Fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) share a connection with chronic pain. IBS is a gastrointestinal condition that affects eight to 20 percent of the population. Fibromyalgia is a condition categorized by allover chronic pain. Symptoms such as skin rashes, muscle contractions and myalgia are reported in two-thirds of IBS patients. Other research has found an overlap between IBS and fibromyalgia, suggesting that a common cause may be shared between the two conditions.
Fibromyalgia has been seen in up to 60 percent of IBS patients, and 70 percent of fibromyalgia patients are diagnosed with IBS.
Although pain in IBS is generally gastrointestinal and fibromyalgia pain is muscular, they both share common characteristics: they are both pain disorders that cannot be explained through structural or biochemical abnormalities; they both commonly occur in women; patients typically link stressful life events with worsening of symptoms; patients complain of sleep problems; psychotherapy and behavioral therapies seem to improve both conditions; and certain medications can treat both conditions.
Both irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia have much overlap, so if you have both conditions, you should take the necessary steps to help manage both at the same time, which can really simplify your life and can help you feel better. Although common management of IBS and fibromyalgia may involve medications, there are still plenty of non-drug therapies you can utilize for better management, including:
Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia involves targeting the symptoms as there is no cure for either condition. Aside from the lifestyle habits listed above, medications can also be prescribed to help better treat symptoms.
Medications may be prescribed to combat inflammation, damaged tissue and, more specific to IBS medications, to treat constipation and diarrhea.
For proper treatment, speaking with your doctor can help address your concerns surrounding fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.