The Gastrocolic Effect


Para sa marami sa medical field, the gastrocolic reflex is just another concept to understand especially in physiology. According to Ganong (2003), distension of the stomach by food initiates contractions of the rectum and, frequently, a desire to defecate. Yan ang gastrocolic. Actually, may duodenocolic reflex din. And they all have the same purpose – mass movements.

Utang na loob naman, mawala ka na! Yan ang gusto kong isigaw during bouts of my gastrointestinal affliction. I have been suffering from this since high school. And I am now a medical student. The thing literally controls my day. In fact, sinisira niya ang umaga ko kapag hindi maayos ang preparation ko. Pero kahit naman ata mag-prepare ako, aatake pa rin to in the most unexpected scenarios. Muntik na ngang hindi ko tapusin ang UPCAT dahil lang dito. Ilang beses na din naapektuhan nito ang pagpasok ko sa class. People think this is psychogenic, but I am firm that it is autonomic, that is, physiologic. Alam mo yung feeling ng may goosebumps na associated with the call of nature? Yan. Hahaha. I agree with it being psychogenic, but up to some extent only. Iba naman kasi yung pakiramdam kapag out of stress or anxiety at iba rin kapag ito.

Aggravating factors include: umaga, malamig na hangin (aircon, electric fan), pag-inom ng liquid sa umaga (kape, gatas, tubig/malamig na tubig, juice), pag-inom ng madaming tubig, matamis na pagkain (cake, candies), pagkain ng madami, pagkain ng may sabaw (noodles, sopas). Relieving factors: no need to mention, pero since they say it’s psychogenic, e di kausapin ang sarili by biofeedback hahaha. My rituals to lessen this thing: gumising ng maaga, eat any solid meal, drink half cup/glass of water/milk/coffee and wait for the call of nature.

Now what is the weirdest thing in my case? Previous lectures told me that around 15 mins after the meal, nature will call. That is true. BUT, when you think you are done, think again. Because at some instances pag nasa school ka na, there will be another call which will start with a generalized/migratory abdominal discomfort/pain. Ang triggers nun include umaga nga kasi, uminom ng kahit anong liquid sa school, kumain ng may sabaw o matamis sa school at siyempre, unknown causes, or minsan, kapag kinakabahan.

Some questions bothering me are as follows: How am I going to explain this to consultants and residents during early morning rounds? Will I still experience this come our medical board exams?

I can only think of 3 things to counter this GI affliction: self-medicate (na hindi ko pa mahanap sa mga nasubukan ko na), prepare, pray.


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