Patients with irritable bowel syndrome can suffer from chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation and/or a combination of both. One hallmark symptom is intense cramping, often occurring after eating a problem food or beverage containing caffeine, MSG or chocolate. Constipation can also be a side effect of many medications used for IC, particularly pain medications, as well as a symptom that the pelvic floor muscles may be dysfunctional.
If you struggle with IC, IBS and any other chronic pain conditions (vulvodynia, fibromyalgia, migraines, TMJ, etc.) you have a new diagnosis: “Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions.” This is believed to be a central nervous system disorder characterized by nerve sensitivity in various parts of the body. Interestingly, brain studies by the Chronic Pain Research Alliance and the MAPP Research Network have found that our brains are struggling, on a daily basis, with “fight or flight.” Do you struggle with anxiety? That, too, is a sign of “fight or flight.” There is hope! Learn more here!
PATIENT TIP: To maintain healthy bowel function, it’s important to stay well hydrated and to eat approximately 20 to 24 grams of fiber a day, preferably from fresh foods and veggies. One serving of peas or split pea soup, for example, contain 16 grams of fiber. A pear or apple (preferably the lower acid Fuji or Gala varieties) contain 4 to 5 grams of fiber a day. Click her to view a list of high fiber foods!
- ICN Irritable Bowel Syndrome Resource Center
- Int’l Foundation For Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
- First Year IBS by Heather Van Vorous
- Eating For IBS by Heather Van Vorous
- Organic Acacia Fiber – An easy, affordable soluble fiber that is gentle on the bowel, ideal for patients with IBS.