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Diarrhoea once a month

(31 Posts)
ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 05:52:12


I have name changed for this.

I wondered if anyone might know if it's a normal thing for women in their 40s to start getting epic watery diarrhoea once a month, just before or after their period starts?

This has been happening to me for about 10 months now and I find it really hard to deal with. All that happens is that I will be quite happily reading to my son or something like that in the evening, and then suddenly a gurgling noise happens internally and then I just get epic watery diarrhoea that takes about 8 visits to the toilet to finish. It's really hard to manage as there's no way I can be looking after my son while that's going on and I then feel nauseous all night and off for a few days. My period is completely regular, every 31 days.

I have a whole lot of other things wrong with me that have been getting gradually better for the last two years (thread below), but this diarrhoea only came on about 10 months ago and is really hard to manage. I've tried doing lots of relaxation in the week before, and that was helping but this month it all happened anyway, which really frustrated me.

I wondered if anyone might have any ideas?


MrsTerryPratchett Sun 09-Oct-16 05:56:05

Periods can cause loose stools and diarrhea but yours sounds severe. I would get it checked out.

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 06:04:24

I went to the GP and she said "Oh dear". But that was all.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 09-Oct-16 06:12:33

She sounds helpful! Do you think you're peri menopausal? Because it's odd that it just started.

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 06:17:12

I did wonder that, but I don't really know. My period is still regular. If I am perimenopausal does it make a difference?

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 06:19:58

Do you think I should try a different GP? I've seen so many GPs who have been no help at all, and even a gastroenterologist who just scared the dickens out of me and didn't help at all. I wondered if a private GP might at least have more time to listen, but they cost a bomb. Do you have any idea how I could at least find a competent medic with time to listen to what the problem is? I have Bupa insurance.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 09-Oct-16 06:21:28

Well my period symptoms were bad when I was a teenager and bad again now. So I think the hormones going crazy doesn't help. And I get similar but milder symptoms. But I would worry if it was like yours.

"Oh dear" won't cut it though! You might need more than that!

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 09-Oct-16 06:22:10

I'm abroad so no clue about the system there!

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 06:28:35

That's what I feel too. I wonder if I might try a different GP (again).

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 06:36:57

I've just been thinking and I think my other problems are to do with adrenal fatigue so I think I might ask for a referral to an endocrinologist. Then they might know about this too. Do you think that would be right?

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 09-Oct-16 06:41:05

When you have your period, you produce prostaglandins, which cause the cramps and push the blood out. These can pass through to the bowel wall and give you an upset stomach as they push the poo out faster than required. As the body hasn't had time to absorb excess fluids, this will come out a diarrhoea.

This isn't great for your gut flora. You will possibly be told to take ibuprofen, which will hopefully reduce the cramping and to eat more carb. Both of these are also not great for gut flora.

What would I do?

I would be taking plenty of probiotics and trying to eat a healthy diet. Different people need different diets. What you would be looking to do is to reduce the amount of estrogen your body produces and avoiding foods, which create menstrual pain. High estrogen coupled with low progesterone causes heavy periods.

Now if you google foods to reduce pain/estrogen levels, you may come up with a programme lots of whole grains and vegetables, reduce meat especially red meat etc. That doesn't work for me as my body hates carbs. So I eat low carb, lots of vegetables and good quality protein including a fair amount of red meat as well as good quality fats including coconut oil, nuts etc - Paleo/high fat low carb diet. Perhaps you know what your body likes already, otherwise trial and error.

My stools are a lot firmer since I started eating a healthier diet with plenty of prebiotic food and taking probiotics. I used to get looser stools around my period. Maybe you can help your body too. I'm not a HCP or anything so this is just experienced based and from research.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 09-Oct-16 06:42:22

Endocrinologist, yes.

R3ALLY Sun 09-Oct-16 06:48:11

This exact same thing happened to me at 41. I thought it might be beginning of menopause so went to GP but tests showed I'm still v fertile . My period was also horrifically heavy to the point of anemia so she sent me for an ovarian scan and when that was clear put me on the Mirena coil. That sorted the periods and the stomach upset. I hate using it though as I've put on 1/2 stone and have the spotty skin of a 16 year old...

MountainDweller Sun 09-Oct-16 06:53:22

I had similar - mine was caused by endometriosis in the pouch of Douglas. Do you have painful or heavy periods or bleeding between periods? Those are also signs. Get to a private specialist gynae if no luck with endocrinologist or diet changes. Good luck, it's horrible flowers

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 07:03:35

Gosh R3eally and MountainDweller thanks for that. I'll try an endocrinologist and if not a gyne person. Thanks that's great to know it's not just me. I'm also 41.

mummyoflittledragon thanks for that. I'm already at the very bottom of the special diet hole, so I don't think I could really go any further. I wrote about it here: It's too long to repeat really, but I'd be glad to know your thoughts. I don't think I could manage a probiotic just now really, though I would like to.

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 07:05:07

mountaindweller I don't have heavy periods, or pain or spotting in between. Everything about my periods is just really really normal tbh.

ChampagneCommunist Sun 09-Oct-16 07:06:34

I have this too now; in my 40's & it's fairly rec by

ChampagneCommunist Sun 09-Oct-16 07:07:07

Recent! Bloody auto-carrot

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 07:11:39

Champagne Thanks that's useful to know. I do wonder if this is just the new normal. Charming isn't it? smile

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 09-Oct-16 07:49:32

I've now read your thread. I have chronic fatigue (ME). Lots of associated issues, some of which have resolved somewhat, Adrenal fatigue, night sweats, insomnia, digestive issues etc etc. This time last year I trashed my stomach so badly trying out something new (healing crisis) I couldn't eat veg in any quantities let alone fruit. So I've come on a long way since then despite taking 6 weeks of antibiotics earlier this year and I'm still recovering from that 6 months on. I'm going to get a blood test tomorrow (privately) to test my thyroid.

I'm trying to build up my gut bacteria so that's my mission. I understand if that isn't yours. The reason I'm on this quest is because my private doctor thinks I should go for fecal transplants. I want to avoid this if possible because of the unknown. Besides I'm not well enough to go through the colon cleanse protocol that comes first right now.

If you do ever try a probiotic, maybe build up slowly. Some come in capsule form (e.g. BioKult) so you can just take a little bit at a time. I'm very sensitive to certain things. It's a minefield. I can completely loose energy and collapse sniffing a vic inhaler.

CurtainsforRonnie Sun 09-Oct-16 07:58:41

Ive read your other thread OP & this one. I had Glandular Fever last year & am still suffering the after affects.
Have they tested you for it?

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 09:01:56

Mummyoflittledragon Gosh it sounds as though we are in a similar place then. For me the most obvious thing is that I am slowly getting better, and I very much feel that if I just keep my cool and sit it out, then I will get there. I know just what you mean about medical interventions setting things back and I don't want to do that to myself. It's a tricky balance I think. I'm very keen on pro-biotics, but just can't take them at the moment. Thanks for your thoughts on all this. It really does help.

Curtainsforronnie Thanks, I don't think they tested me for that specifically, but I was tested for inflammation and infection right back at the start and they found nothing. The only positive test I've had was a calprotectin test that indicated slightly raised levels of white blood cells in my gut.

JeepersMcoy Sun 09-Oct-16 09:58:29

I suffer from IBS and can have similar issues to you around my periods. When I was first diagnosed in my teens the doctors thought I had a pelvic infection because it was causing abdo pain, bleeding and heavy periods. It was only when I saw a gyne that they noticed my gut spasming during an exam. She told me that the lining between gut and uterous is very thin and so issues with the gut can effect the uterous and vice versa.

If you are having digestive problems than these may be being exacerbated during your periods due to cramps. I have a mirena coil which really helps as I don't have much period now, but I still get a spell of diarrhoea every month (noticeable as my IBS tends to constipation).

Mummy I have considered feacal matter transplant but am not convinced of the success rate for IBS sufferers though it seems to have good results for some other things. I think there is quite a few studies going on around it at the moment so am keeping half an eye on it as a last resort if things don't get better. If you do go for it I would be interested to know how it works out for you.

ThisOnesNew Sun 09-Oct-16 10:36:46

I have a lot of trouble with bottled up stress that I know I carry as a tight muscular knot in my large intestine, across my upper abdomen. I know that that is where this diarrhoea is initiated and the reading I've done about prostaglandins says that muscle contractions are the cause. Does that mean that if I could find a way to loosen the tight muscle where I am keeping all my bottled up stress then the diarrhoea might go away? It's something I could work on for the next month and see if it has an effect. I think that it would help a whole lot of my other symptoms.


Mummyoflittledragon Sun 09-Oct-16 10:46:10

Jeepers. I'm not going for it right now because I'd rather try to change my gut, which will be much harder I know, but I don't want to take the risk of feeling worse, which some people do. I have heavy periods, healthy eating helps to lighten them somewhat. I wouldn't consider any kind of hormonal intervention apart from drugs for thyroid issues if I am diagnosed with this. I had cfs tendencies for years without knowing the cause, then In my mid 30's i went on the pill for IVF and day 2 of the pill I felt totally drained and never really recovered. After a few IVF attempts, I had dd and I went off a cliff when she stopped sleeping in the day and combined with taking Lyrica and Yentreve for the pain.

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