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IBS Worse While on Period - Any Suggestions?


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#1 snow80

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:22 PM

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I have IBS-D and have noticed that during that *special* time of month that I am on my period, that my IBS symptoms really seem to flare up and get about 10 times worse. In fact, I feel like I spend at least 75% of those days in the bathroom. I usually take Advil for the cramping, but that really doesn't help with the D and I hate to be stuck popping tons of Immodium and Gas-X every day while I'm on my period. Do any of you have any suggestion for ANYTHING that helps you get through your period when your IBS symptoms are worse? I work at an office and I don't really think they'd allow me to take off a week every month to curl up in bed...although it's what I feel like doing...


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#2 Cherrie

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:35 AM

Hi I can totally relate... it's a most painful combination... Maybe you could ask your dr. for some antispasmodics for the IBS pain part? Some antispas also make people a lil C, so the D may get a lil better -- pain killers with Ibuprofin (sp?) or aspirin as the main ingredient tend to irritate the stomach so they may contribute to more pain IBS-wise. For period pain, have you used a heating pad? Sometimes it works for me to keep warm (and it definitely makes it 100% worse if I don't keep warm) -- like taking a hot shower in the morning and before sleep, and then keep myself warm the whole day, like drinking only warm/hot water, no cold dishes. And when you're at work, maybe you could buy those thermo bags which heats up after shaking and put one around your lower ab? See if you could find the kind that has a outer re-usable bag that can be tied to the waist -- that way you can tie it around you under your pants/skirts so no one would even notice you have this on you.Other than that, if your stomach is ok with ginger and some sugar, making yourself a hot ginger drink with dark brown sugar may also help with blood flow so the cramps may be eased a little. Simply dice the ginger, boil some water, and put the diced ginger and dark brown sugar in a cup and pour the hot water in, stir if necessary. If you can find an Asian/Japanese market in your area, you could also try and see if they have the kind of dark brown sugar that's not half as sweet as what's sold in regular stores and it irritates the stomach much less.Or if they have Reishi (sp?) mushroom in an Asian market or health food store, boiling those and drink the liquid may also ease the pain. (Don't ask me to scientifically prove this, though -- I found this unexpectedly in my experiments to find a cure for my insomnia, LOL)These'll hopefully make you feel more comfortable, it usually does some trick for me although I have yet to find a way to completely prevent more pain and D when having my period.
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

#3 anne71

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:01 PM

Periods are the worst. I get so frustrated when I'm trying so hard to be careful and manage my IBS to have it all disappear one week a month. I take birth control pills to shorten my period so I have less time disrupted. The hormone that causes our uterian lining to shed also cause d. Even "normal" women can get period induced d. I take a low dose of advil and immodium through the course of my period to keep the cramping to a minimum. I use Bentyl on my worst two days. My current doctor won't let me take the pills non stop to eliminate my period. But that may be an option. Try convincing your doctor that your IBS requires you to take the pill nonstop, getting rid of your periods. I've read up on this. There is no medical evidence that doing this pill regime will hurt you. Consider it a quality of life issue. If you can't function during your periods, get rid of them. So far, I'm able to function so I haven't pushed it with my doctor.

#4 mindy1597

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:46 PM

I used Pamprin to help with cramps. I found the tylenol based pills to be much easier on my stomach then advil and motrin. Do you have a CVS pharmacy where you live? They make these fabric heat wraps that last over 10 hours. I'd wrap one around my stomach and have just a little heat all day and it did wonders. Make sure to get the CVS brand and not the Thermocare ones (they have magnets or something in them and they are very uncomfortable).Seasonale is a very good bc pill too. Only 4 periods a year.Take care, Mindy
I wonder what it is like to be comfortable in your own body.

IBS 20+ years, hysterectomy & appendectomy.

#5 Jo.1981

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 11:55 AM

I know what your talking about, going to work with IBS was always hard but when you have your period it is so much worse (and I was on the pill) I made the decision to go on the injection to stop my periods all together. Though the injection is not for everyone, When I tried acupuncture the 'doctor' kept telling me I was not a woman because I did not have a period - don't think she understood juct how bad it got.
My hot water bottle IS my best friend

#6 Cherrie

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:02 AM

I'm totally with Mindy on the tylenol vs advil -- I used to take advil and now it's given me a red patch in my stomach that hasn't disappeared after stopping it for a year plus...
Let your love flow outward through the universe, to its height, its depth, its broad extent - a limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, sit or lie down, as long as you are awake, strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. -- Sutta Nipata

#7 swimmer_at_midnight

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 09:17 AM

I hate getting my period! My ibs is always so much worse regardless of what I eat and I get cramps and diarrhea. This month has been really weird though. I don't think I've been eating anything different, but I've been having strange mushy green stools for at least 2 days now. Is that weird? I've never had anything like that before. I felt really nauseous this morning but I don't think that's connected.

#8 RxPlease

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 10:30 PM

I'm with you - I cannot go anywhere during my period, because, like you, I end up on the toilet all day. I work, but luckily have my own office, where I can shut the door, concentrate on work,then make my mad-dash for the ladies room. I also notice that sometimes my IBS-D is so bad that it causes my ovaries to hurt/ache like I'm cramping when it is not time for my period. This really worries me, as I am 30 and me and my husband of 4 years are looking to start family. So far, I have miscarried twice and now can't seem to get pregnant. SIGH. :(

#9 momochan

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 12:36 AM

Amen amen! Finally someone knows what I'm going through. For ME personally, I don't have PCOS but I DO have Ovarian cysts, not nearly as severe as PCOS.. And I have TERRIBLE periods. The trouble is, because I am IBS-D, I can't take ANY painkiller for my cramps and almost every period I empty the entire contents of my colon in one sitting in screaming agony (sorry to be so graphic.) Even my anti-spasmodics don't help me here! I've tried Midol (DEF. a NO-NO for IBS-D types because of the caffeine it makes it worse!), Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen... Ugh, they all make my diarrhea even worse!So not only am I suffering even MORE with my IBS-D, I have horrible period pain to boot! Even the 10 or so types of birth control I tried has just made my IBS-D even worse :( I have found, the ONE AND ONLY thing that has helped me at ALL is my beloved peppermint tea. It soothes my tummy and my cramps.. I swear by this stuff. But even that isn't a cure-all.
Keep on Keepin' on.

#10 zippozippo

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:38 PM

I felt really nauseous this morning but I don't think that's connected.

#11 KBruzzesi

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 01:35 PM

I'm 14 years old, and have had IBS for two years now. Every month I suffer severely fro my period & IBS at the same time and I can't stand it anymore. My tailbone hurts, bloating, cramps, diharrea, nasuea, constipation etc. My mom gave me advil but it didn't work, and now I'm trying Paprin. It really makes me mad that my gastroenterologist can't find a solution to help both issues. My mom doesn't understand how bad it hurts sometimes, and I'm at a breaking point. If anyone has any tips or advice please share.

#12 Glenda

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 11:16 PM

Question ?Is your Gynecologist a Man or a Woman ?I found when I went to my Man Gyne. doctor , I'd get No sympathy from him what so ever and very little help.So I switched to a Woman Gynecologist. Guess what , she had more advice / suggestions then that Man ever would have.She offered more medication suggestions we could try.Woman Gyne's tend to be alot more sympathetic then a Man does.They Know what women go thru , as they are going thru it too.Men don't have monthly cycles , so they can't offer first hand advice , not having been thru these gut kicking symptoms.They can only go by the medical information that they learned in Med School.I'm sure they pick up more info here and there , but the fact still is , they don't have periods , women do.Suggestion > get a woman gynecologist. I think you will recieve so much more help and information and prescription suggestions.Just my input for this situation.

#13 GI_wishIknew

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 04:15 AM

I have the same issues so hopefully sharing somethings that help me might give you some relief. First I try and avoid trigger foods.. I still can get D no matter what but at least less rich foods and things not as unfriendly to digest make it a bit easier. Heat helps A LOT.. I get a while bunch of those thermocare heat wraps.. they are amazing.. and hide well under clothes. So even if you don't feel great you can feel better and look ok still. ;o) Because feeling good about yourself always helps to boost your body's production of "I feel good" hormones.. which is scientifically proven to help relieve pain, sadness, stress, etc.Working out a few days before (especially abs) helps to reduce my cramping pain. Also.. there is are many herbal teas that help me calm my tummy during bad days as well... there is one called 'Sweet Dreams'..it is an herbal tea made by Bigelow Teas (found in nearly all grocery stores). It has a pretty good flavor (especially with a little honey when drinking it warm or even makes a good iced tea in summer :) ). I also would recommend getting plenty of rest and trying to stay relaxed. During that time of the month it can be especially hard to do... so be sure to plan time for de-stressing and time for you. My best 'me time' is actually going for a swim... it is great exercise, helps with my many of issues associated w/ PCOS and IBS.Hope this helps. If I think of anything else I'll be sure to come back and post more. Just to let you know...it has taken me years to get my PCOS and IBS under pretty good control. I still have flare ups (which are usually worse during my period of course) but hang in there. There are LOTS of people put there trying to find what works too. It will take trial and error... so paying super close attention to what helps and what doesn't is a very good start. You sound like you already know some stuff that doesn't work so.. eventhough it may seem really slow... you ARE making progress. I also kept a journal for a little while to track my worst flare ups and that way I could hopefully see what might have caused it. (it also turned out to be a good place to vent my frustrations about my goofed up body that could agree with me to be 'normal'...)lol.. anyway... didnt mean to ramble on. Good Luck! again.. hope this helps... :(

#14 SneakerPimp

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 02:45 AM

Some of my friends find it funny that I'm on the pill, as I'm gay. I obviously don't need it for what it's really intended for. I got my first period at around 14, and was on the pill at 15. One year was enough. I was in absolutely AGONY for at least 2 days a month, forcing me to miss 1-2 days of school every single month. I was bloated and crampy and had loose stools for around 4-5 days per month. I didn't know I had IBS then, but I clearly remember having bad D at that time of the month. I thought that it was 'normal'; I remember how I would know I would be getting my period by how bad my stool was, how often I had to rush to the bathroom. I then found out that no, most other girls didn't get bad D, and then I began feeling like a freak. Anyhow, the pill helped immensely, not only with the D, but also the pain. I take it now to lessen the pain and the D. I have a prescription for 15 packs a year. I take 3 21-count packs in a row, and then a week off. So I only have 4 periods a year, although many months (like right now!) I 'spot' and have maybe a day of cramping and bleeding. I went off the pill for a few months to see how I would feel and I can tell you I am not going to be doing that again anytime soon.I don't take midol or others because of the caffeine. I do end up taking several tylenol a day to help, and often I heat up my magic bag. I'm extra careful about food.I do find though that when I'm on my period I pee ALL THE TIME. Especially in the morning. I'll go literally every 10-15 minutes. It's ridiculous. Anyone else get that?

#15 blondeoverblue24

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 03:24 PM

If you cannot get your doctor to prescribe continuous birth control (which is really quite safe, I'm surprised to hear of someone who will not), you might want to look into seasonale (which now has a generic version) or seasonique. Both decrease your periods to four times a year, which makes quite a difference. I have been on both of them in the past (I had to switch to progesterone pills due to my history of traditional migraine) and found that when I did get my period during them, it was much lighter and led to much less IBS symptoms than it had in the past.I do advocate taking ibuprofen or some other anti-inflammtory a couple of days before your period - It helps decrease production of a substance that can cause cramping/pain.

#16 jenzul

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 11:30 AM

I have been diagnosed with IBS D for 6 months now. It all started with one of my periods. Every time of the month is worse for me also. Frequent loose stools , loss of appetite, nausea,gas and bloating. I was wondering if anyone tried an IUD and if that helped?? I'm not having anymore children, I'm 35 with 3 already. I feel like if I can make my period go away it would help my IBS so much! Any advice??

#17 TanaG

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:40 AM

I've always had D while on my period...even before I started to get D all of the time...Am not sure there is any solution for it....maybe some no-spa and calcium might help!

#18 blondeoverblue24

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:48 PM

Theoretically, an IUD should help stabilize the hormone levels as well. I toyed with getting one when I found I couldn't use estrogen pills, but they typically recommend them in women who have been pregnant before, and I never have....So I'll have to wait awhile on that one!

#19 lunaflute

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 03:07 AM

I have had the same problem really bad IBS and made worse by horrendously bad period pain, which didn't always respond to painkillers. I recently started taking peppermint oil and my period pains have suddenly become completely manageable and virtually non existent.

#20 TanaG

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 01:28 PM

Try taking calcium chloride 3 times a day. It helps with the bleeding and with the D. And also try any anti-inflammatory that you can find on the market...normally aspirin would do but there are better and stronger. You have to help your ovaries and uterus while on your period...they're "pissed off" so to say and they irritate your bowels as well.Good luck!





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