Period cramps vs "IBS" cramps

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Hi. This is for the ladies out there. Ive been experiencing IBS symptoms for months and the main symptom is abdominal pain/cramps. I'm wondering if anyone else who has IBS ever feel confused whether the pain is period cramps or it's gonna be diarrhea. My period is starting and I just now realized that my period cramps and diarrhea are hard to tell apart.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    IBS and being female and suffering more each month go hand, sorry but if you are careful ypu can cope - the curse of been female I guess, men wouldn't cope.

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  • Posted

    Hi camham....Well can you tell the exact location of pain? As the periods pain can be in pelvic region that may spread to back or legs...while IBS pain is quite non specific...can occur anywhere in the abdomen...And the main differentiating factor is when your menses gets over the pain also gets over with that...While IBS pain can stay everyday, sometimes at different locations within the abdomenneutral And the bad thing is IBS and menses can make each other's pain worsesad

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    • Posted

      Well I find it a bit weird that I can what the type of pain and where the pain is means almost all of the time.

      I've experience pain everywhere throughout my abdomen. Some places more pain than others. Some places happen more than others. I never know when and where it will happen but I can tell if it's gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

      Lower abdomen- crampy, swirly, butterflies (kinda), umcomfortable = most likely diarrhea

      Period wise- lower abdomen- crampy, very uncomfortable pain (sometimes I cry)

      Upper abdomen-indigestion, bloating, fullness, gas 

      Mid abdomen- not really sure but probably gas pain or constipation, crampy feeling also

      Lower left- happens a lot, w/ constipation

      Lower right- rarely, w/constipation?

      Upper right and upper left- idk but hurts less and goes away faster than the other areas 

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  • Posted

    Diarrhoea pain would be accompanied by rumbling in your stomach, sudden urgency to go the loo or not making it on time.  Period pain is a heavier pain and will be accompanied by typical period symptoms of bleeding, fatgue, dizziness mood  changes, nausea or vomiting. For me these pains are very distinctive.

    IBS pain and period pain however, are very similar and tend to roll into one big pain.  IBS can make your period pain harder to control and the period itself can make IBS worse.

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    • Posted

      Yeah the sudden urgency. The period cramps for me is about the same area.  Its just that one on top of another, I don't know which is which and the pain is absolutely terrible.

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    • Posted

      You will be able to tell the difference between the two by the other symptoms associated with these issues even if the pain doesn’t tell you.  Diarrhoea only would involve multiple, urgent trips to the loo.  With the period you would get bleeding, mood swings, fatigue and maybe dizziness, nausea and vomiting as well.  Try a symptom diary and write down the symptoms you get for both issues apart from the pain.  You will soon see the difference.
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    • Posted

      Oh periods can cause dizziness and lightheadedness? No wonder I sometimes feel really emotional and not very energetic or well during periods (especially first or second day). 
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    • Posted

      The first two days are usually the worst for the dizziness and lightheaded feeling.

      My emotions are usually at their peak in the weeks running up to the period and for me that is the most horrible symptom. Wnen the period starts, my emotions get better and then the mood swings can come back just after it ends and then everything settles back down. The pain I can control well with Nurofen.  Occasionally,I have had loose stools/diarrhoea with the period too.

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    • Posted

      Personally, I know for sure my period is gonna be here soon when I get easily emotional. My lightheadedness is gone today. And I find it weird that sometimes when I’m on period, I get diarrhea or really loose stool. Is it common? Felt better since some have it tok
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    • Posted

      I have had diarrhoea or loose stools with the period on and off; sometimes it happens if the pain is very bad.  It is a common symptom.  Take Imodium to stop the diarrhoea if it doesn’t go away on its own.
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