Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is There A Connection?

Fibromyalgia  syndrome is associated with chronic severe muscle or soft tissue pain. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, cognitive dysfunction, depression, and anxiety.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that involves abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, as well as changes in bowel movements – constipation or diarrhea, or alternation of both. People with IBS often experience anxiety and depression.
Millions of people have at least one of these conditions. Fibromyalgia affects over 5 million U.S. adults, and an estimated 25 million to 45 million people in the U.S. have IBS.
Studies are now showing that if you have fibromyalgia or IBS, you may be more likely to have the other one, too.
In one study, 32% of people with IBS also had fibro symptoms compared with 4% of people without IBS. Another study showed fibromyalgia occurring in 20% of people with IBS. And studies have estimated 32% to 70% of people with fibromyalgia also meet criteria for IBS.
I find that about 80% of my fibro patient’s has IBS.
Fibromyalgia and IBS don’t always go together. They’re two separate conditions.
Pain Processing
Researchers see a possible pain link between IBS and fibromyalgia. In short, people with those conditions respond to pain differently than people without the two conditions.
IBS patients are hypersensitive to intestinal pain; people with fibromyalgia are hypersensitive to skin, soft tissue, and muscle pain. Both have a lowered threshold to pain in general. In fibromyalgia, the central nervous system may be highly sensitive, making someone feel more pain than what someone without fibromyalgia would feel in a similar situation.
The neurotransmitter, serotonin has been linked with both fibromyalgia and IBS.
I find that once I start to return my patients serotonin level to normal their IBS goes away within a couple of weeks.
If you’d like to know more about reversing IBS please see my past article Treating and Beating IBS click on the link below-

1 reply
  1. aleana
    aleana says:

    I have fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. I don’t know about a health connection. What I do know is that there is a medicine connection. Many of the medicines given for fibromyalgia contain polysorbate 80 or polysorbate 60, 40, 20 etc. Polysorbate 80 is an emulsifier (keeps fats and water elements together). It is found in many foods such as pickles (to make them crisp), peanut butter, cottage cheese, salad dressings, body care products, ibuprophen, tramadol, etc. The list is long. Polysorbate 80 has other names, i.e., tween. Stay off of products with it for two weeks, and then add back to diet. If allergic, you may get severe cramps and diarrhea.

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