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This is a bit long, but this is how I identified the cause of my IBS and found a treatment that is working.

I've had IBS-C for 5ish years and it didn't seem to have any pattern for when it acted up. Foods didn't seem to trigger it because I could eat the same thing one day and be fine then the other days I'd be super tight, bloated, and in pain. It didn't seem like anxiety was the issue either because Id be mentally relaxed and fine but I'd still have pain. I was diagnosed with "Splenic Flexure Syndrome" (when the Splenic Flexure stays contracted it can cause basically identical symptoms to a heart attack) by a gastroenterologist. I also had pain on my left side/the left side back from my neck to my hip that I always attributed to my IBS.

I mentioned my symptoms to a teammate in a summer league I played on and he asked if I had back pain and pointed directly to every spot I had pain in. After doing some stretches/breathing techniques he recommended I saw some relief. So I saw a really bad Osteopath then I saw a really good Chiropractor. He informed me that compression in the back can pinch nerves that can trigger spasms in the intestines. After a few sessions of decompression work followed by e-stim therapy my symptoms are improving dramatically. For the first time in years I feel like my life is manageable and worth living again. I'm far from 100% but I'm continuing to improve.

•Every morning I lay on an acupuncture mat. After a couple minutes my intestines gurgle and relax. It's been a real game changer. It can be a bit painful at first but if you really relax into the mat the pain dissipates after a minute as the muscles loosen.
•Then I do lower back stretches, like "zombie crawl" and "L-stretch"
•Then I use the acupuncture mat again for a minute or so
•Then use a heating pad for like 5-10 minutes


*Be CARFUL when stretching (I found this out the hard way). I was tense and frustrated during a flare up and aggressively over-stretched which made things so much worse. The goal is to relax your muscles. Gentle slow stretching helps me a lot more now.

*My back problems very well could have been caused by anxiety/depression issues that went untreated for years. I am 2 years sober and got a handle on my anxiety/depression.

* "Progressive muscle relaxation" techniques I find on YouTube also helped begin to build a mind muscle connection to identify when my body begins to subconsciously "defensively posture" itself. Sometimes I'll realize I'm walking around with my abs contracted which begins to put me more on edge. I can consciously release my abs and feel my gut loosen.

I hope this can be helpful to someone and feel free to ask questions or offer any advice/insight
 

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This is a bit long, but this is how I identified the cause of my IBS and found a treatment that is working.

I've had IBS-C for 5ish years and it didn't seem to have any pattern for when it acted up. Foods didn't seem to trigger it because I could eat the same thing one day and be fine then the other days I'd be super tight, bloated, and in pain. It didn't seem like anxiety was the issue either because Id be mentally relaxed and fine but I'd still have pain. I was diagnosed with "Splenic Flexure Syndrome" (when the Splenic Flexure stays contracted it can cause basically identical symptoms to a heart attack) by a gastroenterologist. I also had pain on my left side/the left side back from my neck to my hip that I always attributed to my IBS.

I mentioned my symptoms to a teammate in a summer league I played on and he asked if I had back pain and pointed directly to every spot I had pain in. After doing some stretches/breathing techniques he recommended I saw some relief. So I saw a really bad Osteopath then I saw a really good Chiropractor. He informed me that compression in the back can pinch nerves that can trigger spasms in the intestines. After a few sessions of decompression work followed by e-stim therapy my symptoms are improving dramatically. For the first time in years I feel like my life is manageable and worth living again. I'm far from 100% but I'm continuing to improve.

•Every morning I lay on an acupuncture mat. After a couple minutes my intestines gurgle and relax. It's been a real game changer. It can be a bit painful at first but if you really relax into the mat the pain dissipates after a minute as the muscles loosen.
•Then I do lower back stretches, like "zombie crawl" and "L-stretch"
•Then I use the acupuncture mat again for a minute or so
•Then use a heating pad for like 5-10 minutes


*Be CARFUL when stretching (I found this out the hard way). I was tense and frustrated during a flare up and aggressively over-stretched which made things so much worse. The goal is to relax your muscles. Gentle slow stretching helps me a lot more now.

*My back problems very well could have been caused by anxiety/depression issues that went untreated for years. I am 2 years sober and got a handle on my anxiety/depression.

* "Progressive muscle relaxation" techniques I find on YouTube also helped begin to build a mind muscle connection to identify when my body begins to subconsciously "defensively posture" itself. Sometimes I'll realize I'm walking around with my abs contracted which begins to put me more on edge. I can consciously release my abs and feel my gut loosen.

I hope this can be helpful to someone and feel free to ask questions or offer any advice/insight
Very interesting analysis, Kubby! I'm particularly interested in what your chiropractor said about pinched nerves, as that is the cause of my IBS. I KNOW I have irritated nerves in the lumbar spine. I'm 75 years old, have extensive arthritis throughout the entire spine, and stenosis in the lumbar/sacral area. An MRI in 2019 showed (among many other things) bony growths in the L4/L5 area, which explained the numbness and tingling I was having in my legs. Well, a long period of physical therapy strengthened my back muscles, which had the effect of stabilizing my spine, thereby reducing the nerve contact with the bony growth, and happily the numbness was significantly reduced. HOWEVER, there's still some nerve impingement that is affecting the GI tract; in my case it's reducing gut motility, meaning food doesn't move properly through the gut, leaving me with gas, bloating, etc.

I'm currently treating my IBS with alternative methods, which I described the other day in a different post. I'll see if I can copy that into a new post to continue this discussion with you.

Pat
 

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This is a bit long, but this is how I identified the cause of my IBS and found a treatment that is working.

I've had IBS-C for 5ish years and it didn't seem to have any pattern for when it acted up. Foods didn't seem to trigger it because I could eat the same thing one day and be fine then the other days I'd be super tight, bloated, and in pain. It didn't seem like anxiety was the issue either because Id be mentally relaxed and fine but I'd still have pain. I was diagnosed with "Splenic Flexure Syndrome" (when the Splenic Flexure stays contracted it can cause basically identical symptoms to a heart attack) by a gastroenterologist. I also had pain on my left side/the left side back from my neck to my hip that I always attributed to my IBS.

I mentioned my symptoms to a teammate in a summer league I played on and he asked if I had back pain and pointed directly to every spot I had pain in. After doing some stretches/breathing techniques he recommended I saw some relief. So I saw a really bad Osteopath then I saw a really good Chiropractor. He informed me that compression in the back can pinch nerves that can trigger spasms in the intestines. After a few sessions of decompression work followed by e-stim therapy my symptoms are improving dramatically. For the first time in years I feel like my life is manageable and worth living again. I'm far from 100% but I'm continuing to improve.

•Every morning I lay on an acupuncture mat. After a couple minutes my intestines gurgle and relax. It's been a real game changer. It can be a bit painful at first but if you really relax into the mat the pain dissipates after a minute as the muscles loosen.
•Then I do lower back stretches, like "zombie crawl" and "L-stretch"
•Then I use the acupuncture mat again for a minute or so
•Then use a heating pad for like 5-10 minutes


*Be CARFUL when stretching (I found this out the hard way). I was tense and frustrated during a flare up and aggressively over-stretched which made things so much worse. The goal is to relax your muscles. Gentle slow stretching helps me a lot more now.

*My back problems very well could have been caused by anxiety/depression issues that went untreated for years. I am 2 years sober and got a handle on my anxiety/depression.

* "Progressive muscle relaxation" techniques I find on YouTube also helped begin to build a mind muscle connection to identify when my body begins to subconsciously "defensively posture" itself. Sometimes I'll realize I'm walking around with my abs contracted which begins to put me more on edge. I can consciously release my abs and feel my gut loosen.

I hope this can be helpful to someone and feel free to ask questions or offer any advice/insight
OK, Kubby, I'm back. In that earlier post I wrote that I'm having acupuncture once a week; then practicing acupressure daily at home; taking some Chinese herbal blends; and practicing Abdominal Massage every day. Here's the paragraph about Abdominal Massage:

"One thing that you might find helpful is Abdominal Massage. It's used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions. You massage your abdomen clockwise, starting at the bottom of the ascending colon, across the transverse colon, and then down the descending colon (in other words, the route taken by fecal material as it moves through the large intestine). There are lots of videos showing various forms of Abdominal Massage, but the one I would recommend is at the Healthline site (search <Healthline abdominal massage>). It corresponds to the method I've seen in my Chinese and Indian health books. Other videos show some yoga abdominal massage techniques. Some I just didn't like, some I doubted would work, and some were too aggressive for my preferences. I follow the advice of Dr. Anil Minocha, a gastroenterologist at the Univ. of Mississippi Medical Center, in his book "Natural Stomach Care" (a blend of Eastern and Western healing therapies), who says to do this for 5-10 minutes. I do it every day both to relieve intestinal gas and to stimulate peristalsis (which eases constipation)."
This is a bit long, but this is how I identified the cause of my IBS and found a treatment that is working.

I've had IBS-C for 5ish years and it didn't seem to have any pattern for when it acted up. Foods didn't seem to trigger it because I could eat the same thing one day and be fine then the other days I'd be super tight, bloated, and in pain. It didn't seem like anxiety was the issue either because Id be mentally relaxed and fine but I'd still have pain. I was diagnosed with "Splenic Flexure Syndrome" (when the Splenic Flexure stays contracted it can cause basically identical symptoms to a heart attack) by a gastroenterologist. I also had pain on my left side/the left side back from my neck to my hip that I always attributed to my IBS.

I mentioned my symptoms to a teammate in a summer league I played on and he asked if I had back pain and pointed directly to every spot I had pain in. After doing some stretches/breathing techniques he recommended I saw some relief. So I saw a really bad Osteopath then I saw a really good Chiropractor. He informed me that compression in the back can pinch nerves that can trigger spasms in the intestines. After a few sessions of decompression work followed by e-stim therapy my symptoms are improving dramatically. For the first time in years I feel like my life is manageable and worth living again. I'm far from 100% but I'm continuing to improve.

•Every morning I lay on an acupuncture mat. After a couple minutes my intestines gurgle and relax. It's been a real game changer. It can be a bit painful at first but if you really relax into the mat the pain dissipates after a minute as the muscles loosen.
•Then I do lower back stretches, like "zombie crawl" and "L-stretch"
•Then I use the acupuncture mat again for a minute or so
•Then use a heating pad for like 5-10 minutes


*Be CARFUL when stretching (I found this out the hard way). I was tense and frustrated during a flare up and aggressively over-stretched which made things so much worse. The goal is to relax your muscles. Gentle slow stretching helps me a lot more now.

*My back problems very well could have been caused by anxiety/depression issues that went untreated for years. I am 2 years sober and got a handle on my anxiety/depression.

* "Progressive muscle relaxation" techniques I find on YouTube also helped begin to build a mind muscle connection to identify when my body begins to subconsciously "defensively posture" itself. Sometimes I'll realize I'm walking around with my abs contracted which begins to put me more on edge. I can consciously release my abs and feel my gut loosen.

I hope this can be helpful to someone and feel free to ask questions or offer any advice/insight
Hmmm, I started this reply and then suddenly it disappeared.....Well, I'll try again....hope it's not a duplicate....

Kubby, here's the main paragraph from my post of a few days ago. I mentioned that I was having acupuncture once a week; practicing acupressure daily at home; taking Chinese herbal blends; and using Chinese massage. Then I wrote this paragraph about Chinese massage:

"One thing that you might find helpful is Abdominal Massage. It's used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions. You massage your abdomen clockwise, starting at the bottom of the ascending colon, across the transverse colon, and then down the descending colon (in other words, the route taken by fecal material as it moves through the large intestine). There are lots of videos showing various forms of Abdominal Massage, but the one I would recommend is at the Healthline site (search <Healthline abdominal massage>). It corresponds to the method I've seen in my Chinese and Indian health books. Other videos show some yoga abdominal massage techniques. Some I just didn't like, some I doubted would work, and some were too aggressive for my preferences. I follow the advice of Dr. Anil Minocha, a gastroenterologist at the Univ. of Mississippi Medical Center, in his book "Natural Stomach Care" (a blend of Eastern and Western healing therapies), who says to do this for 5-10 minutes. I do it every day both to relieve intestinal gas and to stimulate peristalsis (which eases constipation)."

I've been doing some reading in the scientific literature and am greatly encouraged by research showing how well Abdominal Massage stimulates the functions of the GI tract. I don't know if we're allowed to post links in our messages, so I won't do that right now.

I had never heard of acupuncture mats. So glad you mentioned them! I think one would be good for me, must investigate now! Thanks!
 

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That’s really interesting that you found back problems were a major contributor to your ibs. I see physical therapy for an issue unrelated to my ibs but maybe I will ask if problems in my back could be contributing to my constipation.
 

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That’s really interesting that you found back problems were a major contributor to your ibs. I see physical therapy for an issue unrelated to my ibs but maybe I will ask if problems in my back could be contributing to my constipation.
Hello Sunstar,

I think it will depend on WHICH spinal nerves are being pinched. I don't know the locations of all the the nerves that regulate the GI tract. For example, maybe cervical and thoracic nerves aren't involved in GI regulation; maybe it's only the lumbar/sacral nerves, which in my case are definitely being irritated by bony growths. Your PT will know, though.

I'm also reading about the vagus nerve and the Gut-Brain Axis, trying to understand how much influence people can exert on the autonomic nervous system, in hopes of improving gut motility. Right now I have too much information jumbled in my brain to offer any coherent suggestions. Maybe later....
 
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