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Severe pain with IBS - is it something else?


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Hi everyone, I’ve suffered with IBS/stomach issues for a long time (since I was about 8 years old, I’m now 21) and just despairing with my current symptoms. For context I do have interstitial cystitis as well which was diagnosed through a cystoscopy.

For about the past year I’ve on and off been suffering with severe abdominal pain that extends all around my large intestine (from lower abdomen, up my sides and under my ribs). I have constant abdominal pain and frequent trapped wind and bloating but several times a week I will have these excruciating pain flare ups where I feel sick and unable to move. I predominately have IBS-C but this can fluctuate to more urgent loose stools and the pain also doesn’t correlate with if I’ve passed a bowel movement. The pain does not improve, if anything worsens after I’ve passed a bowel movement.

I’ve tried lifestyle changes, e.g. increasing in-soluble fibre, drinking more water, regular gentle exercise (walking and yoga), reduced stress (I work part time), meditation, gut-directed hypnotherapy, probiotics etc. I don’t drink any caffeine just herbal teas and rarely drink alcohol. I’ve also been on a low dose of sertraline to try and help the pain but don’t think this is working. In the past I’ve also been prescribed codeine to help with the pain, however this was making the constipation worse. The only thing that works with pain relief in the awful flares is a Tens machine which just takes the edge off.

I suppose my question is, is anyone in the same position with IBS or could this be something else…I did have a colonoscopy 3 years ago which didn’t find anything but bowel symptoms do seem to have worsened. Sorry for the long message I’m just despairing!


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