Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fibromyalgia and IBS*

I admit that this is a subject that is usually not discussed in "polite society," but I feel it should be discussed. If you have a touchy stomach, you may not want to read this post. However, I will be not be using slang. Okay, that's your warning. 

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For the last few weeks, I have had intense intestinal pain like I have never had before. This pain has kept me awake for longer than I care to be awake. I know what it is, though.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Also, it says, "Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a chronic condition that you will need to manage long term."

At Everyday Health, I learned that, "Fibromyalgia and IBS frequently co-exist in the same people. As many as 60 percent of people with IBS also have fibromyalgia, and up to 70 percent of people with fibromyalgia also have IBS." 

LiveStrong.com reports that " Gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD] and other intestinal problems occur in 50% of fibromyalgia sufferers," according to the "Journal of Psychosomatic Research." 

When IBS is acting up, it can make it difficult to leave your residence. If you are in pain, you do not want to leave; if you are gassy, you do not want to be around others; if you are experiencing diarrhea, you need to know where the bathrooms are if you do go out and know you cannot be far from one. If you are constipated, you know you may need to use a bathroom (finally) without little, or no, warning.

What can be done about it naturally (without medication)? That is what I wanted to know when I started looking at websites tonight. The answer that I found on all the sites that had treatments was to reduce stress. If you have fibromyalgia, you are probably laughing at that answer, because we are told to reduce stress for just about everything wrong with us that is associated with fibro - pain, depression, etc.

Natural help: Self-care for fibro is: sleep, stress reduction, exercise, do not overdo it, and maintain a healthy lifestyle - eat right, limit caffeine, drink plenty of water, etc. Self-care for IBS is: avoid caffeine, avoid foods known to cause gas, eat at regular times, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, stress reduction, etc. As you can see, much of self-care is the same for both. Another thing I have found helpful is old-fashioned and not listed here - a hot water bottle. (Italicized items are common for both fibro and IBS.)

Please feel free to leave any comments below.

-Amelia

*This is a sort-of research paper and all sources are trusted, well-known, and reliable. It is intended for information purposes; I am not a doctor or any type of clinical worker - just another sufferer trying to feel better.