IBS and Fibro Related??


Sep 14, 2020
Hello everyone! I have a question, I have suffered with IBS and Fibro for over 20 years. I have been told by my GP that they go hand in hand. It seems that when my IBS flares up my fibro seems to go crazy too. My fibro has always been concentrated around my rib cage. Has anyone ever dealt with both of these together? I have tightness across my upper abdomen and in the center. I also have the pain that goes around my ribs on one side one time and the other the next day. If anyone has this or any suggestions I would really appreciate it. I also need to add I have GERD, a hiatal hernia (small) no gallbladder and horrible health anxiety. Yeah, I know it is great :), but I just keep pushing and trying. Any help would be appreciated. Have a blessed day!!
Morning\evening @sdoss

I am quite new at trying to work out both fibromyalgia and concurrent conditions. For my trying to find info, it does seem that IBS is commonplace with fibro. Can I join in your club? I also have IBS ( for at least 25 years) and I hiatus hernia, which I do take medication for and have eliminated some foods from my diet which I know worsen the symptoms. Worth checking your diet a bit more maybe?

Personally I definitely seem to find if one condition is bad, everything else ramps up. Especially bad working with my hormones, then it goes even worse. Health Anxiety is awful, I am not sure this applies to me, but many women in a menopause forum I use suffer with this dreadfully.

My IBS is more cramps pain wise, I think it may be worth doing a search regarding the rib pain? I think someone else said their fibro pain was in these areas? Sometimes for me, with arthritis as well it's hard configure out what pain comes from what condition.

I wish you well
Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, my gp has said the pain around my sides is fibro/costo and comes with a flare of ibs. I take Motrin off and on because I don’t want to take too much because I know it’s hard on your kidneys. I am working with my food and what triggers it. I took the food sensitivity test and there was so many. I was amazed. I am starting to work with a nutrionist. So I pray that will help me lose the menopausal weight and also help my ibs. I pray for no pain days for you. ❤️
Oh I know about the menopausal weight too! Not too much but more than I like. My difficulty @sdoss is the chronic fatigue element that stops me from exercising as much as I want. But little steps make a difference. I think the willingness to look for change and improvement is the key.
Some very strange food elements come up don't they? Some things I eliminated completely and others I can tolerate in small doses. I don't get it right all The time of course. And stress plays a big part with IBS.

The nutritionist will be so useful for you. I wish you well.

And thank you, I wish you too pain free days for you. 😻
Hi @sdoss and @SBee

I was just thinking about the IBS and fibro pairing. I was at the docs yesterday, she said IBS and IBS symptoms become more common after the 40's. I've been checked for IBS and a few other things, and although I have the symptoms, I seem to lack cause.

I've not yet found foods that affect me, but I do have catarrh, the one that goes down the back of the throat, and the specialist said it can appear after 40, men and women, and at that time, about 8 years ago, they have not found why. Generally it's citrus and/or bread and/or dairy intolerance/allergy, but for me, potato and dairy and wholemeal breads seem to be the main ones, I need to limit them, sometimes cut out totally.

I always carry anti-diarrhea capsules, de-gas (simethicone) and Gaviscon dual action (for reflux and gut upsets). I can go weeks and not touch any, then I seem to live on one or the other. Once again, still not figured food causes, though I think some spices affect me sometimes, and thinking crumbed fish, chicken tenders and the likes may have something that gets me.

I have tightness across my upper abdomen and in the center. I also have the pain that goes around my ribs on one side one time and the other the next day.
yes, and moreso, i seem to bloat unexpectedly, irrespective of eating. That is, sometimes after eating, but sometimes just happens. I've had ultrasounds, no sign of any hernias, no explanation, just happens.

I have been wondering if fibro, still, I'm checking in case I'm just brushing off symptoms I should be taking notice of.

My difficulty @sdoss is the chronic fatigue element that stops me from exercising as much as I want.
I'm not sure how much is fatigue and how much is lack of motivation, I think I am given to despondency moreso than depression. I used to suffer a lot of depression, but since diagnosis and learning about fibro, the depression (borne of unable to understand "why" ) is pretty much gone, (though I believe fibro has its own little cloud of depression at times), but sometimes the frustration of not getting done what I need to get done, I become despondent.

Bit of a long ramble, but I was actually going to ask if others have this sort of IBS etc and I find this thread at the top of the list :) :) 🐉🐉
Hey @BlueBells my lack of exercise is definitely chronic fatigue But I am aware so have been a bit wary of trying to build up my exercise in case I crash again. Hard to get the balance right.

Bloating is unpredictable for me too, seems no rhyme nor reason food wise but cutting out the one carbonated drink I used to have has helped - and cuts out the artificial sweetener too.

Spices are a huge no for me, not even a smidgen. Peppers, cucumber, raw onion, citrus as well. But they set off the hiatus hernia more that IBS. Pretty high list actually! iBS for me too much stress, dairy, ( use oat milk, but can help myself with cheese😂), too much wheat like bread, so I do rice cakes, and pitta bread to cut back a bit. Trial and error. Minefield isn't it?

Weird that @sdoss wrote this query just when you needed it! Btw, if you think you are rambling on, i always try for a short snappy post but just get carried away! 😂
Happy rambling
Hi @SBee @sdoss and @Badger :)

Was going to quote, but takes space :D

Yes, always the balance ! I try to push myself, figuring laziness, and I feel good for it, and the next day or so, I crash, but then, sometimes, (sometimes, mind you) I'll go for a week or three, and feel good, then crash. But at least I got exercise (y) I did sign up an online video program, but too much up and down, it showed me I get low blood pressure, so there's another thing I need to work with (no big deal, water, salt, and coffee works ;) ).

Carbonated drinks, have virtually not drunk them my whole life, lemonade or fanta when sick as a child, but not ever been into fizzy drinks. Artificial sweeteners, very much so in cordials, make me ill, either feel sick and or headaches.

I love wholemeal bread etc, but the catarrh makes me wary of that, it's okay if I'm careful of totals. I have not noticed relationship with foods and bloating, but thinking chilli sauce, some spice mixes, and something in some frozen meals, still trying to isolate there.

I stick with real cane sugar, mostly the raw, tried others, not for me, same with dairy, I stick with cow dairy and olive oil. I have a mistrust of canola, and it seems to have infiltrated everything, and I really believe that is not a wise move health wise.

Pregnant and breast feeding, cucumbers, pickled onions, banana and tomato were out, bubs couldn't handle it (can now, of course), but I think they are fine for me. Am having a slight question mark on banana though.

@Badger , a physio suggested cranberry or pear juice (juices, not drinks) and psyllium husk powder. I found about a cup of cranberry juice and add about a teaspoonful of psyllium husk powder ( the pure powder, not the ones with commercial additives) and quickly mix it in, quickly as it begins to set straight away, and leave it sit until fully "set". I then eat it as a dessert, like cranberry jelly. Sometimes with a little fruit , or ice cream etcetera.

Haven't done that for a while, was thinking I should get onto it again, actually. Thanks for the reminder (y)

rambling again
Bananas @BlueBells I have a love love love them or hate hate hate them!
I'm not sure if flax seed ( crushed ) is good for IBS? I was recommended them to get the something or rather leather are rich in, for joint pain, because being veggie means I don't take any fish or fish oil supplements. But if the psyllium husks work for you and @Badger then best to stick with what does not cause further irritation.
I have heard that flaxseed is better than fish oil, way more sustainable production, too. Regards to IBS, I've not looked into anything yet.

I really do need to eat smaller portions over the day, though. I tend to overeat, not that I intend to, just seems to happen. :D
have a mistrust of canola, and it seems to have infiltrated everything, and I really believe that is not a wise move health wise.
I feel the same way. I have concerns about the fact, from various articles/blogs I've read, that it is genetically modified and the processing involves the use of hexane.
"IBS and Fibro fibro" I have been given the label of irritable bowel syndrome by my family physician, but am not sure whether or not it's a definitive diagnosis because the symptoms and severity don't align with the official description of the condition and people's reported experiences. Then again, I was officially diagnosed by a rheumatologist yet don't fit neatly into the fibromyalgia box, and often wonder if I misled him, but he said after quite a number of blood and other tests that I "definitely have fibromyalgia". All that aside, I can definitely relate to bloating, sometimes abdominal cramps and overactive motility but mostly sluggish, inefficient motility, bloating and gas. My take on it is that it is not surprising that the two conditions occur in tandem given that the abdomen is comprised of muscles, along with the direct connection between the brain and digestive system via the vagus nerve.

" has always been concentrated around my rib cage" - that was one of the telltale signs for me of fibromyalgia, so much so that I could not wear a bra. Even so, I would get ribcage pain, especially on the left side. In later years, when lying down, sitting in a specific position or eating certain foods, I would get a sharp pain directly under my right ribcage, and often wondered if it was related to an abdominal organ in that area (liver, gallbladder, pancreas). Then it would not bother me for periods of time. I don't know if it's related to foods that I eat or toxins I'm exposed to.

"tightness across my upper abdomen and in the center pain that goes around my ribs on one side" - yes, when I eat too much or the wrong kinds of foods (sometimes it's as if I have a malfunctioning shut-off valve; i.e., I know I should stop eating because I'm full, but I continue to eat whether from emotional factors or mental/physical fatigue, which can make me feel angry with myself. On a medical level, the concerning part is that I have a large, hardened cherry angioma directly in the center under the ribcage, and my doctor said to keep an eye on it, so I worry that it may be blocking something.
wow @MissNeverWell !!!

I could have written pretty much all of that !!! I think that is what is good about this site, people have weird symptoms, or an handful of weirdos, and lo and behold...so has someone else, pretty much.

I have a "fat lump" just under the breastbone, at a guess about a centimetre under the skin. I first noticed it a few years ago, very sharp corners and would hurt if accidently pressed on (how i discovered it). I was told not to be concerned, and over time it has slightly grown, but moreso rounded the edges, so not the cutting pain like before.

IBS, I'm the same, doc says no, but the symptoms are there. She said just a few days ago that those symptoms can appear as we get older. the more birthdays, the more fun :D :D

I sometimes feel fake on here, as I don't get the pain that is so common, but am thinking I may be starting on that, with at times 'unable to walk' pains in my feet, like strain/sprain or injury. I'm off for an x-ray in the next week or so, but that's for the right foot, and a day later, it was the left worse than the right !!!

I've been so concerned that something is seriously wrong in my belly. I've even worried that I have that twisted condition that Maurice Gibb had. Doc says no evidence of anything, but still, I think I'd like a full check. This bother of symptoms with no cause, I generally just brush things off. However, I'd like to know I have nothing to worry about. (I'm a worry wort :):). )
I have both fibromyalgia and IBS. I have it it since a teenager but just recently diagnosed. Our symptoms are very similar. My doctor recently prescribed pinaverium bromide for IBS. It works great. I take it before a meal that I know causes me cramps and diarrhea. It's kinda like a digestive aid. My ribs and stomach area get very tight. My massage therapist does a lot of work in that area. It could be costochondritis, which is inflammation in the chest wall. I get gerd too. I don't and never have slept well.
I’ve had IBS(C) for most of my adult life, but wasn’t diagnosed with it until a few years ago (after my dr finally acknowledged that IBS does exist). I was diagnosed as “probable” fibromyalgia late last fall. And at the same time last year, I was also diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (both hands), calcific tendonitis in both shoulders (possibly in one or both knees as well), and two compressed discs in my upper spine. I’ve also had acid reflux for many years. One of the very first things I read about fibromyalgia is that IBS is very often seen in those who develop fibro. And apparently, some researchers believe that carpal tunnel syndrome is often seen in fibromyalgia patients.

For the IBS, I would often add psyllium or Metamucil to my breakfast. Sometimes helped a bit, often didn’t. However, the doctor prescribed Amitriptyline for the fibro pain last year, and while it did absolutely nothing for the pain, I was lucky in that it seems to be helping in two other areas: IBS symptoms have gone down significantly (rarely do I have them any more), and chronic headaches I was having for many years (usually 3-4 per week, some migraines) have all but completely gone.

I know that what works for one person may not do anything for another, but thought I’d share this anyway. I’m quite new to the fibro game and am still trying to adjust to the sudden inability to do so many things I used to never even think about, and attempting to adjust to the pain that is constantly with me. I do wish we could just wave a magic wand and everyone here would be out of pain, no more stress, and “fibromyalgia” would no longer even exist. But until then, I wish you all as much happiness and comfort as possible. 🥰