IBS makes fibro symptoms worse

Recent studies have shown that people who have both IBS and fibromyalgia suffer from symptoms that are 38% more severe than those who only have one illness. IBS tends to exacerbate fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, while fibromyalgia tends to increase the severity and frequency of IBS symptoms.

Studies also show that people with both illnesses tend to have a worse quality of life than those with only one. This is because of the limitations that the disease can put on your daily lifestyle.

IBS Treatments

Self treatment options often prove very helpful to those who are suffering from mild forms of irritable bowel syndrome. An easy way to find some relief from your symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea and gas, is through simple changes to your diet.

Keep a diary of the foods that you eat and any symptoms that occur afterwards. If you notice that certain foods are triggering your symptoms, try to reduce or eliminate them.

For those suffering from constipation, try to increase the amount of fiber in your diet by eating more whole grain foods. Try drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to help ease both constipation and diarrhea.

Stress and anxiety often exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This is because receptors in your brain are directly connected to nerves in your gastrointestinal tract. Aim to reduce stress by getting proper sleep, engaging in daily exercise, and by getting counseling for your emotional needs.

Medical Treatments

Sometimes self-treatments just aren’t enough to help battle irritable bowel syndrome. Speak with your doctor about over-the-counter and prescription drugs that may help to reduce your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and increase your comfort level.

Laxatives and stool softeners are often the first-line approach to treating constipation caused by irritable bowel syndrome. Over-the-counter drugs like Colace help water mix with waste thus softening stool. These laxatives should not be taken for extended periods though, because they can cause dependence.

If you suffer from diarrhea, then you may want to try anti-diarrheals or anti-spasmodic medications. Anti-diarrheals help to alleviate the pain and cramping caused by diarrhea. Imodium, an over-the-counter drug, is very effective at slowing the action of the bowel, thus reducing diarrhea.

Anti-spasmodic prescription drugs work to relieve diarrhea by relaxing muscles in the wall of your gut. They also reduce contractions and cramping caused by diarrhea.

A popular anti-spasmodic for irritable bowel syndrome is dicyclomine, sold under the brand name Bentyl. Bentyl is associated with side effects including: dry mouth, dizziness, blurred vision, and nausea.

IBS Specific Medications

In the past two IBS-specific medications for women have been put on the market.

Alosetron hydrochloride, sold under the brand name Lotronex, offers relief from diarrheal IBS. It works on the neurons in the digestive tract to slow waste production.

Tegaserod maleate, sold under the brand name Zelnom, is used to treat severe constipation. It works by increasing stool movement through the bowels.

If you are suffering from both IBS and fibromyalgia, it is important to inform your health care provider so you can get appropriate treatment.


Table of Contents
1. IBS
2. Diagnosing IBS
3. How to treat IBS
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