I would like to address some more symptoms of IBS that aren't normally thought of as being part of the usual symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, wind and bloating.
There are many more symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome that are just as important to recognise in IBS, some of which you might not have realised.
You may be suffering from some of these and not even realised they were associated.
On this page, I will discuss these in more detail for you:
Lethargy is a common symptom. What is this? It’s a feeling of sluggishness, slowness or dullness and is common to a lot of illnesses. Why does this occur with Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Good question, no one really knows.
There have been hypotheses made about toxin build up (particularly in IBS-C), may be an unexplained nutritional deficiency or even depression which is more common to IBS.
Excessive tiredness is another one of those symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome that is also common to a lot of illnesses.
The cause of tiredness is unknown, but factors such as lack of sleep, stress, depression, constipation (see the constipation page) and the brain-gut pathway have all been hypothesised as underlying this.
However, I suspect that this is most likely multi-factorial.
Nausea can be just as disabling as lethargy and tiredness. Nausea appears to be more common in constipation-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome and treatments to address the constipation can sometimes help.
Anxiety associated with this illness may also exacerbate IBS and treating anxiety may help. Probiotics might have a role to play in improving symptoms along with IBS diet.
These can help more symptoms of IBS than just the bowel symptoms.
General muscle aches are common too and often associated with lethargy.
This is difficult to treat, but sometimes addressing any weight issues, aromatherapy and even hypnotherapy can help with this.
An illness closely associated with IBS known as fibromyalgia may be contributing to this.
Urine frequency, normally thought of in the context of urine infections, diabetes and excessive drinking can also be seen in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The cause of this is thought to be due to pressure on the bladder from bloating and wind as well as the constipated bowel.
Headaches are common and often associated with tiredness and fatigue.
If depression is present, symptoms can often be worse. Hypotheses including toxin build up, anxiety and stress have all been made in the aetiology of this symptom.
Abdominal pain can occur during sex and this can cause stress in a relationship.
The cause of this maybe direct bowel stimulation, hormonal influences associated with sex and psychology as well.
Reduced libido is also more common in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and this too can be an issue to some sufferers.
Dyspareunia or painful sex is also more common with this condition.
These symptoms occur in 10-20% of sufferers and can be quite disabling.
Reflux, pain in the upper abdomen, excessive belching and wind are all attributed.
Fortunately there are good treatments available for Indigestion symptoms and you can read more about this in the indigestion section of the website.
Anxiety and depression are common in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and coping strategies plus medications can really help some sufferers.
So now you can see there are many more symptoms of IBS than you might expect.