Living with Fibromyalgia and IBS

Living Creatively with Fibro | Fibromyalgia & IBS Blog Title Graphic

As promised last week we are beginning the new series of “Fibromyalgia &” with Fibromyalgia and IBS. In my case, the IBS has been around for well, you wouldn’t get much change from thirty years, wow do I feel old saying that. So it was well and truly in residence long before probably anybody I knew had ever heard of Fibromyalgia. It was not a constant in my life; it would arrive when it fancied.

The first appearance was quite spectacular during my GCSE examinations (High School Diploma for my American friends) I think it was down to stress. From then it may disappear for literally a year or more and come back when it wanted. Since I’ve had Fibromyalgia it is here more often than not and most definitely outstays it’s welcome.

The purpose of this post

As I mentioned in the Introduction to the Series the reason for these posts is to concentrate on the experience of managing Fibromyalgia alongside overlapping conditions. There is plenty of information available about either one of them individually, but it is the overlap that interests me.  If you have stumbled upon this post and you want to know more about what Fibromyalgia is you can read this post. You can get some medical information from the NHS about IBS and Fibromyalgia.

How do Fibromyalgia and IBS affect me?

I feel that the IBS impacts the Fibromyalgia more than the other way around. We all know that one of the symptoms of IBS is Diarrhoea and it does not always give you much notice of its arrival. When you have Fibromyalgia, you are juggling a minimum of pain and exhaustion at any one time. Although there are people who manage to maintain sporting activities while living with Fibro some of us do not, I’m sure I don’t have to spell out to you the implications of having to move a lot quicker than usual to get to a bathroom… Toilets are not the most comfortable of seating, and for all the hurried nature of diarrhoea it is episodic, and sometimes you are safer staying put rather than trying to move to somewhere more comfortable because let’s face it the first trip uses a lot of spoons! I have discovered since having Fibromyalgia that having to sit on a toilet for more than fifteen minutes can cut off the blood to my lower legs which gives me pins and needles followed by a loss of sensation. The recovery from an attack has far more impact on my day to day life than it did before I had Fibro. Let’s face it when you have diarrhoea you literally have the stuffing knocked out of you to put it politely, and that uses spoons! Probably the next couple of hours worth at least.  If I am unlucky enough to have to make repeated trips to the bathroom (it is the floor below our flatlet) I sometimes don’t have any energy to do anything else of the rest of the day that can’t be done from the sofa. Before becoming a spoonie, I would take some Immodium and once the churning stopped carry on my day as usual.

Spoonie with IBS

Who else understands living with Fibro and IBS:

Fibromyalgia and Severe IBS have control of all aspects of my life which has caused me to be very careful with regards to food I eat and my stress levels. I have also had to be very careful with the amount of exercise I do as to not put too much pressure on my knees. I manage this on a daily basis but people do not understand how difficult it can be to maintain a ‘normal’ life while dealing with all these added extras. I am slowly getting there and figuring out what works best for managing my conditions ? I have found that Origami is the best way to reduce my stress levels and focus on something other than pain.

Jamie Origami by Jamie

Do you want to have a link here?

If you have a blog and write about Fibro & IBS, I am happy to share a link to your blog or a post. If you don’t have a blog but you are active on social media, and you are happy for your details to be shared here likewise let me know. Let’s see if we can build a community of people who live with Fibro & IBS and can answer questions or offer help and support to others who are struggling. I look forward to working together to help and support each other and anyone else who needs some reassurance or a heads up on what to expect.

Until next time,
Gentle Hugs,

3 responses to “Living with Fibromyalgia and IBS”

  1. lynne said avatar

    Hi Susan x Thanks for your post. I’ve found it very difficult to know when something is overlapping fibro, I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid just before fibro…although fibro symptoms had been going on for years and no signs of problems with thyroid until 2014. There are many conditions that overlap fibro. I heard that you can have symptoms like IBS which I definitely have, but never been diagnosed, I really just put it down to fibro. This post has prompted me to give the doctor a call and see 🙂 I understand that there have been lots of tests on Vit D and IBS and by increasing your intake it can help to manage symptoms xx Have a lovely day.

    1. Susan Pearson avatar

      Thanks Lynne, I have to confess that since I was diagnosed with IBS as a teenager I have not really sort any medical help for it. For a lot of my life it has been dormant but since I developed the Fibro it has made its presence known on a more regular schedule. I should really see if there is anything they want to do about it as treatments will no doubt have come along from the days of giving you Fibro gel sachets (yuk!) It does seem to come in phases and I can’t at this point link it to any specific foods. Thank you for taking the time to comment xx

  2. Gary McArthur avatar

    Wish I’d read this before writing my recent post Susan! I could have done with knowing how shy Fibro folk are when talking about this subject.

    My GP is always saying there is no link between Fibro and IBS – I feel like smacking him lol – Change of GP on the cards.

    Thanks for commenting on my page.

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