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A woman sits hunched over and crying as flames erupt behind her back.

When IBS Pain Is Getting the Best of You

I have had more than a couple of days lately that bordered on unbearable. While I have multiple things that cause me grief, the pain associated with IBS is really standing out in the crowd. It makes for some very long days.

I will start by saying that I take absolutely nothing for any kind of pain. I do not even take over-the-counter pain medication. There is no sense in taking it, as aspirin or ibuprofen only further irritates my IBS. Acetaminophen does nothing for me, and naproxen has caused stomach bleeding in the past. I simply wait it out, and it is tough. It is getting tougher by the day.

Coping with increasing IBS pain levels

When I am having a tough time with anything, I try to look for something positive. I do not have to tell you how difficult it is to find anything positive about being in pain. If you have IBS, you know pain. One of the issues I am having right now is referred pain. If you are not familiar with this term, it means when an issue in one part of the body causes pain in another.

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The cramping pain now extends all the way up into my chest. It is beyond annoying. I am not a person who likes to call anything pain. I usually say I am uncomfortable. My tolerance to pain is on the high side. People closest to me know if I say I am in actual pain that it is bad. There have been several days lately that I would say I am in pain. That is a big problem.

IBS pain management causes more problems

Sometimes the pain is bad enough that absolutely nothing helps to distract me from it. Sometimes I can get the pain to ease by keeping something on my stomach at all times. Of course, that causes other IBS issues but the pain is bad enough that any little bit of relief is welcome.

It is like fighting a losing battle. I can either be in pain that radiates up into my chest or I can spend time running back and forth to the bathroom. I happily choose the bathroom every time. It is that bad, and that is saying a lot for me.

Distractions to take my mind off IBS pain

I try to find ways to distract myself. Sometimes the pain is too great to concentrate, so I try to find tasks that require little thought. On those days, I play a lot of games just to keep my mind occupied. When it is not enough of a distraction, I crank up the music really loud and sing along. It is enough to take the edge off at times.

Then there are days where that is not enough. It helps to hug a pillow and put pressure on my chest and stomach. I am not sure why it helps, but it does. Sometimes I can arch my back and stretch and get a brief moment of relief. Then there are times when I want to pound my fist on the wall. I have had one too many of those days recently.

Enduring the pain and struggling to find IBS relief

The bigger problem is what to do when the pain becomes so bad that the only thing you want to do is scream over and over again. What do you do when it gets so bad that you just want to cry but do not have the energy? We do what we have always done. We endure it because we have no choice. Pain relief for IBS is close to nonexistent for many of us. We are either ignored or offered anecdotal advice on how to deal with a tummy ache.

Being in pain without having any kind of relief is more than frustrating. At times, it is enraging. Pain causes a long of strong emotions, but what choice do we have other than to deal with it? How do you cope when IBS pain is getting the best of you? What do you do on the days when nothing seems to help? I would love to hear how you handle the worst days.

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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