Q. Does diarrhea cause terrible headaches and sleep deprivation?

Answered by
Dr. Ghulam Fareed
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 22, 2022

Hi doctor,

I have had constant diarrhea for a long time and have undergone a colonoscopy. The results came out normal. I consulted a gastroenterologist yesterday, and he asked me to do a blood test. I am afraid that no one is taking it seriously. Most days, I cannot leave my house since I spend all night in the washroom. I am sleep deprived and have terrible headaches. Is it typical to have to wait this long for a response? When I inquire about getting something to stop diarrhea, I am told there is none. I was terrified. What should I do now?



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

According to my assessment, there are two distinct issues. To begin with, having loose stools at night and being unable to sleep is not normal. Your colonoscopy should be reviewed again. If the colon is normal, have you done a colonic mucosal biopsy for microscopic colitis? This is one possibility. Then a thorough metabolic workup for diarrhea is required. A simple stool test known as stool DR (detailed report) can determine whether or not this is infectious diarrhea. If the diarrhea is not infectious, the tablet Imodium (Loperamide) can be taken once or twice daily to reduce stool frequency. Secondly, if you have acid reflux, heartburn, choking sensations, or sleep disturbances.

This is most likely due to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). It would be best if you had an upper GI (gastrointestinal) endoscopy at least once for this. Finally, take capsule Pantoprazole (Protonix) 40 mg once daily, half an hour before breakfast, and syrup Gaviscon (Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Trisilicate) 10 ml after every meal and as needed. Avoid eating large amounts of fat or filling your stomach all at once. Try to eat small, frequent meals and avoid sleeping or lying down for at least 3 hours after dinner. In other words, eat your meal early. Attempt to raise the headend of your bed. It is not about your neck, so do not double your pillows. I want you to raise your bed so that your chest is elevated regardless of whether the esophagus and stomach junction are present. I hope this is useful to you. I have taken note of your body weight and height. You have an extremely high BMI (body mass index). It would be preferable if you also considered losing weight.

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