Cramping and Bloating: The Daily Battle

I have been experiencing more frequent flares recently. This means some of the most agitating symptoms have returned. I am talking about cramping and bloating.

Painful symptoms of IBS

We all know how bothersome these symptoms are. They linger all day. You might continue to have these symptoms all night, all week, or all month. Sometimes it gets better only to return a short time later.

These are the symptoms that cause discomfort and even pain. These symptoms make the days seem longer and harder.


I recently started taking an antispasmodic medication again to try to calm the cramping. It is aggravating every day, but it has become quite painful some days. This gnawing pain cannot be ignored.

Some days the medication helps to ease the pain, and other days it does not. There is no rhyme or reason to it. You would think the medication would either always or never work, but that is not how it is.

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Bloating is another curious symptom because it never makes any sense. I bloat if I eat, and I bloat if I wait too long to eat. I bloat if I drink any kind of liquid. It isn't uncommon for me to stay bloated for days.

Sometimes I am not bloated in the morning and then my clothing is too tight later because I bloat. Sometimes it’s the opposite. I never know if or when I will bloat, but it is always uncomfortable and it certainly makes cramping more annoying.

There is nothing that helps my bloating. As far as I can tell, there is no set trigger, either. It comes and goes with no explanation, and I am just along for the ride.

I tend to keep several different sizes of clothing because of this. Unfortunately, recent weight gain means I don’t have extra sizes right now. This is a problem on days when bloating is really bad.

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Juggling stress and IBS

I have been under a fair bit of stress lately. My weight has increased as well. I know both of these things affect IBS, for me at least. When I get worked up about something, I can feel the cramping start or worsen. I notice it right away.

Sometimes I take medication, and sometimes I don’t. Since I have IBS-M, I try to limit how often I take the medication because it can cause constipation. It’s tough trying to find balance and get relief. It’s even more annoying when I risk triggering an IBS-C flare by taking a medication that sometimes does not ease my pain.

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A vicious cycle of IBS symptoms

I do get some relief after I go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, that relief seems short-lived as of late. The cramping returns rather quickly, and it seems to be sticking around longer these days. It is becoming more and more disruptive.

I have a number of medical issues and conditions, and adding in a new or worsening symptom makes everything worse. It has a domino effect. The more I stress over it all, the worse my symptoms become. There seems to be no end to this vicious cycle.

Living with persistent bloating and cramping

The pain associated with cramping is often difficult, if not impossible, to ignore. It is maddening dealing with bloating that leads to clothing changing from comfortable to constrictive seemingly in an instant.

Coping with the symptoms of IBS is challenging. Adding to those challenges is a lack of empathy from others. Dealing with occasional cramping and bloating is one thing. Dealing with extended bouts of these symptoms regularly is much more difficult. It is even more frustrating when those around you don’t understand.

Do you experience cramping and bloating? How often are you experiencing cramps? Have you found anything that triggers bloating? If you have any remedies that help with cramping or bloating, I would love to hear about them.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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