Stomach Charley Horse - Anyone Else?

Mar 29, 2014 12:39 am

I don't even know how to explain this.

Lately, just out of the blue, at the oddest times. I'll go to sit up and get a massive charley-horse, but it's in my stomach. It's so bad that it feels like my stomach is going to get ripped back inside of my belly. So I lay flat, relax and press on the stomach muscles until the darn thing passes.

Has anyone else experienced this? It is literally a charley horse in my intestine/deep stomach area. But omg it's painful.

Mar 29, 2014 3:31 am

Hi there...hard to say just what might be the cause, i.e. hernia, twisted bowel, complication caused by adhesion, etc. However, if it was me, I would telephone my surgeon and follow it up with an email description every time you experience it. I expect he will want to check you out. Good luck.

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Mar 29, 2014 3:33 am


I called the VA today to let them know what was going on. Of course, they probably won't call me back until Monday. They perforated me when they did my scope in June, and this started on and off about July.


Apr 01, 2014 6:38 pm
Hi ZaliBee,

I get those every once in a while. I couldn't get a clear explanation either. I just stretch like a "regular" charlie horse and it goes away. The clearest explanation is maybe it's due to dehydration.
Apr 03, 2014 3:09 am

I can't possibly be dehydrated, I must go through 2 gallons of fluid a day just because I am thirsty all of the time. I drink far more than I eat.

But yeah, stretching it out like a regular charley horse does help. Maybe it's a deficiency like potassium or something. I haven't gotten an answer yet from the VA.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Apr 03, 2014 4:31 pm
Hi ZaliBee, I'm guessing you have an ileostomy.  I don't know a lot about this stuff but I've read that folks have become dehydrated after drinking lots water.  There are many opinions and more facts about remaining hydrated without losing nutrients.  Perhaps a new thread addressing hydration might get you some answers.


Apr 03, 2014 11:07 pm

ZaliBee, I guess dehydration could be ruled out. I get leg cramps every once in a while and my doctor said it might be a potassium or electrolyte deficiency but I don't get those too often (thank God). I just hope we don't have to experience them too often going forward.

Apr 04, 2014 3:37 am

Hi Zali. If you do not get a satisfactory answer from the VA, why don't you see another doctor for a second opinion? You deserve better.

Apr 10, 2014 3:00 am
Hi Zali:
I think I get exactly the same thing when I'll be in a sitting position and reach down to get something, and you described it perfectly! I think of it like I'm cramping my intestines, but if I straighten my body, it seems to go away. I haven't ever talked to my doctor about it... It doesn't happen often, so I just let it go. Maybe I'll ask the
next time I see him.
Apr 10, 2014 3:09 am

I believe you have an adhesion -- My Dad and Gram had them and they had to do more surgery to release them -- If this is the case, be sure they wrap you with the internal wrap so adhesions will be prevented --- I am sooooo thankful my surgeon used it -- GOOD LUCK.

Apr 10, 2014 10:33 am

I would get them in my stomach like you plus my calves and my thighs. I learned that due to losing so much fluid via the bag each day, my body was depleted of electrolytes. I take 3 "sport electrolyte" large elongated tablets every night before I go to bed. No problem during the 10 months since I've been taking them.

Apr 10, 2014 1:59 pm

Wow - I had no idea my cramping, feet, legs, and abdominal could be caused by lack of electrolytes.
Where can I buy Sport Electrolyte tablets? I would like to try them before I consider adhesions and other complications. This is such a great forum - so happy to have you all in my life.

Apr 12, 2014 10:56 am

Please, would somebody tell this ignorant English lady what a charley-horse is? Then I might be able to offer a suggestion.

Regards to all and by the way, how is Ed Gutenberg? Hope he is well?


Past Member
Apr 12, 2014 11:43 am

Maybe I am an idiot
But I also know what a
Charley Horse is

Apr 12, 2014 7:35 pm
Here's a link to an answer for your question, Marilyn:
Apr 16, 2014 11:10 pm

Please don't call yourself ignorant.
There are loads of things that you Brits say that I would be clueless about, I'm sure.

Apr 19, 2014 7:32 pm

I've had an ileostomy for 14 years and have experienced exactly what you have described on a fairly regular basis. I have had nothing done to correct it, so therefore I think it is just a phenomenon that goes along with the hydration/dehydration condition. Cramps in hands and feet, legs, jaw, and every place in between apparently go with the territory. Good luck with this... "one more challenge".

Oct 27, 2015 7:18 pm

I've been a horrible ostomate poster!

I'm so sorry about not answering this for so very long. The nurses and doctors acted as if I had lost my mind, but I found that if I drink about 3 or 4 V-8 juices (low sodium of course) a week, I do not get the charley horses anymore. When I forget, they return.

Sorry for not posting my solution.