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Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 1 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Many sufferers of Fibromyalgia also find that they can suffer from the condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is worsened by periods of physical or emotional stress. Here we look at the condition and its appearance alongside Fibromyalgia.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - or to give its abbreviated title IBS - is a condition that affects the lower part of the intestinal tract. As a condition it has, over the years, taken on a variety of different names which include:

  • Irritable Colon
  • Spastic Colon
  • Nervous Indigestion
  • Laxative Colitis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome - by whatever names it is referred to - can be a condition that causes the sufferer to experience a great degree of pain and discomfort when passing stools. It can cause diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and a host of other symptoms which may make the sufferer feel distinctly unwell.

IBS and Fibromyalgia

A great many sufferers of Fibromyalgia also find that they can suffer - either for short periods or in the long term - from bouts of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is often found in cases where great emotional and physical stress are present and can also be caused by poor diets, allergies to certain food groups, or because of problems with the intestines.

In instances of Fibromyalgia the condition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is just one of a series of so-called overlapping conditions which the sufferer may have to endure. Again it may simply be a case of the sufferer being under a great deal of emotional or physical stress that causes Irritable Bowel and not an actual physical ailment that leads directly to its onslaught.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

There are a great many symptoms that can be associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and also with Fibromyalgia. However when it comes to suffering from Irritable Bowel on its own, the most common symptoms are:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Depression
  • Inability to Eat
  • Nausea

How to Cope with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is something that most sufferers have to do on a daily basis; indeed such is the variation of the symptoms a sufferer may find that one day he or she has one set of symptoms and the next day they may be faced with a completely different set. Again, as with Fibromyalgia itself, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can manifest for a period of time and then ease off, only to return again with seemingly fiercer intensity.

One of the first things you should do if you suspect you are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is to consult your doctor who will first of all try to eliminate specific causes from the equation before making a diagnosis. He or she may ask as to look at your lifestyle and your diet.

You may be required in the first instance to try a different diet such as a gluten free diet, a dairy free diet, or a diet that involves considerably less red meat.

Only after your doctor has ruled out these as possible causes can he or she make an informed diagnosis as to the nature of the problem.

Reliving the Problem of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

You will note that we have suggested relieving the problem of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); this is because there is no known cure for the condition. It is a condition that can be relieved or controlled depending on the nature of its cause to begin with. As we have already mentioned changes in diet are one way of bringing about some control over the problem, as to is gentle exercise and a look at your lifestyle.

You may find that if you are in a stressful job where it is necessary to skip meals - or eat on the move - that this is one of the problems causing the condition. If this is the case then your doctor will suggest relieving these stress levels in a number of different ways.

However we should stress that Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be - for some - a chronic condition that can leave them feeling depressed and physically weak and also in considerable pain. Likewise this is very much the case if Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an overlapping condition that has emerged alongside Fibromyalgia.

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