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Nighttime diarrhea

Good Morning

I have had IBS symptoms for some years, nothing to severe until two years ago. I now have flare ups that last for weeks, with cramps, pain and diarrhea.
The GP has run blood and various tests and is confident that it is IBS, I have been prescribed Buscopan and just recently started taking Imodium both of which have helped a little.
The biggest issue is nighttime diarrhea, during a flare up I have frequent episodes of diarrhea throughout the night starting about 3 am. During the day I have minimal episodes. I wondered if anyone else has this situation during the night. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  1. I definitely have dealt with this before. Diarrhea in the evening can be so frustrating. You are unable to sleep and you can't relax because you don't know when you have to run out of bed to go to the restroom. Also laying down can feel uncomfortable. Do you think this could be caused by something you are eating? I'm wondering if keeping a food journal could help? -Elizabeth (team member)

    1. Hi Elizabeth, thank you for your reply. This latest flare up started a week ago I am fairly sure it was because I ate a very ripe mango, it was the only thing I ate that day which was different. I find it quite difficult as fruit and veg have always been my preferred food choices. Trying to work out 2gat to eat is complicated as I’ve also been diagnosed with erosive gastritis which involves avoiding certain foods. I am keeping a diary and have now realised cheese is also a bad choice. For years I would have flare ups which lasted a couple of days and then I was fine but over the last two years the flare up last for weeks and always in the middle of the night.

      1. thank you 😊

      2. You are so welcome! -Elizabeth (team member)

    2. Hi Karina, thank you for responding. I do have quite a lot of anxiety and stress, I became profoundly deaf quickly after having normal hearing all my life. Adjusting to this very different world has been stressful and I do think that has had an impact. I have started keeping a food diary as I think it is related to certain foods. A few years ago I realised nuts, sweet corn and onions were causing flare ups. I suspect the list of “problem” foods is growing, it’s just difficult to pinpoint which ones. This latest flare up started during the night, I had eaten a ripe mango earlier in the day and I suspect that was the trigger. It’s the fact the episodes happen between 3.30 am and 7 am that are so strange. Hopefully the food diary might help to give me a better understanding of what is causing this latest issue, being up in the middle of the night isn’t good as I have intrusive tinnitus which makes it difficult to get back to sleep which then makes the anxiety worse.

      1. I’m so sorry this happened to you, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to adjust to this new life. And being up with a flare every night certainly doesn’t help at all…
        I hope you’ll be able to pinpoint what’s causing these flares soon. I’d also write down all the medication/supplements etc. That you take in your food journal, as these can also trigger symptoms. Portion sizes can play a role, too.
        Wishing you quick relief and all the best, Karina (team member)

    3. I always ate plenty of fibre and a lot of fruit and vegetables, as long as I can remember! "Food" to me meant all those healthy things, and I couldn't imagine eating anything else. But when IBS hit me (IBS D) I had to suddenly switch to more bland food, including "white" carbs with my meals instead of wholemeal or seed/grain, potato skins, etc. I also had to cut down quite a lot on my way more than five-a-day fruits &veggies usual habit.
      It took me a while to understand that, and I kept trying to eat my usual foods. But it was when I got worse when I did, and my IBS became more manageable when I didn't, that I began to learn I had to start reversing things, no matter what "healthy diet advice" I was reading, or what general advice there is about diet.

      Things did become a bit more manageable that way and over time I have been able to include more vegetables and occasionally high fibre foods once again. But it's a constant balancing act.
      I know I haven't been able to eat any amount of mango for years, much as I love it, and can tell you I KNOW what would happen to me if I ate a whole one!

      But if my gut is flaring up I will usually wake up too early with an uncomfortable morning feeling in my gut, like my gut just can't wait another couple of hours in order for me to have a full sleep. Like my body is on high alert.
      I wonder if it's just the morning thing with you too? It's a natural time for most people for the body to be preparing to eliminate after we get up, only it gets speeded up and more dramatic with IBS?

      Then of course the tiredness doesn't help either.

      1. thanks for replying, your situation sounds very like mine. Yes it always starts in the early hours of the morning. I really struggle to eat ‘bland’ food, I long for lots of fruit and veggies but I know I have to limit my intake. I know for certain mango, sweetcorn, broccoli, onions, cheese and nuts are definitely off limits. I find IBS is such a random thing, I can be fine for months and then out of the blue it flares up as you say it’s a constant balancing act.

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