IBS-M: Am I Transitioning from IBS-C to IBS-D?

I have had IBS-M for a few decades now and I still cannot tell for sure when a change is coming. It is maddening at times. Knowing when it is going to change would be helpful for planning. Being able to predict IBS-M episodes would be life-changing for all of us.

The signs are subtle, and sometimes those warnings are actually caused by something other than IBS. I never know how it is going to be until I actually go. It is maddening that changes are sudden and with little or no warning. The unpredictable nature of IBS is just maddening.

IBS-D and IBS-C pain differs

There are differences in the cramping I have during IBS-D flares and IBS-C flares. IBS-C tends to be a more solid pain. It is a heavy feeling that is generally dull but sometimes causes sudden sharp pains that come and go. It can be anywhere in my torso. This pain moves around as it follows food through my digestive tract.

IBS-D cramps tend to be a gnawing, burning pain. It is relentless. This pain is generally located in the lower part of my abdomen. The sharp pains stick around rather than come and go. Sometimes burning follows food along my digestive tract, but it is not the same kind of pain as IBS-C.

Pain that resembles other ailments

If the pains are so different, why can’t I tell the difference? There are other things that cause similar pains. Menstrual cramping is very similar to some of the IBS-D cramps. I cannot tell PMS pains from the earliest signs of an IBS-D flare. Now that I am in perimenopause, my cycle is not really a cycle so I cannot use that to try to differentiate between the two.

I also have another digestive issue at the moment. It might be an ulcer. It might be gastritis. I have not yet had testing to determine which one it is. Regardless of what it is, the pain is similar to that I have right before and during an IBS-C flare. It is impossible to tell the difference.

Quick transitions between IBS-C and IBS-D

I have been in the midst of an IBS-C flare for a little while now, but I have pains similar to that of an IBS-D flare. Am I transitioning again? I have no idea. It is impossible to tell. Each trip to the bathroom is a surprise, and it is never a pleasant surprise.

A sudden IBS-D episode can cause a lot of problems. I usually have very little notice. The pain is sudden and severe and requires immediate attention without delay. Basically, I know last minute and that is no fun when I am away from home or have plans. This is why I always fast before leaving home. I never know what will happen.

Trying to predict change is hard

At the moment, I have the same pains associated with both types of flares. I have no idea what will happen, so I must stick close to the bathroom. It is a constant worry. The pain is enough of a bother on its own, but not knowing what to expect is just as aggravating.

Do you have warning signs of a flare? Can you tell the difference in what type of flare you are about to have? I would love to know if you are able to predict a flare. Share your secrets for predicting what has been unpredictable for me.

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