Recently I have had a few instances where I have experienced abdominal pain after irrigating but initially didn’t link it to the actual process. After the latest instance of pain, was it caused by being dehydrated?

I’ve been irrigating for 3 months and on the whole I haven’t experienced many issues. Everything goes well and the full irrigation with 1 litre of water takes around 40 minutes to complete and I don’t have any output at all until the next irrigation 24 hours later.

In guides describing what how to irrigate it mentions about ensuring you stay hydrated so I was aware of this but the guides mention a failure to perform a full irrigation as the result of being dehydration. To me this means the poop not fully coming out but whenever I’ve been irrigating, they’ve all been successful.

Can Being Dehydrated Lead to Abdominal Pain?

A while back I experienced an episode where shortly after irrigating I’ve had abdominal pain which at times was quite uncomfortable and long-lasting. At the time I didn’t link it to the irrigation and was unsure why I was experiencing pain that extended across my entire abdomen. As I’ve got a moderately sized parastomal hernia you start worrying if it’s related to that. The pain subsided when sitting or laying down and was worse when moving around. By the next morning it had subsided and I didn’t have any issues with the next irrigation.

I irrigate with 1 litre of water which quite often goes in within 1-5 minutes.

This happened again recently and again I wasn’t sure of the cause. I remember the water being introduced quickly during the irrigation (~1 minute) and presumed it was this although this happens quite frequently without issue. The pain was the same as before and lasted the entirety of the day.

The following morning during the irrigation, I noticed that significantly less fluid came out after going in and it was at this point that I realised that my colon had absorbed a significant amount of the water that had entered due to being dehydrated. The irrigation was successful though.

After occurring only twice, I can’t say for certain that being dehydrated caused the abdominal pain issues but it does seem likely. My colon was probably not used to absorbing so much fluid in such a short space of time so it’s plausible that it could cause the pain.

Out of around 90 irrigations I’ve only experienced this twice but I’m certainly more conscious about ensuring I’m hydrated before irrigating to try and prevent future incidents.

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life. I had the surgery in 2019 and this is my journey having a 'New Bum'.

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