IBS Network

Unexplained pain and bloating

Hello all

I have been reading various posts with interest and as a long term victim of IBS it seems that many of you are undergoing extensive tests, undergoing hospital admissions but frustratingly no resolution.

It also seems that most if not all sufferers have done degree if anxiety or stress. I have generalised anxiety and keeping it under control is frustrating. However, what I have discovered is that my ibs is directly related to anxiety and more significantly air swallowing. Excessive air swallowing is very common with anxiety and many of you will be aware of the expression"don't forget to breathe". This is a very apt expression as we often do forget to breathe or rather we do not breathe correctly. This causes air swallowing and excess air if it makes its way into the small intestine causes bloating and severe pain which gets worse when lying down. This is why you can be woken up in the night with stomach pains. Addenbrookes hospital team have assessed that up to 20% of ibs referrals to them can be attributed to air swallowing where all other tests have excluded other problems and dietary changes have made no difference.

There is a lot of helpful reading online about air swallowing, how it occurs and the effect on the body. There are also helpful tips how to breathe correctly and you tube has some helpful videos on how to breathe correctly. Learning how to breathe properly can take some practice. I was surprised how badly I was breathing. It should come from the abdomen and not the chest. I cannot express how much better I now feel. I am not cured as IBS as we al know is a condition that has to be managed. However, I no longer have to keep adjusting my diet and try expensive remedy recommendations.

For those of you who have severe stomach pain and bloating where all other causes have been eliminated I would recommend looking at your breathing habits. Hope this helps .

2 Replies

This is interesting and I will certainly look into it further, thank you. My family often comment about my breathing - I tend to huff and puff a lot lol - maybe I need to look at my breathing technique - worth a try :)


Queeny, this is a great post! Thank you! It really served as a much needed reminder to me...because "I forget" starts interfering! :( ... BUT... habit, habit, habit... Even I have been going through this site this AM, after reading your post, I realized I was tense and doing shallow breathing!! :/ ... Habits again! SO a bit more mindfulness is in order for me that is for sure.... Funny, just being still for a matter of a few seconds and breathing slowly and deeply can perform wonders!

Thank you!! :)


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