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Readers Respond: What Does Your IBS Pain Feel Like?

Responses: 323


Updated October 11, 2012


When I experience it, it is very similar to contractions. A pinching and stabbing type of pain, which includes swelling and a tremendous amount of abdominal pressure. I usually have to wait until the end of the day to eat, after all of my daily activities are coming to a halt...because of the amount of simple movements and bending over. Most of the time, that doesn't even help. There have been many times that it wakes me up from my sleep, with the feeling of needing to have a bowel movement. It is very irritating, and I have a hard time wearing any type of clothing with spandex...whether it is jeans with spandex or shirts, due to the constant feeling of being squeezed. And Lord forbid if I ever try to do abdominal crunches. There are limits to the types of exercise I can do that doesn't aggravate the symptoms and cause a flare up.

Ibs attack

Started having what I call "attacks" about 6 months ago. Starts in the middle of the night and will wake me out of a dead sleep. I feel like I'm having stomach contractions, my breathing gets shallow because of the pain. I start to sweat and shake. I will feel nauseous and don't know whether to vomit or try to have a bowel movement. At the time I wish I could just call 911 and be rushed to the hospital. I feel like it lasts forever. The next day my stomach feels sore and I'm exhausted. I just feel like crying and often do. On top of that I feel anxious about when the next attack will happen.
—Guest In pain

very depress pain

i suffer from ibs going on 3 yrs now and is making me feel miserable i feel so sad but even the dr did a colonoscopy and biopsy he told me all it was ibs, the pain that i get is on my lower right side abdomen it feels like a balloon, sometimes goes to my back, if it feels like the only way it would go away is with peppermint tea help a little.
—Guest rain

GLUTEN FREE foods helped me

I am 70 years old and I have had severe cramping and nausea since childhood. For years I thought these symptons were connected with yeast. I discovered when I was 65 that I was allergic to gluten. Since I no longer eat anything with wheat, barley and rye, my pains have dissipated. I always called this problem my "gas attacks" and thought when I was delivering my first child that I was having a "gas attack". I had severe cramping and threw up the entire 9 months of my pregnancies, as I ate saltine crackers all that time. I thought I was having another "gas attack" when I went into labor the first time. I hope that this information can help at least one of you become a happy normal person again.
—Guest Sharon

how i got some relief

I used to be all natural therapy (which can help) but now somac and colofac are lifesavers. Stay away from trigger foods and adjusted my life. Its annoying but honestly not throwing up or cramping is changing my world!!
—Guest awesome

Do I have IBS? Doctors don't know

My symptoms began about 6 months ago and since then I have had continuous stomach and back paid every day, all day long. My family doctors sent me away for the first two months telling me I had strained my stomach or had a virus. On the third visit the doctor refused to even examine my stomach as I'd had three days of diarrhea (which had stopped the day before) "in case yiou have an accident". It took another month and a letter to the senior doctor to get to the hospital for a colonoscopy - they found three polyps and removed them and three months later I'm still waiting to hear the results. My colon was cancer free and they said "we don't know why you're in pain". No further action was prescribed! I went to another specialist who told me "you may have IBS but you will need to keep a diary for six months and see if you lose weight". Two months later I'm in daily pain throughout my stomach and back.
—Guest MarkHev

cramp like running pain

I was diagnosed with ibs about a year ago im 52 now and mostly im fine, I do have quite bit of bloating and what i call skinny poo as if your only getting the centre of a poo and not its crust coming out - the good thing is it comes out easily the bad thing is that eventually the build up of crust gets so bad i then become constipated and get pain. The pain begins usually under my right side just below my rib cage and is sharp and intense like a stitch you get from running - only about 10 times worse. This then sends darting pains to my stomach sometimes lasting an hour and recently into the night and still uncomfortable in the morning. The yoga stretches can help but usually only after a period of just holding myself tightly with a pillow to my tummy. I am going to try some of the visualization techniques and see if that helps - when i feel things starting to build a pattern i usually take senakot and sachets of movicol sometimes 2 at a time - this works quicker sometimes than others.
—Guest carla123

Pain relief

im 16 and have been diagnosed with ibs for 3 years now and when the pain comes on i use a pain relief called TYLEX and oh my god its heaven! it stops the pain completely, i went to my doctor and just told him straight how much pain i was in and he prescribed me them i would advise anyone with IBS to go on tylex its a life saver.
—Guest Karris


I've had it since Junior High and I'm 58 now. Tried everything. What was having the runs almost daily - is now constipation and when not having constipation - the runs. Mine has always been that starts in the morning. As long as I empty my bowel and don't eat anything the rest of the day I'm fine. Until the next episode, which can come whenever I eat. It's awful. People will never understand what it is like to go through this. I have had people make fun of me, laugh when I run to the restroom, just to have them giggle when I get done. It can be life changing and to have people not understand that it is not just in your mind is overwhelming. I have learned to live with it and learned throughout the years that people will be who they are and I've said that someday when they have the runs, when they are sitting there feeling that pain, they will think of me (who they laughed at) and know what I go through on a daily or weekly basis.
—Guest Sharon

contraction pains

I've had two children, so have experienced contractions and I would say the pain is the same only worse , its got so bad, I feel like calling an ambulance, feel sick and almost passed out, screaming so loud.
—Guest bev

is it IBS?

I don't know what i've got. But the pain is so bad its like somethings being squeezed so tight. Its all across the top bit of my stomach and lasts a while!! I get bloated quite a lot and experience constipation quite a lot too! I usually experience the pains just after eating something, what it could be!! And I have very irregular bowel movements!! What is it! I can't take this pain anymore!
—Guest jb

Not for Wimps

I am so frustrated with this diagnosis. I call my gastrointestinal doctor practically in tears only to be given an appointment months away and useless advice. If these doctors had a clue as to how unbelievably painful this condition can be we might get some real help. Was diagnosed in my early 20's and am now 57. Some months are good but for the past three years I have been in varying degrees of pain every day. My pain is in my upper abdomen, right below my ribcage. Bentyl gives me a little relief sometimes, but usually nothing helps. I tried some Percocet I had left over from a surgery, and that helped, but my doctors won't give me anything stronger than Tylenol. The pain is constant, burning, searing, excruciating. I'm considering trying a pain center because right now it's bad enough that it prevents me from being able to work. Please listen to us doctors - we need more than platitudes and a pat on the back. This is serious pain. Thanks for giving us this forum and please listen.
—Guest Susan

IBS since childhood

The worst pain I can imagine. I had my first episode at 8 yrs old in church. It hurt so bad I prayed I'd die (didn't know what ibs was yet, they thought it was a bladder infection then.) Feels like someone has twisted my intestines as tight as they will go and is still trying to twist them more. I always get sweaty and nauseous during these. Mine come quickly but intensely. I think alot of people misunderstand this condition as sort of "just a stomachache" which does not do the severity of these symptoms justice at all, and I think makes it so much harder for others to understand. I also have a hard time eating normal amounts of food, everything seems like it could be a trigger.
—Guest Guest Maria

ibs symptoms

i am now 21. i 'm suffering from ibs for the last 4 years and i want to convey to the ibs sufferers to take some dates along with ginger and two shilajeet capsules (an ayurvedic medicine) a day ( by the grace of almighty Allah) can beat the symptoms totally. You will find energetic and vigorous also. Thanx 'KHUDA HAFIZ'
—Guest Muzaffar kashmiri

I Feel Your Pain

I'm in so much pain all the time, its unreal..When i go to the gym im convinced that people can hear my stomach rumbling.. The pain is discouraging.
—Guest Donovan

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What Does Your IBS Pain Feel Like?

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