Skip to content

in this discussion +57 following Follow this discussion

Back pain and IBS

I've recently been diagnosed with IBS after a bad bout of what I thought was trapped wind. The symptoms listed in various articles seem to bear this diagnosis out. However, nothing much is said about back pain. My IBS spasms start with bad back pain which then spreads round the right side to the front (I think it's called the epigastrium).

It mainly starts in the evenings and can end as abruptly as it starts for no apparent reason, leaving me feeling pretty tired. Otherwise I go and lie down and it eventually eases off.

Does anyone else get this with IBS?

Report Share
Support this with a vote 3

90 Replies

  • Whatapain

    I've suffered from IBS for several years now. It does seem to be much worse at night, and I have quite a lot of sleepless nights, when the pains get so bad and I'm constantly going to the toilet as it feels like I need to empty my bowels - usually to no avail. I'm currently quite unwell, having had a kidney infection, whick has made the IBS much worse, with lots of wind and associated pains and really bad lower back pain. I've been taking Buscopan and Mebeverine for some time now. I don't know if they help as the pain never really goes away - I keep taking them as I think the pain would be much worse if I didn't. I sometimes find lying in a warm bath is helpful. It is embarrashing having wind, especially when you cannot control it at the workplace. Is there anything that gets rid of wind, in a less embarrashing way? Does anyone know of any other treatments to ease the pains?

    1 vote Report Share reply to Whatapain

  • Rachy17

    HI all, Ive been recently experiencing bad diarrhoea, well for a little while now. I first put it down to my medication but now Ive been reading up on IBS. I have had a bad back for days now and on and off having diarrhoea. Im starting to think i have IBS. I havent been to work i left early on wednesday and was off thursday anyway. Im having a review of my sickness on the 5th november as have been off with various other things and now ive been off with this. Im so worried im going to lose my job. Do you think this sounds like IBS?

    0 votes Report Share reply to Rachy17

  • Runner Bean

    Hi, due to a stressful event in my life the result is now IBS! I suffer back pain and stomach pain which normally lasts about 5-10 minutes and goes as quick as it starts. I've found that ice water and pure aloe vera gel have really helped. I've been waking up with cramps/spasms and drinking the aloe vera and noticed its calming and the pain goes quicker so I can go back to sleep.

    I'm hoping it'll calm down and go as things progress but I've known others who found aloe helped them a lot and so am trying it myself and will drink it everyday for the next month and update you.

    1 vote Report Share reply to Runner Bean

  • jane19

    Hi. I'm new to this forum. I've suffered with chronic IBS/H Pylori/Anxiety issues for over 10 years. It's been hellish. Almost daily I feel like I'm having a heart attack and have been hospitalised several times for ECGs etc and they always say it's my stomach. It doesn't matter what I eat - even a slice of toast can cause heartburn and trapped wind. For a while now it's been worse in my back and chest. I've had an Endoscopy and it was normal. I've tested positive for H Pylori but no active infection at the moment. I'm so tired all the time and look and feel bloated and awful. In desperation one doctor gave me a prescription for 6 different medications to take. Nothing seems to work. Last time I had severe chest pains the doctor at hospital suggested I up my intake of Omeprazole to 80mcg a day - the recommended dosage is 20mcg doubling to 40mcg for short periods. It's a life-changing condition and everyone seems to think it's hilarious when you've got heartburn or trapped wind. I can be OK for a couple of weeks then it starts up again. Right at this very moment I'm in the middle of a severe attack with pains between my shoulders and back and chest. A little burp gives me relief for seconds before it starts up again. I've tried natural remedies as well as reflexology and oesteopathy. You all have my sympathies. It's thoroughly unpleasant.

    0 votes Report Share reply to jane19

  • daniel14

    Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with IBS this morning at a walk in centre. For a long time i've had feelings of bloatedness and onoff diaerrea and always put it down to something in my diet. It has never been discomforting until last year when i came down with severe stomach cramps and pain my lower back. The pain was unbeliveable and i thought i was going to die. It went as quickly as it came after taking ibuprofen and i forgot all about it until i had it again yesterday. The pain was just as before, i could't even think straight let alone do anything at all. So i took myself down to the hospital to have it checked. The doctor ruled out my appendix or urinary infection and confirmed IBS.

    It is good to have this forum, now I know I'm not alone in my pain and missery!

    Now I'm having a long hard look at my diet, it will be tough to cut out my daily coca cola and i love curries and chili sauce, so they're out as well.

    I find sitting down helps best which is what i'm doing now as i currently still have the symptoms. Drinking peppermint tea which is revolting! With a hot waterbottle on my tummy, ibuprofen on stand by which works quite well and i also have mebeverine. I also picked up some Senokot from the pharmacy but not sure if I should take them.

    1 vote Report Share reply to daniel14

  • RJ92

    I've never experienced much back pain with my IBS but I do get a lot of stomach cramps and on/off diarrhoea and my stomach never feels comfortable.

    I am undergoing lots of tests to see if there is any other cause, I have an ultrasound and a colonoscopy coming up (dreading it!)

    But I did take a laxative once before (dulcolax i think) and was woken up at 5am with very intense stomach pains - I know this doesn't happen to everybody but just a warning maybe make sure you desperately need them before taking them.

    Hope you find something that helps.

    1 vote Report Share reply to RJ92

  • daniel14

    Thanks RJ92, i suppose there's no exact science behind it all so i'll try the Senokot and see what happens! On the plus side i work for an NHS practice in admin so i'll be in good hands if i get IBS at work!!

    0 votes Report Share reply to daniel14

  • RJ92

    No I don't think there is, I'm keeping a food diary at the moment but I can't spot any pattern my syptoms flare up randomly and especially when I'm stressed. Haha that is very fortunate, I'm doing a science based course at University, hoping to get into the NHS as well!

    0 votes Report Share reply to RJ92

  • michele12

    Hi all!

    Have any of you tried the FODMAPS diet? I have had IBS to some degree all my life. I'm in my 40's now and recently started this diet and it has changed my life. I was recently in so much pain I was thinking I can't cope with this any more!

    I had no idea that apple, avocado, celery etc etc were responsible for so much of my pain. I already knew that bread sometimes really hurt me and things like onions.

    The good news is that once I have "reset" my stomach I can try these things again gradually and I may be able to eat them again.

    I have the Monash FODMAP app on my phone and refer to it before I eat anything, as I'm still going through the reset part.

    0 votes Report Share reply to michele12

  • michele12

    I forgot to mention that when I was having a BAD attack I had really bad irritable bladder and back problems too.

    I would be going to the loo several times an hour, a tiny amount of urine each time, but after a week I can not believe the difference.

    0 votes Report Share reply to michele12

  • yves

    IBS is poorly understood because it is badly categorized - doctors focus on the gut problems as they are the symptom that link the largest number of people with similar and somewhat overlapping symptoms.

    There are people with gut problems that are diagnosed with IBS.

    Others however experience more severely other problems, which occur alongside with the abnormal speed of passing food through the gut. These people are also diagnosed with IBS.

    The efficient treatment varies across individuals, because the source of the problem varies - and all confusion spurs from doctors' effort to tie all symptoms around the most obvious and widely experienced complaint.

    My condition seems to be mostly affected by stress. Cases similar to mine don't seem to find diets very helpful - eating habits are related, however if the source of the problem is not in the guts, there's no hope to treat effectively with diets. A friend of mine shared most of my physical symptoms to do with the gut and got better just by remembering his fruits, more fibre, more liquids and so on. That barely does anything for me. - IF THE SAME CONDITION IS NOT CURED BY THE SAME TREATMENT, THEN WE ARE NOT OBSERVING THE SAME CONDITION.

    For the few people around who are directing their hope towards antidepressants:

    1. Even if you're diagnosed with IBS, antidepressants might not affect your gut problems at all. Your best option might be proper eating.

    2. All my gut symptoms are to do with stress, however, antidepressants were mostly bad in my experience. Synthetic drugs that screw with levels of hormones are quite dangerous and not too helpful.

    The chemical reactions related to coping with stress don't seem to occur in a normal fashion for some people diagnosed with IBS. That explains why many of us also suffer from anxiety disorders/ panic attacks/ depression... and many other conditions that are more often attributed to the psychological state. Whatever the initial cause may be - misuse of drugs that play with serotonine levels/ persistent stress factors/ post traumatic stress - the important effect I think is the further inability of the body and mind to cope with stress - in chemical terms levels of hormones are NOT ADEQUATE TO THE CURRENT NEEDS OF THE BODY. That would explain why people get panic attack - overreaction of the body to a minor or no apparent stimulus; "Irritability of the bowel" - also can be made sense of as an inadequate reaction of the body to the current conditions ( as someone mentioned above - eating a toast can make him/her unwell).

    I will leave it to the doctors to further explain the relationships between hormones responsible for mood,stress reactions, bowel movements... but my conclusion is that research should go in that direction. If doctors seek cure they ought to seek a proper understanding of the condition first.

    Antidepressants may help to establish a pattern in a previously reactive or underactive body, but they do a lot of damage in the meantime. What DOES help with much less unwanted effects are natural equivalents ( many people with IBS claim that weed is one of the few helpful things) ; yoga; exercise - in short all things that have an effect on mood. If one manages to find a harmless thing(preferably not weed) that has a positive effect on one's mood and turns that into a routine then levels of hormones should go back to normal and one's ability to cope with stress should return.

    I think IBS is such a problem in developed countries because people don't exercise regularly and enough. If they do, they do it too abruptly and cause more stress to their bodies than anything else. If I were researching IBS I'd find 100 IBS patients with the most severe symptoms, let them eat whatever the hell they feel like and put them on yoga and mild regular exercise. My bet is the ones that had mood issues and irritable bowel as a result would be happy fit and healthy in 3/5 months. If anyone around is up for it, we can make this ourselves smile I am sure it will do more good than harm unlike all the antidepressants, other drugs and more stress doctors usually put their patients through!

    0 votes Report Share reply to yves

  • MrsB2012

    Hi everyone. Reading these posts has been both comforting and depressing! Hit with the realisation that I will have this forever!

    I started badly with it 5 months ago and put quite a bit of weight on due to being bloated and constipated.

    It has recently got alot worse due to stress and I am now experiencing horrendous cramps which are very similar to but alot more painful than period pains. I didn't think IBS cramps would spread that far down and wanted to see if anyone else had experienced this or if it has nothing to do win IBS??

    0 votes Report Share reply to MrsB2012

  • ice-cream-sarnie

    MrsB2012, bloating and constipation will not cause weight gain. If youre gaining weight you are eating too much for your body requirements or you have thyroid problems (which you probably havent) which your doctor could easily identify. Apart from IBS symptoms, general medical tests show normal functions. Eat less anyway, small meals and definately avoid simple sugars, dextrose, glucose, sucrose. Eating too much actually causes the symptoms to worsen. Weight loss, fatigue etc is a sign of IBS along with gastro intestinal cramps, , saliva foaming, bladder sensitivity, low back ache etc etc. Never weight gain.

    Contrary to medical opinion (they are wrong), food intolerances do not cause IBS. There is more than enough symptomatic evidence to show that. Although gas producing and some acidic foods may irritate IBS symptoms.

    The medical profession blunder around proding and probing at the body mechanisms via pharmaceuticals with IBS because they are ignorant of the causes. Generally these are "symptom stoppers" and not preventative medicine. I think we will find in 200 years or so that our modern drug treatments will be viewed as no more than pharma-savagery, akin to using a hammer to peel a grape.

    This illness is on a cellular level that is not understood at all. Whether it is a brain / gut neurological problem (flight or flight response), caused by chemicals in food/water, genetics or a gut micro biology, nobody knows. But you can read some research here.

    My IBS started after food poisoning. Before that I had a stomach of steel. Within the last year after a serious RTA, I was given Omeprazole to counter Didclofenac/CoCodomol which eats the stomach lining. My IBS had reduced somewhat but out of the blue it returns, for no lifestyle change reason at all!! Albeit a bout of diarrhea stops the cramps immediately now? God knows but the Docs dont.

    If docs cant see it then its psychological and that makes it your fault. Your a hypochondriac, a whinger a timewaster to them.

    0 votes Report Share reply to ice-cream-sarni...

  • margaret423

    I agree with so much of the previous post. My IBS also started as a result of food poisoning and I am certain it is stress related and is not triggered by what I eat. To a certain extent my GP understands this but does not really know what to do about it although he is supportive!

    It is a very mis-understood problem.

    0 votes Report Share reply to margaret423

  • rosie123

    I have suffered for 30+ years tried everything that's been offered, just had few months with no symptoms, but, it's back again this time with very painful back ache, my G.P says the back pain is nothing to do with I.B.S, but she dosn't have I.B.S so how does she know, she said its imflamation of coxyst ???im sat with hot water bottle on my back at this present time, don't think anyone undersatnds what it's like until you suffer from it sad

    0 votes Report Share reply to rosie123

  • kellielyn04

    Woke up yesterday with back ache and took 2 ibrofen and 2 panadol. Still had back ache so repeated this every 4hours but instead of getting better the pain seemed to spread around my right side and into my tummy. I then flet bloated and had terrible acid heartburn. After a restless night I still have back pain and stomach pains and now have diarrhea. Is this because of the ibrofen or have I initiated ibs? I still have the back pain and burping a lot. I don't know if my condition is serious or not. Should I go to the doctors or just wait for it to get better? Confused!

    0 votes Report Share reply to kellielyn04

  • ice-cream-sarnie

    kellielyn04 Visit your Doc if these symptons are new because a few basic tests can rule out serious disease. Ibuprofen and Aspirin based products can cause stomach bleeding which the proof is conclusive and if it is IBS you have then these arent likely to help anyway. Post mortem studies suggest that 17% of people taking aspirin-like drugs are bleeding from their gut, although rarely this is the cause of death, but can!

    Irritable bowel syndrome is NOT a diagnosis. It is a symptom which may have many causes, all of which need investigating.

    Interesting to know that the Innuit and Thules lived on a diet of very low carbs, protein and Omega 3 fats for over 2500 years and with no symptoms of western diseases. A diet free of hormones, additives, milk, wheat, toxic chemicals, cleaning products etc etc. Over 50,000 man made chemicals have been created with over 90% never undergoing any toxicology tests!

    0 votes Report Share reply to ice-cream-sarni...

  • philippa forever

    Hi guys, I am pretty new to these forum things..but thought I'd jump on, say hi and share something with you. I suffered from IBS terribly for a long time, and more recently someone introduced me to drinking aloe vera! Sounds strange I know but it has changed my life! Has anybody else tried that?? I am so incredibly amazed at what it has done for me I now sell it to other people suffering like me! Who would have thought that a drink could be so powerful and change my life! Don't suffer in silence! xx

    0 votes Report Share reply to philippa foreve...

Back to top Next

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

Already approved

You can't report this, it's already been approved by a moderator.

Share this

Forums Terms & Conditions | Help & Frequently Asked Questions