Trust Your Gut: Heal from IBS and Other Chronic Stomach Problems Without Drugs

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We respect your privacy. If you have fibromyalgia and also experience digestive issues, your gut problems may be more than a coincidence.

Fibromyalgia and Gut Health | Everyday Health

In addition to IBS, fibromyalgia has been linked to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth SIBO , a condition with similar symptoms in which the small intestine is colonized by colon bacteria. This may happen due to a somewhat controversial condition called leaky gut. This may lead to the symptoms that people with fibromyalgia often relate to their doctors. The theory, he says, promoted largely by alternative medicine practitioners, is that allergens cause a leakage of proteins, which in turn cause inflammation that transcends the gut to other parts of the body.

The link between poor gut health and fibromyalgia adds a wrinkle to this. Venuturupalli acknowledges the connection. There may be other types for whom fibromyalgia may not be due to the gut. If you have fibromyalgia and also have gut symptoms, Venuturupalli advises making your doctors aware of this connection and requesting a consultation with a gastroenterologist, particularly one with some expertise in SIBO.

And is the reverse also true? Kumar believes that they should be evaluated by primary care physicians.

What can cause stomach churning?

Treatment of gut issues may improve digestive symptoms. Kumar advises patients to discuss diet, which he says is extremely important, with their physicians. The concern, he says, is that you could excessively or unnecessarily restrict your diet, preventing you from obtaining needed nutrients. And dietary changes, he warns, need to be maintained over the long term or SIBO is likely to reoccur. It can be affected by any number of other organ systems, like the gut.

If you have fibromyalgia and suspect you may have gut issues, or vice versa, you may have to be your own best advocate. Everyday Health Pain Management Fibromyalgia. Research suggests that this chronic pain disorder may be connected to digestive health.

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Certain dietary changes might help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. You can do this by identifying specific triggers of your symptoms and then adopting strategies to make symptoms less severe and frequent.

What is IBS?

The most common treatments are related to diet, stress management, and medication. Constipation-predominant IBS IBS-C is marked by infrequent bowel movements, lumpy or hard stools, stomach pain and discomfort, bloating, and straining during bowel movements. It's common for people with IBS-A to go back and forth between the two.

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What you eat and what you don't has the biggest impact on IBS symptoms. Avoiding or reducing trigger foods linked with IBS symptoms is a good first step.

These include chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, and fried and fatty foods. These are short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the gut and can cause problems like diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and flatulence. You can find an example at www. The diet works in two phases. Second, you gradually reintroduce specific FODMAPs one by one over a period of six to eight weeks, according to your tolerance.

Your doctor may want you to keep a food diary and symptom chart to help identify problem foods and quantities.

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Anything you can do to manage your stress levels can help control your emotional response to IBS. Stress not only can trigger symptoms, but often make them worse and longer-lasting.

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Here are some strategies that may help with IBS-related stress. A study in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine found that people with IBS who took an hour-long yoga class three days a week for 12 weeks had less severe symptoms and improved quality of life. The researchers noted that the combination of yoga postures and breath control exercises worked to help alleviate stress and reduce anxiety related to IBS. In a study in the journal PLOS ONE , people with IBS attended a weekly relaxation program that included meditation and breathing exercises and were encouraged to practice the routine for 15 to 20 minutes every day at home.

After nine weeks, the group reported much lower levels of IBS-related anxiety. There are many online instructions that teach you the basics of meditation. Local yoga studios also offer beginning and intermediate meditation classes. Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. The goal of CBT is to help you increase awareness of your thoughts and behavior and learn how to change your reactions to stressful situations.

A study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that four weeks of CBT sessions reduced symptom severity among IBS patients and that the effect lasted up to three months. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter remedies, like fiber supplements and laxatives to help with constipation, or loperamide to help with diarrhea.