I must agree with many of the people who have posted on this site that IBS can be very isolating and debilitating. I’ve been struggling with IBS since my early 20’s and I am now 52. I’ve been on various medications and have been instructed to increase my fiber intake, as I primarily suffer from diarrhea – but nothing has really helped.
My symptoms went away for several years but in the past 6 months have returned. In addition to the cramping and churning of my stomach, I find that I also get low back pain and a slight headache after an episode. The uncomfortable churning and gurgling will often continue for hours – I usually experience 3-4 bouts of diarrhea during this time frame but the low back pain and headache will remain for almost a full day. I feel as though I’ve got a hangover – only thing is, I haven’t had anything to drink! There is no “rhyme or reason” to the attacks, either. Sometimes, they come on within a few hours after eating something or drinking coffee, while other times, I can eat or drink the exact same things and feel fine. After an episode, I will go for 10 days to 2 weeks with no problems – and then all of a sudden it will hit again without warning. This is the worst part of it to me because I never know when it’s going to “seize” me. Immodium is always something I carry with me as well as peppermint tea – that seems to calm the grumbling and churning in my stomach, although only temporarily.
I didn’t notice that anyone else on here experiences the headache, back pain and general “hangover” feeling after an episode. If anyone does I would appreciate hearing what you are doing to manage it because I hate that I just have to “endure” it until it passes. It even affects my sleep so I am also extremely fatigued the following day.
I get back aches with an attack of diarrhea as well. I have arthritis, but my physical therapist told me that people with IBS have a harder time addressing the back pain.