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Readers Respond: How Does Your Period Affect Your IBS?

Responses: 58


Updated October 01, 2012

Hormonal changes related to a woman's period often have an effect on her IBS symptoms. Have you seen a relationship between your period and your IBS? Does your IBS get better or worse at different times of the month? What symptoms seem to get worse and which symptoms seem to get better? Share your experience and find out how the menstrual cycle affects IBS symptoms in other women.

Wow! I had no idea ibs pain during perio

I too have a general diagnosis of IBS. Not sure what type? The pain has been so unbelievable to the point that I can't cope. I am grateful to see that I am not alone but wish the specialist had more answers. What works one day, does not work the next. Hoping a visit to a Natropath will get me some answers. I truly feel for all of you. Being there..
—Guest Tammie

stomach pain????

I do have IBS and I am on day 4 of my period. Ate some cooked veggies, made a smoothie with almond milk and a few meatballs. I got really bad pains...and I mean pain after that. Does anyone else suffer stomach pain right after eating while on your period?????
—Guest Lynn


7 days before my period I swell up like a balloon and have excruciating pain! I can't stand up straight I have to wear baggy clothing as I look pregnant it makes me exhausted! I thought I was the only one. I've tried buscopan (antispasmic drugs) pepto bismol rennies the lot! If anyone has any suggestions how to subside the pain! I hate being at work when I am like this and I am constantly in the toilet! Really embarrassing xx
—Guest Sho


I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 11. It's been a struggle ever since. It's gotten so much worse in recent years. My period would make it worse. I'd get diarrhea and cramping. Now I haven't had my period in over a month. I don't know if it's my anxiety (which has become almost unbearable) or IBS or both. I just wish there was something that could help. I've tried all the IBS meds, and nothing has been effective for me. I've let IBS stop me from functioning, and I hate it. I never leave my house anymore because of IBS and my anxiety and panic attacks about IBS.
—Guest Rae

Progesterone withdrawal Increases IBS

I have finally realized my pattern in IBS symptoms. I Was diagnosed with P-I IBS 3years ago. Since then, I have had off and on periods of IBS symptoms. It has taken major lifestyle changes to prevent my flare ups, but I can't get rid of the Pre-Menses flare up and PMDD symptoms. Hormone sensitivity runs on the female side in my family, so I see it as inevitable, but the Sx's are intolerable. I miss work one day a month the day after the night that I'm keeled over for 6 hours being sick due to my IBS triggered by decrease in progesterone. Reading has helped me to realize that this is the culprit. Anyone have any idea what medications may be out there that help? I was thinking about a low-dose SSRI ( to take that 10 days of month) or birth control pill -- but I'm terribly moody (depressed) on the pill. I only tried Loestrin Fe24 4 years ago, but wanting to kill myself caused me to never want to touch hormones again. I now have a UT380 Short Copper IUD (causes heavy bleeding and cramps).
—Guest Steph

There is help out there!

I have suffered with pain periods, diarrhea the first 24 hrs of my period, gas, hormonal issues since I got my period at 13 in 1997. I thought there was no hope. I have been to Internists, GYN's, Endocrinologists for the past 4 years in search of a cure. I even had laparoscopic surgery in Jan 2012, for supposed endometriosis. I just recently went to see a Gastroenterologist and she did a colonoscopy and endoscopy. She prescribed dicyclomine for IBS. this thing works wonders. It started working right away! I just got my period and instead of being 7 days, it is now 3 days. The medication has helped with loud growling, gassiness and situational IBS caused by anxiety. I know have hope of getting back to school and getting a degree. This problem has hindered me from reaching my full potential. For those who believe in Christ, seek his kingdom first and you will receive healing and/or strength to get through these series of physical infirmity. For we battle not against flesh and blood.
—Guest Danise Joseph


I am 43 and I have always been gasey during periods, but in nov/dec 2012 the gas was so painful, and there was so much pressure on my rectum that I needed to go the ER for relief. I recently had fibroid emboloziation and I am hoping that this will cease much of the pain that I am feeling. I am so glad that I am not the only one going through this. The pain feels like labor. The gas pain are so severe. The gas pains during my menstrual cycle feel like my rib cages are breaking apart, just to let the gas pass. It hurts like hell to make a bowel movement during this time. Im going to make an appointment with gastroenterology dept. I can't keep going through this.
—Guest Ms. ETS 23

i cant take it

Im 23 years old have endometriosis, IBS and horrible perioids.. I've tried about 8 BC pills and seen lots of doctors.. I've tried hormone replacement therapy and even had surgery! Enough is enough.. I'm in so much pain I either lay in my bed for the duration of my cycle or spend my time in the bathroom feeling like death is knocking at my door. There has to be an answer right?
—Guest torie

ibs and period

i have been an ibs sufferer for many years - and it has always been worse around my period - here are some things i have found helpful - first off check out this site www.helpforibs.com - there are some great helpful ideas here - and a lot of helpful information - things that have worked for me are peppermint tea (my bff during my ibs attacks), acidophilus tablets (or any probiotic), cutting out dairy, and watching what i eat in general around the time of my period - for example eating raw vegetables on an empty stomach will send me right to the bathroom, i also take a probiotic (fiber) - i personally can not take metamucil or citrucel so i take the one from the site i mentioned above - it is much more gentle on my stomach - i also suffer from gastritis which also gets worse around my period - for that i take zantac but there are several over the counter meds that help with that - i also found that going to a gastroenterologist vs an ob/gyn was much more helpful in dealing with my ibs.
—Guest rachel

My IBS flipflops

I have IBS-A and my symptoms really get erratic when I get my period. Some months I have bowel movements 2-4 times a day and then the next month I get so constipated that it's extremely painful to go. The months where my cramps last more than two days and I am taking Advil every 4 hours is when I get really constipated. During this time I have to really increase my water and fiber intake more than usual just to make sure I have a bowel movement every day . My morning time on the toilet becomes an absolute necessity.

IBS and MS

I'm 34 years old and have had IBS for over 20 years. I also have MS, and have lived with its tyranny for about 5 years now. Both the MS and IBS symptoms get much, much worse from the time I ovulate until the end of my period. The week and a half or so following my period is like heaven. I feel almost human. I'm desperately trying to find the right birth control pill to keep me in this phase of my cycle year-round!
—Guest Violet

Pain,pain and more pain

I'm posting because I am currently sitting at my job with the worst cramps and gas I could ever bear. I have been getting them especially at night to the point of not getting any sleep. Its been this way ever since I turned 25 I will be 28 in June. Doctor oz mentioned on his show recently about this issue he recommended a pill called phayzme (simethicone). I did research and see many users found it very effective for gas I ordered yesterday from amazon. A bit expensive at the local cvs got it for 17 bucks for a 100 pills on amazon. It was 20 bucks for 60 at cvs. Hope this helps.
—Guest Sarah mohammed

sooo tired of this

They say I have I.B.S? Mine hits me about a week after my period. Its Horrible Horrible pain! I can't live like this anymore. It last for about a week. It will hit me at any point even if I don't eat. The pain is so bad that you feel like blood should be coming out somewhere. I get bloated. I also get constipated. When I'm not dealing with this I can eat anything but not when that week gets here. It comes like clockwork every month. No one really understands. Oh, if I sprinkle turmeric on food then I'm able to eat it. I'm thinking of buying capsules of turmeric. And maybe taking aloe vera. As of now I stop the pain eating antacids??! I keep them handy. I'm at the point where I've just had enough. Its going on 3 years. Lord, I pray we find answers.
—Guest mellie

Ugh I hate being a girl

Hi I'm Brittany and I'm 18 and ever since I've started getting my period I've experienced bad cramps which cause me to get diarrhea and nausea and a few times per year. i'll vomit and it's soo bad I can't stand it. If I vomit it's usually on the first day and it happened suddenly like one minute im fine and the next I'm in bad pain and cold sweats and vomiting and laying on the floor like I'm going to die it's such a mess. Then on the second on third days of my period I get bad gas that does not come out no matter what I do it just stays in there and it's very uncomfortable. Usually by the fourth day of my period I feel better but for a few days before and the first three days I'm a mess. Boy I just love being a female.
—Guest Brittany


Guys i've been reading a book called the hormone diet and doing research into hormones and there is a massive link with this and high estrogen and low progesterone which is why pain fluctuates according to your cycle. The books not about ibs but having read around the subject and suffered myself it really opens your eyes please Google it. Good luck all p.s. my symptoms are better x
—Guest nicola

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