These are tablets that help the bowel muscle to relax and can ease
abdominal pain or discomfort. You can
buy them over-the-counter at your pharmacist. The bowel is like a long tube of
muscle which can go into spasm and cause pain like cramps in your legs or calf.
The muscle encircling the bowel normally contracts or squeezes to push the
motion/poo around the bowel and you are usually completely unaware of it
contracting, except when you want to go to the toilet to open your bowels.
Doctors give ‘bowel spasm’ several names although the most common are
‘irritable bowel syndrome’ (IBS) and ‘functional bowel disorders’.
The pain can range from mild discomfort to being so severe that it
mimics more serious bowel conditions and some people can be admitted as an
emergency to hospital to exclude more serious conditions. It always settles
down in hospital without any serious treatment, just by stopping eating
to rest the bowel and relaxing in bed for 2-3days. Some people have fluids
through a drip while they are taking nothing by mouth.