My Belly Hurts
Just so we’re clear, it’s not the front of my belly or lower abdominal area that is my problem right now. It’s my stomach, but on the right side. I’m being so specific because a month or so ago it started hurting. A lot. After having gotten the IBS under control for several months, I was so thrilled. I was the epitome of health. We’ll not really, but my diet was pretty good and I was feeling alright, after months of not ‘feeling alright’. As has happened many times before, I feel as though my IBS adapted to my system and threw a new symptom at me. Cramping is new for me. While I have heard from many people on this site that this can be a major struggle, I think I always pictured cramps as something else. Like what I used to get when I played sports. A hitch in the side. No, this was different. These cramps ranged from uncomfortable to painful and certainly not something to take lightly.
A bout of pneumonia
What’s funny is that I thought it was a couple of different things before my doctor and I determined that this was a symptom of the IBS. It’s weird but I started having this new stomach pain a month ago and it happened to coincide with a bout of pneumonia. I thought the cramping/pain was caused by coughing so much with the pneumonia. Oddly enough, when you have pneumonia, you tend not to think about what ELSE is wrong with you. Herein lies a point I would like to make with regards to this problem. Never assume you KNOW what is wrong or what is causing it. Have a doctor check you out. Most of us are not doctors, but I believe a lot of us think that because we have a lot of experience with doctors, that we are one. We are not. Anyway, stomach cramps, not pneumonia. Check. Moving on.
The cramping continued for several weeks following the end of the pneumonia. I tried everything that might seem obvious. Checked and double checked my diet, drank probably even more water than I should have and started walking more. Nothing really worked. Then it dawned on me. What happens physiologically to cause our bathroom trouble? Intestinal spasms, key word spasms. Doesn’t this feel like spasms in a way? Maybe this is somehow IBS related. Duh.
By this point the cramps hurt and were starting to disrupt my life. I made a trip to my doctor and he confirmed that this was probably IBS related based on the location of the cramps in my stomach and my description. He suggested strengthening my stomach muscles and gave me medicine specifically for this type of cramping. The medicine seems to be helping a lot and this problem may be the incentive I need to start working on my out of shape tummy. The time had to come eventually I guess. Too bad, I was sort of getting used to having a bit of a tum-tum :-)
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?