What Kind Of Healthcare Provider Best Treats Ibs Pain
A gastroenterologist who works in neurogastroenterology addressing the brain-gut axis, or a primary care practitioner who knows how to work with chronic pain is usually best trained to treat IBS pain. They may work with a multi-disciplinary team of therapists trained in treating chronic visceral pain.
Good pain clinicians are likely going to use the right treatment. They need to be familiar with neurogastroenterology and how to use centrally targeted approaches to manage the chronic visceral pain in IBS. Be on the alert for pain management clinics that use opioids as treatment.
Informing The Person About Your Condition
One Event = Whole Days Preparation
A single event, such as seeing a loved-one means our entire day is built around that event. From waking-up, everything is considered and for many of us, we cannot do anything we want to before the event as it jeopardises it. So when we do have to cancel, its not just the event but an entire day wasted, us in pain, yet we were never able to even see that friend. This is frequently ignored, especially by those who get annoyed at us for being in pain and needing to cancel.
Its complicated as we long to socialise, to see those we love but the depth of understanding needed to truly comprehend the constant evaluation, uncertainty and ongoing management of our pain, is only grasped by a select few. These friends are perhaps the finest of all as they do not get angry or feel put out if we must cancel at the eleventh hour, nor do they mind it if our plans are cut short because they understand that we are doing everything we can. It just doesnt always go to plan.
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How Can Chronic Pain In Ibs Be Managed
When pain is chronic it takes time for it to go away. Because pain is an emotional experience, taking steps to improve emotions can lead to reduction of the harmful effects of the pain even when it is still present.
Maintaining an active role in life, engaging in physical activity, and addressing emotional and social health are important to help promote a sense of well-being, which counters negative expectations.
Psychological approaches Psychological approaches harness the minds own ability to affect pain sensations by sending signals, thoughts or nerve impulses, which close the pain gate.
There are many of these techniques, ranging from hypnosis to relaxation therapies to meditation to cognitive-behavioral therapy. They can help ease symptoms and restore a sense of control over the disorder.
Medications Anticholinergic agents taken before meals may provide short-term reduction of abdominal pain after meals. The newer gut-targeted medications treat multiple symptoms, including pain, in IBS with diarrhea and IBS with constipation .
When the above mentioned medications do not adequately treat the pain, centrally targeted medications may be tried. They can be used in addition to other IBS medications and are prescribed to provide long-term relief of severe chronic pain.
How Common Is Ibs
I.B.S. is the most frequently diagnosed gastrointestinal disorder. Although symptoms can vary from patient to patient, they commonly include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, intestinal gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. The disorder affects more women than men and is most common in people under 50. The annual medical costs of the condition exceed $1 billion in the United States alone.
Its a chronic condition that requires continual management strategies, like always knowing the location of the nearest bathroom or having to wear diapers when restroom access is limited. The emotional distress it can cause often results in depression and anxiety and may prompt others to think incorrectly that the bowel disorder is self-inflicted.
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Getting The Support You Need
Finding A Treatment That Worked
Over the years, Scarlett says her doctors prescribed her “every one” of the medications available to treat IBS, and none of them provided any relief. At one point, says Scarlett, a doctor prescribed her low-dose antidepressants to help with the pain . “Obviously theyre a serious med, and that caused a whole other host of issues,” she says. “Like, I couldnt wake up. Id sleep 16 hours a day. I had no energy, and I gained a lot of weight.”
That pain finally forced her to commit to making the change. “Before I never really gave myself the time to understand why it was happening and if I could change it,” she says.
Scarlett took the York test, a mail-order test that looks for IgG antibodies, markers of a food intolerance. Not all people with IBS have a food allergy or intolerance, according to the American Academy Allergy, Asthma, and Immunulogy, and some experts say the IgG test isnt the most accurate diagnostic tool. But for Scarlett, it worked. She cut eggs and dairy, as well as almost all processed foods and chocolate, out of her diet. “I did so much research,” she says. “I kept a food diary every day for three months. It was a commitment. I needed to stick with it, because changes werent going to happen overnight.”
She also got a colonoscopy, and doctors discovered her colon was double the average womans. “My doctor told me mine is extra loopy and twisty, so its harder to push food through,” she says.
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Can Calming Therapies Help
There is a known connection between the brain and the gut, and undue stress can certainly aggravate the symptoms of I.B.S. Cognitive behavioral therapy may benefit some patients, and many find it helpful to practice relaxation techniques like positive imagery, progressive muscle relaxation or meditation.
Yoga and other types of physical activity may also diminish symptoms of I.B.S. and improve patients quality of life. One clinical trial involving 102 patients found that those who engaged in vigorous physical activity three to five days a week experienced reduced physical and psychological symptoms.
Another soothing technique that can be done anywhere, anytime, to help relieve pain and stress is diaphragmatic breathing, the opposite of sucking in your gut. Instead of pushing out the chest as the lungs fill with air, the diaphragm is pushed down toward the stomach, causing the belly to rise. Practice by placing one hand above your navel to feel your abdomen rise as you inhale slowly through your nose, and then retract as you exhale through your mouth.
Lauren White Talking How Ibs Affects Daily Life
Its a natural part of our life and we all do it and some of us have issues with it like any other part of our body but why is it that its not socially acceptable to be open about our bowel and having a bowel condition? Yes, its the poo taboo. An embarrassing secret that some of us harbour from even our closest loved ones.
Lauren White is a PhD student researching into the social boundaries of common bowel condition Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how the symptoms affect us socially in everyday life and how those who live with it negotiate this tricky condition. Lauren also has a long term bowel condition, which led her to start her research.
Lauren is dedicated to raising awareness around the condition and in the past has conducted a toilet mapping study, which explored how those with IBS make maps of toilets as they go about their daily life, highlighting the often immense work that those with bowel conditions face when managing their symptoms and looking for lavatories.
Lauren, thank you for taking the time to talk to us at the Bladder and Bowel Community
Thank you im really glad to be invited into the Bladder and Bowel Community!
Tell us a little bit about your research projects on everyday life with IBS and toilet mapping?
How does IBS affect someone on a daily basis?
IBS is a condition that affects you personally. How do you think this has affected you socially?
Why do you think it is so socially unacceptable to talk about toilet issues?
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Not Knowing How To Act Around Pain
We may lose friends because we can no longer share a sport or hobby with them, or because we dont seem to be as much fun as we used to be, says Susan Milstrey Wells. Sometimes our friends just dont know how to act around us when we are ill.
Being so misunderstood by loved ones and losing the intimacy once shared in formally close friendships naturally hurts. Human beings are social creatures. Our sense of who we are and our place in the world is forever influenced and redefined by the nature and quality of our interactions and relations with others. Yet chronic illness inevitably changes relationships.
When To See Your Gp
You should see your GP if:
- you think you have IBS symptoms, so they can try to identify the cause – they can often do this by asking about your symptoms, although further tests are occasionally needed to rule out other conditions
- you’re feeling anxious or depressed – these problems rarely improve without treatment and could make your IBS symptoms worse
You should see your GP immediately if you have other symptoms, including:
- unexplained weight loss
- a swelling or lump in your stomach or back passage
- bleeding from your back passage
- bladder problems – such as needing to wake up to urinate at night, experiencing an urgent need to urinate and difficulty fully emptying the bladder
- pain during sex
Read more about diagnosing IBS
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Are Opioids Useful For Treating Chronic Pain In Ibs
There is no evidence that opioids, narcotics, have any long-term benefit. Yet, there is an epidemic of opioid use. Furthermore, opioids slow down the gut causing constipation, gastroparesis, nausea, and vomiting, particularly in those with IBS.
In addition, about 56% of people who go on opioids develop a condition called narcotic bowel syndrome, also called opioid induced central hyperalgesia. It was identified in 2007, but is not always recognized. Typically, the person who has chronic pain is given opioids, the pain gets worse, and more opioids are given.
What the opioids are doing in people with narcotic bowel syndrome is activating the spinal cord mechanisms to amplify and increase the signaling to the brain. Discontinuing the opioids while substituting effective alternatives is the only way the condition can be treated. This requires the doctor and patient working closely together.
Opioids are not a treatment for chronic pain in IBS. Not only is this because of the risk for getting narcotic bowel syndrome, but it deflects from proper treatment where there is clear benefit. There is no evidence for long-term benefit of opioids.
When Someone You Love Has Ibs
When someone has IBS symptoms, it can have a profound impact on their friends and family members. IBS symptoms are difficult and stressful for both patients and those around them.
If someone you love has IBS, do not underestimate the power of your support. Research suggests that IBS patients who are in supportive relationships have less severe symptoms than those who do not have supportive people around them.
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Sensory Overwhelm And Brain Fog
Another aspect of socialising with pain that becomes difficult, even impossible is trying to interact when the pain rises because of sensory overload and makes it impossible to think. The more people in the room the greater the stimulus on your nervous system, and consequently, your pain.
While you are trying to listen, engage, think of your responses too, any additional noise, people, and especially music can make brain fog and sensory overload exacerbate, making it painful physically and emotionally. The desire to have and maintain closeness in friendship and family is sadly made all the more impossible because of the very symptoms that thwart it.
Many pain patients, especially those with severe pain conditions that mostly leave them house-bound, naturally struggle to see, speak to, or socialise anything close to what we long to. Though its humble compensation, when we do connect, it does make it all the more wonderful, Skype too, is a beautiful means for those with pain to see their friends and chat.
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What Will The Doctor Do
Most kids get a stomachache, constipation, or diarrhea now and then. This doesn’t mean a kid has IBS.
But when a kid has these problems regularly, a doctor may think it could be IBS. Here are some questions the doctor might ask:
There is no test to diagnose IBS. Doctors often diagnose the problem just by listening to a person describe the symptoms. That’s why it’s really important for kids to talk with their parents and their doctor about their symptoms, even if it seems embarrassing.
What Are The Causes Of Ibs
Researchers dont exactly know what causes IBS. They think a combination of factors can lead to IBS, including:
- Dysmotility: Problems with how your GI muscles contract and move food through the GI tract.
- Visceral hypersensitivity: Extra-sensitive nerves in the GI tract.
- Brain-gut dysfunction: Miscommunication between nerves in the brain and gut.
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How Can Ibs Be So Painful When Nothing Irregular Shows Up On Tests
The answer is that IBS is a condition where the symptoms relate to alterations in normal gastrointestinal function that is, dysregulation of brain and gut affecting both pain signals and motility .
The aim of this publication is to explain this relationship between the brain and the gut in order to help those affected understand why and how pain in IBS occurs, and how it can be confidently managed.
Bathroom Anxiety Is Real
Someone with IBS doesnât have time to wait until the next rest area for a restroom — especially if they have IBS-D. People with IBS often map out the location of public restrooms before they leave the house. A third of people with the disorder say they stay away from events that donât have nearby bathrooms. If you know someone with IBS, you can help by understanding when they say, âI need a bathroom now.â
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What Other Lifestyle Changes Help Relieve Ibs Symptoms
In addition to dietary changes, there are some healthy habits that may also help reduce IBS symptoms.
- Maintain good physical fitness to improve bowel function and help reduce stress.
- Stop smoking for overall good health.
- Avoid coffee/caffeine and chewing gum.
- Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption may help.
- Stress management can help prevent or ease IBS symptoms.
- Use relaxation techniques: deep breathing, visualization, Yoga
- Do things you find enjoyable: talk to friends, read, listen to music
- Gut-directed hypnosis can reduce stress and anxiety
- Biofeedback teaches you to recognize your bodys responses to stress and you can learn to slow your heart rate and relax.