Diarrhea! r/t nursing school?

  1. Jokes aside...I could use some advice on a problem I would like to deal with on my own before running to the doctor's office. Here is my story...

    I am a student nurse and to top it off, I am a nervous person to begin with. My very first clinical day I had to race home and had a terrible bout of diarrhea. Didn't happen again til this last semester. And wow! Did it happen! It was horrible. I think I get so nervous my GI sys goes wacky. Well, now it is happening about twice a week. I got scared but then noticed throughout the semester that it never happens on days off/weekends.

    I am wondering if a change in diet might help. Over the past few weeks I tried eating lots of oatmeal and it worked. I had less episodes. A friend swore to me that I would be in the bathroom more because of the oatmeal but that wasn't true. Then she told me she thinks I have Celiac Disease. But I thought with Celiac disease you had to avoid barley, oats, rye, and wheat.
    I am really sorry if I grossed any one out here, please accept my apologies. Nursing school give anyone else diarrhea!? :imbar
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   fedupnurse
    The ridiculous stress they put us thru in nursing school could well be the culprit. I would make sure that there isn't something else going on, like a food allergy or something. In the meantime, luquid immodium always works better than the pills. Get checked out though to be on the safe side.
    Good luck with school and your GI tract.
    Does anyone know the words to that song diarrhea?????
  4. by   angelac1978
    Originally posted by fedupnurse

    Does anyone know the words to that song diarrhea?????
    you're walking down the hall and you feel something fall, diarrhea, diarrhea

    you're climbing up a ladder and you feel something splatter, diarrhea, diarrhea

    you're sliding into third and you, okay well you get the idea...

    I only know these because my BIL who is 28! goes around singing this!
  5. by   RN-PA
    I can totally relate, malau! :imbar I also struggled with diarrhea during nursing school, mainly on clinical days, but also in my first few years of working as a nurse. (And it's still my body's typical reaction to stress-- Not to the point of irritable bowel or colitis, however-- thankfully!) During my first job in Med/Surg working night shift, I even had my favorite bathroom near the back entrance of the hospital. :imbar I generally only had problems BEFORE clinicals/my shift began, not during. (I'm a terrible "what if-er".) I also had no problems if I was nowhere near the hospital on days off.

    Chewable Pepto Bismol tablets were my friend as well as a *LOT* of prayer and reading Bible verses addressing fear which I had written on 3x5 cards in my car. (I can remember someone honking at me at a stoplight after it'd turned green because I was fervently reading my Bible verses and popping Peptos! ) I imagine that increasing your fiber with Metamucil or Citrucel may help bulk things up for you, but Immodium or Pepto Bismol can help in emergencies. If it keeps up though, it might be good to see your doctor as fedupnurse mentioned.

    Oh how I wish allnurses b.b. had been there for me in years past...
    Last edit by RN-PA on May 9, '02
  6. by   malau
    RN-PA....Exactly! It happens usually on clinical days and always before and never during! "What if" is my middle name. Like you, I also have my favorite bathroom. I can give the best "Where is the nearest bathroom" directions too.

    I have been taking Immodium and it works like a charm, though I always think I am doing something that is contraindicated by doing that. Fedupnurse, thanks for the acknowledgement and the food allergy idea. I will keep that in mind.
  7. by   Huganurse
    malau, you are right about Celiac Sprue. You cannot eat wheat and other foods like oatmeal which contain wheat and wheat products.
    Do you drink diet sodas? I thought I had IBS or something until someone said that diet drinks can cause diarreah, I laid off the diets and the diarreah left too. I hope it turns out to be that simple for you too.
  8. by   LasVegasRN
    Whew! I can relate to this all too well. I lived on Maalox all during college, nursing school, and first year out of nursing school. Type A personality me. I do recommend seeing a doctor if it continues. I was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and took Bentyl which helped TREMENDOUSLY. The popular drug now is Hycosamine.
    There are some folks who internalize their nervousness and anxiety - my family can only tell when I'm upset by my stomach gurgling. Luckily I had a doctor that did not believe in treating the anxiety symptoms with drugs (i.e. Valium, Xanax, etc.) but taught more about learning how to displace all those emotions that we seem to have trouble expressing.

    Look at what's causing the anxiety. As someone else suggested take a look at your eating habits, and don't be afraid to seek a doctor's opinion.
  9. by   SICU Queen
    Sounds like one hell of a stress response! Or, you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Type Irritable Bowel Syndrome into a search engine and read away! Lots of folks have it and don't realize... I do the same thing when I get really stressed out... isn't it awful?
  10. by   micro
    possibly could be irritable bowel syndrome.......

    just eliminate all stress, change diet to perfect and you will fine.........

    old nurse and old person, micro is.........
  11. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    An allergy to a grain product would be a Gluten intolorence wouldn't it? Just off the top of my head like everything else this gloriouse finals week!:roll


    A daily detox product like a bulking agent is highly recommended. I use this stuff from Gaia Herbs that I drink Morning and night. It helps with more than just elimination. It's a mixture of herbs that cleanses and absorbs those wastes that you may be having an allergy to. You can also try some Kava Kava if you think it's psyc related. Staying away from stimulants like caffiene and my personal favorite Ephedra, would also be recommended since it would obviousely stimulate the parasympathetic nervouse system.

    Another technique to employ would be to avoid anything but a high fiber cereal in the evening before clinicals. If there is no chyme in the large intestine there will be nothing to draw water to. You could plan on eating very little animal fat, which is the last to be digested and draws more water to it, before or during clinicals.

    In any case think high fiber, easy to digest, non-processed and low fat.

    Let me know how you are doing.

    Brad
  12. by   Paprikat
    Wow. I was just about to do a new post when I read this. I have started to work night shifts lately and I am absolutely sick half the time. When I feel like eating, I feel nauseous, crampy and then have to boot to the john. I was wondering what the heck is wrong with me. It has happened in the past on occasion and I was wondering about IBS, as my sx. seem the same from what I have been reading. Immodium is my new friend lately.

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