A person walks on a path shaped like intestines and is followed by personifications of symptoms as one new personification joins the group

IBS: New Pains, New Symptoms, and New Worries

Last updated: June 2022

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a constantly changing illness. Just when you think you have it figured out, something changes or something new comes along to shake things up a bit.

As the years go by, I find myself with different types of pain in different places. Symptoms have changed and new symptoms have appeared. This creates new worries and adds to my stress levels.

New symptoms pop up over time

In the beginning, I dealt with cramps and chronic diarrhea. That was awful enough on its own. Over time, I added a number of other symptoms. Why? Obviously, it is because the original ones were not fun enough on their own.

I have a sharp pain in one specific spot on my side when food is passing through that area. It disappears once food has moved on down. Occasionally, there are spots that feel like something is pressing on the inside of my abdomen or chest. Sometimes the cramps are in waves that cause sweating. There are other new symptoms, too.

Is it gas or something more serious?

I have dealt with some pretty intense gas pains over the years. They seem to have gotten worse over the last couple of years. These pains can be very sharp and almost take my breath away. Knowing how severe some of the cramps and pains can be, how do I know when to worry about pain?

Whenever I get used to certain types of IBS pain, it seems new pains come along. IBS is constantly evolving and keeping me guessing. I try to ignore a lot of pains because I know it is likely related to IBS. How do I know when I should worry? I worry when I cannot find relief or I have recurring new pain. Unrelenting pain is a problem worthy of worry.

When should I worry about new symptoms and pain?

Search the internet for information on your newest digestive system symptom. Odds are, IBS will be listed among the possible explanations for your symptom. Pretty much everything you can think of could possibly be caused by IBS. How do you know when to worry?

There are obvious things that deserve immediate attention. Bleeding or intense pain are just a couple of symptoms that should receive immediate medical attention. When do you worry about the more minor symptoms? A good rule of thumb is to ask your doctor about any new symptoms.

Trying to keep stress in check when new symptoms arise

How do you manage to stay calm when you worry about new issues? It is not easy to keep your cool when you worry about the latest pain you have developed. Stress agitates IBS, so finding ways to keep stress levels down is helpful. I have yet to find a way to do that, though.

We know pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong, so we know we are supposed to pay attention. However, we are accustomed to plenty of pain with IBS and we tend to ignore it because we have no choice. Medical professionals often gloss over our complaints of pain, so we get used to doing the same.

Dealing with new IBS worries

The best way to deal with new symptoms is to discuss it with your doctor. Maybe it is IBS. Maybe it is not. We are so used to dealing with IBS symptoms that we sometimes overlook the rest of our digestive system and ignore the fact that we could indeed have another medical issue.

Have you had new symptoms? How did you deal with these symptoms? I would love to hear about your experience.

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