that. Like some people that get these attacks more frequently we don't get them often and I've had them during the day and upon waking.
I wish someone would be able to help because this is very scary and painful.

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by Cecily1024, Sep 24, 2015
Wow!! This is totally describing me! I had to have EMS get me from work yesterday, did a full work up at the hospital, CAT scan and nothing! I just had another one about a hour ago and decided to look online right away for some answers...any answers!!!  That's when I found this! I hadn't eaten anything but a little piece of cake and 2 sips of coffee! The symptoms are totally the same though!! Any suggestions on how to shorten the time of the attack since it doesn't sound like there is even a name for it? So sorry all of you suffer too cuz it's awful. At least I know I'm not crazy though! :-) Any help is greatly appreciated! TIA

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by Deputydog10, Jan 03, 2016
It's unreal that so many people have this. I've had the same thing for 8 years. I'm 32 male. Mine starts most of the time with a severe stomach pain. Then my face and body will get super hot. Then my head will start pounding and legs start to tingle. I've learned to get on the floor and put my feet up to keep from passing out. I get very disorientated but only for a few min. I've actually had to use the bathroom in the floor. Most of the time it lasts about 20 mins and then I will go to bathroom and then rest and I'm fine. Im scared to go anywhere alone for the fear of passing out.

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by Gl0b, Apr 02, 2016
I can't believe these posts! My mom and I have had these "episodes" for years.  Mine are very infrequent but my mom is now often, usually hitting her head upon falling in the bathroom.  Her repeated falls have led to concussions so we must get to the bottom of this to prevent further falls.  Any answers?

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by micki65, May 15, 2016
I too have this. It first started when I was 26. I would have  these attacks about 3 times a year. Very terrifying when they were happening. I have learned just to lay on the floor after numerous trips to the ER for sutures, I am 51 now, about 3 years ago I started having these attacks about once a week and  they weren't just happening at night , but also in the daytime, at work,  etc... I am seeing a specialist now and I have been prescribed propanolol, amitriptyline, and hyoscyamine. To early to tell if it  is working.
Today I did come across a research article about 'Sleep Syncope'.  Google it, I thought I was fainting because of the pain. But after reading the research paper, I think abdominal pain may be part of the vasovagal response. See what you think

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by Dragoneyes64, Apr 03, 2017
I'm a 52 year old male. I've had severe stomach pain level 5-7 for the last two months. I've been hospitalized twice because of this. They've done cat scans and other tests and nothing shows up. I've been feeling weak since last night. This morning I got up went to the bathroom and passed out. I'm currently in the hospital for now on a heart monitor. If anyone has any of these same symptoms and have gotten any answers please post

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by Honeymama2, Sep 12, 2017
I too have this happening to me. It always happens while I'm sleeping. I wake up with a urge to go to bathroom. That's when it hits me. Severe pain in my stomach. I feel like I need to go to the bathroom bad. The pain is so severe that I can't move. My arms tingle and sweat literally drops from my face. I have roaring in my ears and feel like I am going to faint. The pain continuously washes over me. I would not be able to go to the hospital because no one can touch me while this happens. I could not get help if I tried. When I finally have explosive diarrhea the pain will subside. I have one or two episodes a year. My gastro doctor has no idea what this is and doesn't seem to take it serious. It is terrifying. It last from 15 to 45 minutes. I feel better just knowing I am not alone and not going crazy.

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