Patients with IBS may describe the abdominal discomfort in different ways, such as sharp pain, cramping, bloating, distention, fullness or even burning. The pain may be triggered by eating specific foods, following a meal, emotional stress, constipation or diarrhea.
IBS pain is often described as cramping. It can also be burning, stabbing, or aching in nature. One of the important aspects of typical IBS pain is related to bowel movement (defecation or passing gas). Typically, the pain would improve with a bowel movement, but it can worsen with a bowel movement or passing gas.
It can range from mild discomfort to a stabbing pain that can be so intense it is sometimes mistaken for appendicitis or heart attack pain. Recurrent abdominal pain, on average, at least one day/week the last three months, associated with two or more of the following criteria: Related to defecation.
The chronic pain (pain lasting 6 months or longer) in IBS can be felt anywhere in the abdomen (belly), though is most often reported in the lower abdomen. It may be worsened soon after eating, and relieved or at times worsened after a bowel movement.
How long does an IBS flare-up last? An IBS flare-up duration is different for everyone. Most people's IBS symptoms will flare up for 2-4 days, after which your symptoms may lower in severity or disappear completely. Many people experience IBS in waves, in which symptoms may come and go over several days or weeks.
The symptoms of IBS may be constant, or they can come and go. There may even be times when it seems your tummy woes have disappeared. Then IBS symptoms flare up again.
Your doctor may diagnose IBS if you have pain in your abdomen along with two or more of the following symptoms: Your pain is related to your bowel movements. For example, your pain may improve or get worse after bowel movements. You notice a change in how often you have a bowel movement.
For many people with IBS, abdominal pain is frequent. For some it is continuous. People contacting IFFGD about severe pain have described it using words like: excruciating, unbearable, constant, intense, or awful.
In people with IBS, the colon muscle tends to contract more than in people without the condition. These contractions cause cramps and pain. People with IBS also tend to have a lower pain tolerance. Research has also suggested that people with IBS may have excess bacteria in the GI tract, contributing to symptoms.
Your Stomach Hurts Often
In addition to stomach pain, you may notice your chest appearing bloated and full under your ribs. Your abdomen may feel very tender to the touch and may gurgle and make ample noise as your body struggles to work through the digestion of food intake.
Can a colonoscopy detect IBS? No, a colonoscopy can't detect IBS, a condition also known as irritable bowel syndrome. You may wonder why a colonoscopy can't detect IBS when it can diagnose the IBD conditions we outlined earlier. IBS is different from IBD.
The reasons why IBS develops are not clear. It can occur after a bacterial infection or a parasitic infection (giardiasis) of the intestines. This is called postinfectious IBS. There may also be other triggers, including stress.
Pain Unrelated to Bowel Movements
Many IBS patients say this is not always true. But for the most part, people with IBS feel like their pain has something to do with their diarrhea or constipation. If you have pain you don't think is related to your bowel movements, talk to your doctor.
Some people have symptoms every day, while others experience long symptom-free periods. IBS does not lead to serious disease, but it does significantly affect your quality of life. "People say it's ruining their lives or that they have a constant ache after they eat," says Dr. Wolf.
While irritable bowel syndrome is not life-threatening, if left untreated it can lead to hemorrhoids, mood disorders and impact quality of life for anyone who suffers from it. Irritable bowel syndrome affects about 10 – 15 percent of the worldwide population.
Water intake might be associated with improvement of IBS through affecting GI function. Water intake might improve constipation among IBS-C patients. In addition, drinking water is a common suggestion for IBS-D patients to prevent diarrhea-induced dehydration.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is no joke, and it's common in young women, Dr. Staller says. The condition—an intestinal disorder that causes pain in your stomach, gas, and cramping—can also make you poop a lot.