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Readers Respond: What Does Your IBS Pain Feel Like?

Responses: 323


Updated October 11, 2012

Everyone experiences IBS pain differently. Describe for us what IBS pain feels like to you. Descriptive phrases that really capture the pain experience can be useful as a starting point for guided imagery for pain relief. Share your experiences and find out what IBS pain feels like to other people.

Share Your Experience

My ibs feels like....

Contraction pains!!!!! It's very similar... A building wave of intense squeezing pain and it lasts for a long time .... I always feel desperate to stop the pain.
—Guest Hurtin jo

My IBS Pain Feels Like

Contractions too!! I describe it as contractions, and the bundle of joy is the RELIEF, I get once it is over!
—Guest Need Relief

IBS pain feels like

CONTRACTIONS for sure! Thoughts of wanting a epidural go through my head when it hits. INTENSE cramping in waves, hours of labor and finally it is OVER!
—Guest Make it go away


have had ibs for a number of years now, had gall bladder and gall stones removed about 5 years ago as had a lot of pain and throwing up, but still suffer with this excruciating pain in the stomach and now have running tummy and also constipation, the cramps mostly attack me every afternoon after lunch at work and last into the evenings so live in absolute hell. always need to make sure i am always near a toilet if i happen to go out, it is awful.
—Guest painful

ibs cramps..my helpful tip revised*

I get the stomach cramps too..sometimes stretching out my shoulders and upper back can help relieve it..but the only thing that really stopped for me is to throw up, take a couple pain killers and sleep for an hour or so. I'm sure it's severe indigestion because often it starts hours after a meal and there's food in my stomach that should no longer be there. Hope that'll help!
—Guest stephanie

Ibs pain

I haven't been diagnosed with ibs, but I'm pretty sure it's what I have. Last night around 4am I woke up with horrible cramps. Felt Like labour. I had my son 14 months ago and it was sooo similar to active labour I was scared I'd wind up being one of the women on that show "I didn't know I was pregnant" I was sweating, trying to breathe through the pain and I got so dizzy and short of breath. It scared me. I didn't even get dizzy during labour. Took me a long time to get anything to come out and when I did it was like water! I threw up too. I barely got back to the bedroom. My boyfriend had to help me back to the bathroom a little bit later. It was awful. Today I still feel gross and gassy and I have a but of blood coming out. I assume it's a fissure from pushing. :(
—Guest Ouch!

whats wrong

I have been in pain over a week. Cramps just below center of ribs. Feels like razor blades in my intestines hurts to pass gas either way and feels like a 6" span of pain when I drink anything or eat. I also have had diarrhea for over a week. My stomach will bloat before I have a bm and pain in lower left side while having a bm. Plus break out in a cold sweat. Anyone have a clue what's going on.
—Guest Helen waite

Have not been diagnosed

I recently learned what ibs is and I will be discussing it with my dr. next time I go. I started this pain when when I was in my early 20s. For me, it strikes on any random morning. Sometimes waking me from sleep. My stomach starts to feel like there is 50 swords piercing it and it is on fire! I race to the bathroom like I'm going to blow and nothing comes out. I cool down. Then head back to bed to lay down and almost instantly I feel the pain again and I know what I have to do. So I sit there rocking back and forth hoping for a bm. My whole body boils and I get goose bumps all over and finally pass a tiny bit of bm. I try to push and get the rest out but it never comes at once. Only in phases with continuous pain until is all finished. It usually takes about 30 mins for all the pain to go away but I wears me out. I've never gone through labor so idk if that's what it feels like in comparison. I'm sorry for being so graphic! Thanks for letting me vent.
—Guest Melanie

Not sure if it's ibs. Had it whole life

It feels like a spike was rammed in my gut usually near the belly button. Intense pain and pressure usually lasts 30 sec then goes away for a minute or two then comes back worse. Usually it can be resolved by using the bathroom but not always and it takes a long time to get anything to come out ( i wouldn't need to use the bathroom if not for the pain is what I mean )
—Guest Use to it


I was diagnosed with ibs recently and i have terrible pains in my stomach and it is like something is inside and twisting it up all in knots.
—Guest sandra


I've been having horrible stomach pain and found out it was a bacteria called H. Pylori I recommend getting tested , it is very common but for some horrible pain I have bloating pain under ribs sometimes loose stools it feels like a horrible stomach ache sometimes bad I swear I'm sick of it all ready but doc said it last for months even after the meds :0(
—Guest Vera

Try Culturelle for a week

I find I need to be very careful to have it at the same time every day unless I feel a symptom and then immediately, and then shorten the duration and get back to the once a day plan. It takes 4-5 days to get back to no pain afterward. I also have a stress aspect (I take klonopin) and believe I picked this up as a virus 7 days after a trip to Italy. For 3 weeks I had an 'icky' stomach before I started using culturelle. When it comes back, it can feel like lower abdomen cramps or like very painful scraping moments inside my upper abdomen. After 5 months on culturelle I no longer seem to need any fiber, when I'd been taking it before every meal before. I'm nevertheless looking for something better, since it does come back, but wanted to pass along that this has been a really important aid. Thanks for the milk, greasy food advice - I've always been sensitive to coffee and acids.
—Guest Catherine

Left side pain abdominal pain

Hi I get abdominal pain in my left side, it's a sharp pain and it extends. I feel sick and tired. is there any medicines or treatments that will make the pain ease or go away :)
—Guest Andre skrabut

worst pain ever

I just ate. After finishing i got this shooting pain like someone stabbed me in my stomach. It felt like a big bubble of gas, but i couldn't release it . The pain was horrible, and i was in the car with my husband, so we had to stop at the nearest place with a bathroom and i hurried in. The bm is a mix of soft and diarrhea. I haven't been diagnosed with ibs but im pretty sure thats what it is. I have been like this since i can remember. And it takes so long in the bathroom with waves of pain ..always over 30 mins. Its awful.
—Guest victoria

fed up

Im fed up. This keeps on returning then going back to normal, either pain under ribs and breastbone, aches and pains everywhere,or low down stomach cramps, pains in hips and buttocks even rectum, also bowel problems.
—Guest janice

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What Does Your IBS Pain Feel Like?

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