Person looking at their playing cards with hands pushing all their chips in surrounded by floating medication bottles and pills

IBS-M: When Desperation Leads to Medication

It has been years since I took any type of medication to treat IBS. Once I switched from IBS-D to IBS-M, effectively treating my symptoms became impossible. Sometimes trying to treat symptoms caused even worse symptoms. I gave up on using medication to ease my pain and just dealt with it the best I could. Now, my desperation has caused me to rethink my decision.

Make no mistake. There still is not some magic medication that treats IBS-M. Medication used to treat an IBS-D flare can cause an IBS-C flare and vice versa. It is a gamble. Reaching a point where it is worth the risk to find relief is awful. That is where I am at.

Desperately seeking relief from IBS flares

I recently enjoyed a short vacation from major IBS symptoms. I was able to travel without fear, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had. Then it all came back with a vengeance. It seems worse now, but it might just be that I had a taste of what it was like to be IBS-free, and I am fed up with suffering.

Regardless of whether it is actually worse or not, I am really struggling to cope with symptoms right now. My current IBS-D flare is a real pain, literally. Cramps are sharper and more intense. The sense of urgency is a lot more urgent, and I am terrified it will lead to disaster. I am miserable.

A lengthy medication vacation

It has been close to a decade since I took prescription medication for IBS. I rarely take anything at all to treat IBS symptoms. Treating one generally leads to the other, and it makes little sense to take medication to go back and forth from one extreme to the other.

As much as I want medication to make things normal, one simply does not exist. I decided I would not bother once the antispasmodic medication that helped so much led to painful bouts of IBS-C. It was not worth the risk. Neither type of flare is better than the other, but treating IBS-D and causing IBS-C is a very, very bad thing. Using medication to relieve an IBS-C flare caused by medication is not as effective for me, and that can cause major problems.

Weighing the pros and cons of IBS medication

I remember the way the antispasmodic medication took the edge of my cramping. It also gave me more time by reducing the urgency a bit. This made living with IBS a little easier. I had more time to find a bathroom instead of being hit with a sudden urge that required immediate relief. If you have IBS, you know that even a few extra minutes can make a big difference.

I also remember how medication caused awful bouts of constipation that were hard to treat. The resulting injuries took time to heal, and chronic constipation caused by the medication prevented healing. I remember it well, vowing never to retake medication.

Changing my mind on meds

So, why am I once again taking an antispasmodic medication? I know what is likely to happen and know the resulting flare will be even harder to treat. Knowing all of this, why did I decide to retake medication? Desperation. I am desperate for relief from a flare. Pain has sent me searching for any chance of relief.

Have you taken meds to treat IBS-M? I would love to hear about your experience treating IBS-M symptoms.

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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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