I feel sick after I poop

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Elizabeth asks:

I eat a healthy diet and I exercise consistently. I have a bowel movement within half an hour of the same time every morning. It's amazing! But, every time I defecate, without exception, I feel like crap (no pun intended). Every time! It's been like this for a few years. After I go, I feel like it's taken everything out of me. I feel sick, and, if time permits, I lay down to rest. Any ideas on what is going on would be great.


Dear Elizabeth,

Based on the information you have given, I see no obvious cause for an actual physical disorder to be what is plaguing you, so I am going to presume that you are suffering from more of a psychosomatic disturbance of some kind.

Psychosomatic illnesses, now more commonly referred to as psychophysiologic illnesses or disorders, are diseases whose symptoms are caused by mental processes of the sufferer rather than immediate physiological causes. One example of such a disorder is fear of defecation. Usually this particular syndrome comes about after a particularly painful experience with pooping. The brain associates having to poop with being in great discomfort, and therefore causes all subsequent urges to have a bowel movement to result in a panic attack of varying degrees.

I am not saying that you have a fear of pooping. I am just wondering if maybe at some point a few years ago, you possibly had an experience after pooping that was so sickening that your brain made a subconscious association between feeling ill and having just finished a bowel movement, so that now every time you poop, you feel horrible. You may have developed an associative pooping disorder.

As therapy for this diagnosis, I suggest you begin practicing a positive reinforcement ritual with your daily poop. As you sit through your bowel movement, focus mentally on how you are ridding yourself of unneeded waste products and toxins. Maybe play some relaxing music and use aromatherapy to create a pleasant atmosphere. Then immediately after pooping, instead of lying down and allowing yourself to do the "sick routine." occupy yourself with some sort of activity. See if this retrains your brain to think of pooping as a good thing that makes you feel better, rather than a bad thing that makes you feel sick.

Thanks for asking Motherload!

Motherload is Certified Nurse Assistant as well as an IBS sufferer, which means she knows a lot about poop. Got a question for her? Ask it here.












37 Comments on "I feel sick after I poop"

sittingpretty's picture
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Have you seen a gastroenterologist about this post-poop illness. Or a cardiologist maybe because if it from vagal nerve stimulation related...i don't know. Just throwing some ideas out there. I am the last person to tell you its all in your head. Seriously go to a GI md first before accepting its all in your head..is what I would do.

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

Postman's picture
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I think Motherload hit the nail right on the head. I doubt if there's anything physically wrong with you. I'd take her suggestions and see if it helps. If not, see a doctor.

prarie doggin's picture
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Pooping never makes me sick, but anyone who happens to be near....thats another story.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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prarie doggin
took the words right out of my mouth (or the stench out of my ass). I always feel fine after a good poop or poot but those around me become ill.

_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

prarie doggin's picture
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Well Chief, the odds are astronomical that you and I will never be in adjoining public stalls at the same time, but can you imagine the horror?

Postman's picture
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I just had a horrible thought. Me being in the middle stall between you two.

prarie doggin's picture
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Enough to keep you out of public shitters for a while huh?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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Postman, Can I have your vote in the limerick
contest?, or must I track you to your
favorite stall and occupy the adjacent one.

Bwahahaha

_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

The Shit Volcano's picture
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I think there are many causes for this, but the "all in your head" thing may be a legitimate one to add to the list. Not to say that you are crazy, but sometimes the subconscious brain gets programmed a certain way and you have to give it a smack in the head (pun intended) to get it working in the right direction.

I cannot eat raspberry danish, for example, not because I am allergic to it, but because one day I bought the wrong type and it was filled with coconut. The painful allergic reaction that followed was so horrible that after that day, I could no longer stomach regular raspberry danish, even the kind I was used to, without feeling sick.

My mother had a similar thing happen with a game she played while pregnant with my sister. The electronic game was all she had when her morning sickness was so bad she could barely get out of bed. After the pregnancy she could not hear this game without feeling sick to her stomach, and she eventually had to give it away.

Keep working on it, though. If you are conscious of the moment that put you in this frame of mind, you can remind yourself that it's all a load of crap. (More pun intended.)

_______
Well, you don't actually blow on it. That's just an expression.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

shitwit's picture
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TSV- are you my long lost sister??? I'm allergic to coconut too!

As for the topic of associating pooping with feeling ill. It's very likely. I ate raisin bran one morning before having a series of bloodwork done. After they drained me of what seemed like pints I threw up on the way home. A raisin got caught in my throat and I just couldn't cough it up or swallow it back down for a couple hours. It finally made its way back up in another wave of puke. But for over 10 years afterward I could NOT swallow a raisin to save my life. I'd gag every time. No matter how well it was chewed. Finally I just had to tell myself "mind over matter" and force myself to eat raisins again. Now it's no big deal, I love raisins.

After pooping, take a few deep breaths, and just tell yourself "mind over matter", then go for a jog or have a glass of water and take a brisk walk. You'll get over this soon enough.

_______
Rock-n-roll! Poopy-poo!

Rock-n-roll! Poopy-poo!

The Shit Volcano's picture
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Yes, shitwit, I am VERY allergic to coconut. It makes finding anything "natural" in a health store next to impossible nowadays. That, and it was REALLY hard to travel in the south Pacific a few years ago.

I almost forgot to say another thing I haven't been able to eat since I associated it with something bad. Salisbury steak. However, this doesn't have as much to do with puking it up with the stomach flu as it did with learning that the stuff turns white when it sits in your stomach for a while.

_______
Well, you don't actually blow on it. That's just an expression.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Wanny McWaaaa's picture
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If pooping is a form of detox. And while undergoing detox it is common to feel ill-type symptoms that...pooping may in some way stir up toxins in your system as you are expelling them thus making you feel ill. Also, something to wonder is does it hurt when you go? That will also make you feel bad. I do think a theory worth pondering is this started after you were getting healthy which could mean your system was clearer of toxins and thus more sensitive. I would recomend fiber and water to create bulk and stool softener to ease the "path" :)

daphne's picture
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I see where you're going with this; but pooping is not a form of detox, it's the RESULT of detox.

I have a friend who swears by the old maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper detox. She has scoliosis and Lupus and arthritis. When she detoxes using this old recipe, her symptoms disappear for 4 months. She does this 3 times a year. Google the ingredients and you'll find the recipe.

The reason I bring this up is because your comment alludes to detoxing and feeling bad as your body cleanses. She said the same thing - as she would cleanse with the salt water and other things, she would go through days when she could feel new toxins leaving. She described the same thing my mother described when doing yoga in the detox position (leaning and actually balancing on your liver and kidneys). She would wake up the next day gray and shitty sick only to feel tremendous 3 days later.

Your suggestion to use fiber to clear the path is a good one, as I agree that as long as you keep the pipes clean, and there's little to cling, there's little to pollute.


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Anonymous Coward's picture
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well... dunno if you will feel releived when i say... i am reading this page becos i get the same feeling for 12 months or so and have it right now so searched for it on the net.
Not every time... and not severe... and im not aware of any suppressed fear of letting things go...
44yr male, ex veg. 4 yrs. as far as i know all else ok... except kidney stones 5 or 6 years ago...
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Jon Bartz's picture
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Good job Elizabeth. "based on the information" almost nothing you can definitively diagnose someone. That a real talent keep up the good work!

Gesh's picture
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I experience the exact opposite. I feel sick (like a panic attack sensation) BEFORE i poop. Im not holding them if thats your question. I some times don't even realize im even close to defecating if I don't start feeling ill.
I feel dizzy, get increased respiration, sweat and generally feel like im going to have a heart attack or a stroke.
Symptoms start going away after a while when i releave myself and have a glass of water.
Wierd huh ?

Nicole81's picture
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I think the answer posted by the CNA is wrong! Irritable Bowel Syndrome, vagal nerve response, and other bowel/intestinal disorders can cause you to feel like this. I doubt you have a Psychosomatic Illness, this isn't House!

Andy's picture
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I feel sick after pooping, too. It doesn't happen every time but I know it has to do with my deadly hypoglycemia. My sugar level drops after I poop because of the water displacement going on in my body. You see... when you poop, it leaves more space in your intestine after you'e done. Well... something has to take it's place inside you. So more poop comes down to your bowels and awaits it's turn again. However when this happens the water in your body comes into it as well. This extra water in your body can deplete your sugar levels. This might be what's making you feel ill. Because if you feel like you have noooooo energy at all and just feel terrible after defecating, it may very well be your sugar levels in disguise. Try eating some fruit after you poop and see what that does. Hope that helps. It helps me.

princess of poop's picture
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oh gosh i get this too!! i have been seriously thinking it might be blood sugar related as i feel HORRENDOUS.....i thought it was a wheat intolerance for a while but maybe not. Why does this happen to some people and not others...i keep worrying i'm diabetic as i swing between highs and lows...hmmm

Poop palace's picture
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I have to say this is the funniest thing I have ever read

melow's picture
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I have suffered from the anxiousness, shakes etc before and after defecating for as long as I can remember. It's a horrible feeling. I am currently on the Hypoglycemia diet as I believe it is related to this. Doctors have no idea!?

watsie's picture
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Yes. I too suffer from the low blood sugar after pooping. I really couldn't understand it. I've wondered about this for years. Of course, it is worse at time than others. I've mentioned it to doctors, and they haven't a clue about what I am feeling. The exhaustion is almost debilitating. I'll try the fruit. Does anyone recommend any particular remedy, literature, diet?

shanna's picture
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Sometimes I don't have a bowel movement for days and have to take a laxative. After I poop a tremendous amount I feel sick and poisoned for 1 or 2 days. Is this normal!!!!!!!!!!!
Shanna

sittingpretty's picture
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Ohh My God! I can't believe you people that go so sick with pooping and you haven't found a doctor to help you. IT IS NOT NORMAL TO FEEL SICK FOR A REGULAR NORMAL BOWEL MOVEMENT. It is NOT in your head unless you are those WHO KNOW it is in the heads. Don't let anybody stop you from seeking medical care for this affliction with their "all in your head" words. Would you like to know how many times a doctor told me the endometriosis and the hirshsprung's varient was " all in my head". How demeaning! You know when something is wrong in your body. If one doctor has no idea, then move on until you find the one that does. Sheish. I don't understand this. I don't. Don't tell people it is in their heads just because it is in your head. Its wrong. Just plain wrong.
_______
...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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If you don't think you are getting satisfactory answers from your doctor get a second opinion. Years ago I was having difficulty breathing and my doctor told me I had pulmonary edema because I was fat. He even had an x-ray done that he said proved his diagnosis. This went on for weeks and for the first and only time in my life I thought what a relief it would be to be dead.

My breathing was so difficult I was sleeping sitting up in a chair in the living room. I got up to pee early one morning and while I was up my heart went into arrhythmic tachycardia. I lived only five minutes from an emergency room so I drove myself there. When I arrived at the emergency room I was seen immediately, my heart was beating 160 times per minute but it was beating so inefficiently that my blood pressure was dangerously low.

To make a long story short I stayed in the hospital for three weeks with ten days in the intensive care unit. I had very bad bacterial pneumonia that required a tube be inserted surgically in my right lung to drain almost 3 liters of pus. I took over $9,000 worth of intravenous antibiotics before I was pronounced cured.

I now have no trouble at all disagreeing with a doctor and will seek a second opinion if I think I am not correctly diagnosed.


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points
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Damm, then the poop after Thanksgiving dinner must really suck !

Kristen's picture
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I have this same feeling after pooping and I have had it for years. I do not worry about this anymore. I have had my GI checked out from my throat to my annus - no problems other than a corrective hemmoroid and fissure surgery after pregnancy (but I had the post-poop jidders long before then). My life is surrounded by medical proffesionals. Everyone in my family is either an RN or an MD (maybe that's why I am facinated with learning about various ailments, LOL!) and my sister is a shrink. Needless to say, if anyone has an ailment it gets talked about and I know this feeling is not it my head. I've never had low blood sugar and I am very active and physically fit. After testing negative for any type of GI, bloodsugar, or other problems I started paying more attention to my diet and finally realized that the severity and frequency of my "post-poop jidders" is in direct corrolation with the amount and frequency of my cafine intake. Sporatic caffine intake also tends to make me irregular, whether giving me the runs or constipation! SOOO, what about you guys - do you drink coffee, tea or eat chocolate? In any case, I wouldn't worry about it! It hasn't killed any of us yet!

sittingpretty's picture
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Pneumonia is often mis diagnosed even now in the 21st century. You could have died chief while driving yourself to er. i hope next time you are that sick you call 911.
_______
...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

Melow's picture
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Hi All!!

I have the exact same problem of anxiety, jitters before and after pooing to varying degrees.

I have been on the hypoglycemic diet for 6 months and have generally been feeling better, but I still occassionally get the same symptoms like this morning straight after I woke up, went to toilet and took almost one hour to feel better after eating breakfast!?

I've been to so many different doctors over the years without any diagnosis, usually they just say I am having a panic attack!!!!

momatobe's picture
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I am 7 months pregnant. Prior to my third trimester I had a lot of constipation....for 8 years to be exact, and in my childhood. So dont discredit the psychosis relation, that may come along with "letting GO" I never consisderd it until today???? Still I AM pregnant and my whole SYSTEM is being pushed up through my mouth :) GROSS!!! Litterally feel a constant burn in my throat. I just realized today what was triggering these episodes that make me sick until about 5 or 6 pm EVERY DAY! My husband is "SICK" of it. I never had morning sickness. Now I have all day sickness...and do not look forward to my BM which I used to WELCOME the far and few between...I am going to try the "left foot forward" approach...get back to ya!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I get the same jitters, anxiety, naseous feeling before/after a BM. Not all the time but sometimes and I hate it. Yesterday I felt very nauseious after a BM, but I been suffering Diarrhea/loose stools now for a month due to antibiotics (clindamycin) btw don't take this drug, avoid it at all costs! Not sure my BM will ever return back to normal again. I can't eat much, except for rice and chicken, anything else makes me wanna go. And when I go, boy do i go!! Could explain the jittery/anxious and feelings of naseou after I go. But I didnt shower after, normally I shower after a BM and I feel better. Yesterday I didn't, I ate some ginger candy and felt much better.
Ginger works!! TRY it!! Hypoglycemic diet? gotta look in to that.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Hmmmm panic attacks make you feel tingly right?? And I'm guessing you experience them as you seem to know what one feels like... ;) And I don't know about you lot but my behind gets pretty tingly before I poop... maybe your mind sees the tingly sensation as a threat?, and you link it to a panic attack.
Or maybe I'm a crazy girl with a tingly behind...

notinyourhead's picture
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This is NOT in your head. You feel sick because your vagus nerve is being stimulated which causes your heart rate to plummnet while you are pooping. I know because what you describe happened to me for years when I would poop. I never knew what it was until one time it happened and I got so sick I couldn't even stand up. My son called the paramedics who said my heart rate was only 9 beats a minute when they got there. The doc prescribed a beta-blocker. (Helps somewhat) I am told by the doc's that I have a very sensitive vaso-vagus (something like that) response. Nobody knows why, I just have to live with it and take a laxative. (Not supposed to bear down to push the poop out). It doesn seem to happen to me more when I am either physically (like when I've been sick) or emotionally worn down so I am trying to take better care of myself.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I get this same feeling also, only after I poop. My lower stomach starts to ache and I get so tired I just have to sit down and relax... takes about 10-15 minutes to have energy again. But what I noticed today was, I had cereal for the first time in a while and I'm pretty sure I'm "lactose intolerant" and my symptoms were worse than normal, a lot worse. I do eat dairy each day in some way most of the time, but not that much of it. I'm beginning to think I need to stop eating dairy all together to get this feeling to go away. So maybe you are also lactose intolerant? good luck!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Count me in. I've had the same thing on and off for years, more so lately. In the past few years I've developed panic attacks and pre-menopause. I know these 2 things can be connected. When this happens, I now check my blood sugar to see if it's low or if I'm having a panic attack - symptoms are similar. Doctors say they are all panic attacks - THEY ARE NOT. I just have something to eat - AGAIN - and try to go on. I'm not up to fighting this problem with a Dr. now. Had a bad spell on day of a colonoscopy. Felt so bad, had to eat, had to cancel colonoscopy, etc. It's not in my head. My husband believes me - big help. Thanks - I now know I'm not alone.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I told a CNA about the feeling of weakness and near passing out after a bowel movement and they said one time they were working in a nursing home and had just cleared out a woman who had been impacted and the woman passed out. The RN who was assisting them explained to them that there is a nerve in the area that is under pressure of the weight of the bowel movements' contents prior to release and that when the BM occurrs the release of this pressure causes this dizzyness/weakness to occurr

Anonymous's picture
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I agree as a psychologist it is extremely irresponsible for a nurse to suggest a psychsomatic disease based on a sentence about feeling ill after pooping. First you must eliminate medical reasons and then consider psychological factors.