Fibromyalgia is often associated with pain and tenderness throughout the body. However, there are just as many intestinal issues associated with fibromyalgia that are often not spoken about as much as the pain and tenderness.
A study in 2002 found that diarrhea occurs in around 90% of patients who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This speaks to just how common this is! The problem is that this is an embarrassment for most sufferers.
They may not tell their physicians that they are having this issue, and the person can easily feel as though they are being isolated from the rest of the world when this issue flares up and they cannot go to work or out in public without having to run to the bathroom.
However, there is no shame in having this symptom of fibromyalgia, as it is common. The key is to learn how to deal with this so that it does not affect your everyday life.
Signs You Have Diarrhea with Fibromyalgia
For many people, when they develop diarrhea and have fibromyalgia, they may often mistake this for a virus or flu of some sort.
The reason being is that they have the diarrhea, but they also may have pain throughout their body, which many people associated with other illnesses.
However, when this condition lasts for several days and seems to reoccur, then that is when the underlying issue could be fibromyalgia and diarrhea.
The primary signs of diarrhea associated with fibromyalgia include:
- Having a frequent need to visit the bathroom
- Urges may come on suddenly, especially after eating a snack or meal
- A nauseous feeling
- Feeling as though the bowels never completely empty
- Excessive gas
- Losing control of your bowels
This issue may be referred to as IBS-D. Which is Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Diarrhea.
Diagnosing this Issue
Diagnosing this issue is a bit harder since there are everyday aspects that can make a person have diarrhea. Also, there are several issues that this can be like this issue.
The key for medical providers is to determine whether fibromyalgia is active in the patient. Once this is determined, they will have an easier time of looking at other illnesses that may be related to the fibromyalgia. For those who have constant diarrhea, they are going to be given a series of tests.
These tests may include:
- Questions about when this started, the effect this is having on your life, and if there someone in your immediate family who has similar issues.
- Stool test to ensure that parasites and other issues are not the main cause for this problem.
- Rectal exam to ensure there is nothing out of normal in this area.
- Lower GI series: This is an x-ray of intestine to see if there is anything wrong in this area that could be causing this issue.
- Colonoscopy: This is going to insert a camera into the lower intestines to determine if there are any signs that there are other issues that are present in the intestines that cause this issue. For example, Chron’s disease often mimics the same symptoms.
Treating Diarrhea When You Have Fibromyalgia
For those who have fibromyalgia and diarrhea, the regular treatment of diarrhea such as letting this run its course or taking an anti-diarrhea medication are not going to have much effect on this.
It has been found that those who suffer with both of these issues that they have a much lower quality of living.
However, if you find the right treatment, you are going to find that this can greatly enhance your quality of life.
Some treatment options that you can consider are going to be those that you do yourself at home. These options include:
- Ensure that you are drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. This ensures that you stay hydrated which can help with the cramping and stomach issues that you feel.
- Keep a food diary of what you eat and if this causes issues. This can be a great tool for determining how you need to alter your diet to avoid diarrhea.
- Reduce the stress in your life! This is easier said than done, but there are massages, and other activities that you can do in order to ensure that your stress levels are not getting out of hand.
- Ensure that you get the proper amount of sleep as this is going to help to heal your body, while also reducing the stress that your feet.
There are also several medications that you can utilize under the care of a physician. These medications may be:
- Prescription medications designed for IBS sufferers
- Anti-diarrhea medications to help aid the cramping that is often felt with this illness
If You Have Fibromyalgia Will You Get Diarrhea?
One of the main questions that people ask when they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia is if this is going to mean that they will develop chronic diarrhea or IBS?
The answer to this is maybe. A study found that 70% of those with fibromyalgia will develop IBS which could mean having chronic diarrhea. This does not mean that you will develop this, but it is highly likely.
If you want to prevent this from happening, you may find that having a strong exercise routine, eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest and basically doing all that you can do in order to be healthy can be your best bet to fight this.
However, there are many people who still after doing these things, still develop diarrhea with their fibromyalgia.
These two connecting illnesses are constantly being studied and observed. Therefore, while you may have to deal with this for now.
You may find that later down the line, there becomes a better treatment option that you can utilize.
The good news is that these are both functional illnesses. This means that you are going to be able to keep with your daily life and not miss out on anything.