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IBS worse during menopause?


Silent26
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I'm wondering if anyone has noticed a link to their IBS symptoms worsening around their cycle and specifically during peri-menopause.   I've always had some constipation but it was never a huge problem until I got into my 40s or so and started having peri-menopause symptoms.  The pain and gas got worse each year and now that I'm 49 and closing in on full menopause, it's getting even worse.  I now have mixed symptoms with D being worse around my cycle, and C being predominant.  It seems like the more erratic my cycle gets, the more erratic the IBS gets.  I'm at a point that I'm terrified to leave the house sometimes because I get the D symptoms and have no warning before it starts just coming out.  My mother had these same issues during her menopause and she felt hers was due to Celiacs disease, so I cut out gluten and dairy to see what would happen and the gas and bloating got much better for the most part (although every once in a while I suffer a day or two of severe gas pain for no good reason), but the D is getting worse and so is the burning pressure pain that I feel in my stomach almost always.  I also have an almost constant battle with the frequent and urgent urge to go but often what comes out is just gas and mucus.  It's so urgent, I will run to the bathroom sometimes, afraid it's going to be D and it's just the gas and mucus. 

Luckily, I work from home so I've never had an accident in front of anyone....yet.  It terrifies me.  Every time I have to spend time with other people or go to the store, I'm afraid it will be the day.  I'm actually resigned to the idea of wearing diapers, which is horrible for someone who isn't even 50.  It has killed my intimacy with my spouse because I just never know what's going to happen back there and I couldn't deal with having it happen in that situation.

I used to have a good day here or there with bad days in between, but now it's more like, I have a few good hours in between and a week or two of bad.  It's exhausting to think this is my life now.  I don't know what else to do.  I haven't had medical insurance for 15 years and I finally was able to get some that starts the 1st of the year, so I'll be seeing a doctor.  But honestly, I'm not encouraged, given the stories I read about others who get some help for a little while but then it all comes back, sometimes worse.  And who's to say the medications aren't causing more damage than good?  I'm almost reluctant to try any medicines.  How do you all deal with this?


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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear Silent,

I'm sorry to read what you are feeling and dealing with. I have heard of symptoms being amplified around someone's cycle, but not necessarily specific to menopause or peri-menopause.

Would you consider investigating cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a gut-trained psychologist to try and help with urgency and the anxiety related to this? There is good evidence that it does offer some help. You can try and find one in your area with this link: https://romegipsych.org/

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