Unbearable pain ibs episode

Yesterday i had a terrible ibs episode. It started like normal, little bit of a stomach cramp and needed the toilet, so I went as soon as I could. I'd only been out of the bathroom a couple of minutes when the cramps came back and so did the need to use the toilet, that's normal too for me when it flares up. But then it got worse. The pain was terrible in my lower abdomen, I felt like I was in labour, the pains got more intense and I would have a movement, later it felt like my whole belly was in spasm (sorry tmi) but the pain didn't then go away. I'd leave the bathroom thinking I'd done and within minutes I was back again until there really couldn't be anything left. Even then I still had pain in my belly for another hour. Having to go to the toilet a few times in a short time is normal for me but this episode and pain was the worst (and sadly not the first time), I was in tears and shaking, I got to a point where I was actually scared of how bad it felt because it really do feel like labour again.

Does anyone have any tips to help with pain this bad or to stop it happening like that.

25 Replies

  • Hello

    Sorry to hear ur having a painful flare up. When i am suffering from diarrhoea i get really painful cramp and even when im finished i get belly pain and lots of pressure that feels just like labour pains. I always have to take immodium or the bowel spasms become terrible. Ihate having ibs it ruins everything

  • It really does!

    I don't get diarrhoea but when it's flaring up I do have to go a lot, when it's really bad it's as if my body just wants to get rid of everything quickly. Does Imodium help with the painful spasms or is it mostly for the diarrhoea?

  • I use it for both im just thankful its not all the time as some poor souls on here need to use it. Although it helps i feel quite poorly after having to use it sometimes for up to a week afterwards. I just feel tired bloated my appetite disappears and i have a sore belly. Which is where im at today 😴😴 im glad its the weekend lol.

  • Hi!

    I'm new to all this but these comments really resonated with me right now.

    I had an loose bm at 3am with loads of pain. Have taken noting but am feeling really awful today. I completely agree with you about feeling like your body just wants rid of anything all at once.

    Montykat, are you saying that taking imodium makes you feel poorly for a week? I don't know whether to ask my Dr for some or not.

    Hope you're feeling a bit better now.

    Pooki. X

  • Yes I feel quite lucky that this is the worst I get.

    I tend to feel rubbish for between the rest of the day or up to a week if it's a bad flare up. Today I've had a couple of times in pain, couldn't eat much and indigestion/reflux feelings but it's the weekend so at least I can relax a bit. I worry that using something like Imodium would make me constipated, which I can get anyway, and would mean that I'll have this all again in a week. I used to often go through cycles with a few days not going to the toilet at all and then a bad day where my ibs would go mad, that's how my ibs started when I was younger.

  • Exactly how I am! On one hand we want to stop Bm's with immodium but then comes the constipation which leads to being 'backed up' which causes other problems. I wld say immodium is worth taking even to get rid of pain. When constipated I take one sachet of laxido per day until things move again. Totally sympathize though!

  • I had one a couple of weeks ago and I had never felt so violated in my life before. The pain had me doubling over, like honestly it was too painful to even straighten my back due to the stomach cramps. The very next day after this incident I went to visit my GP, She was very concerned at the extreme conditions I was in because I'm only 16. However she prescribed me with both buscopan and mebeverine tablets, and let me tell you this combination does me wonders like I have never had such instant relief after the abdominal pain I received when experiencing such episodes when going to the toilet. I highly recommend this to be prescribed to anyone with extreme labor like pains, although I believe you can get buscopan over the till at a pharmacy but I'm not quite sure about that.

  • Buscopan! I've been trying to remember that one you can buy, was thinking of trying it.

    I've had these pains worse since my second child so I think I've just become more sensitive sometimes. It's a scary feeling to be in so much pain.

  • i have had labhad lots of tests done 3or4our like painsstrugling whangoing to loo wether loose or firm been caught out not many toilets handy only if your a customer in cafe. also look 8or9 months preg. and only very slim lossed quite a lot of bright red blood had lots of tests done outcome ibs diverticolosis decease of colon docters dont seem to realize how much pain you are in or dont understand how painful it is also a feeling of feverishness when doubled up in absolute agony bk.n forw. to hosp. no medication given only eat plenty veg n fruit which i do . not a peneth of difference had this suffering along with other illnesses for a few years now dont know for how much longer. nothing worse than messing yourself when your outnabout or anytime also take with me wipes spare pants thats how bad its become

  • This happens to me occasionally, i have found the option is just to go with it. Last episode like this I was in Ikea at the time! Ended up waiting I felt reasonably OK, jumping in the car, crossing everything & going to the shopping centre next door to buy some Imodium & some OTC tablets (buscopan I think it was) in Boots. After a few hours was back under control.

  • That's the part that gives me anxiety, the idea of it happening when I'm out. It's not like I can spend 40 minutes in a public toilet and then go lie down, so if I start to feel the pains too much I tend to try and hurry along what we're doing to get back home. I don't take anything for it because I just don't know what would help. Can you have buscopan only when needed, like if you start with an ibs flare can you just take it then? And if so how long does it take to work?

  • Buscaonpan works wonders for me ,Mebeverine gives me acid .Ihad an episode last week on holiday,luckily I was in the cottage we were staying in .The pain is just like labour pains ,I find I need to have 2Buscopan and lie down after , as it leaves me exhausted,also I find when I have have had a bad attack just sitting down makes my stomach ache as though I had been doing stomach exercises.

  • I've just bought some buscopan, do you only take it when you get a flare up/episode? How long does it take to work? I find that I have a fragile aching feeling for a long time after the cramping labour pains have gone away.

    I worry about when I go on holiday, I dread having an episode especially if we want to go out. There's been lots of times in general where we haven't don't things because of my ibs and I feel so guilty for spoiling things.

  • Hi, I find they take the cramp pain off. quite soon after taking them about ten minutes .I took two this morning as I had mild cramp and was going out shopping .It took it off and hopefully it will stay off for the rest of the day .I am very carefull about what I eat i cannot have Lactose or Fructose and as there is Lactose in Buscopan ,I only take them when I am in pain .Also I agree about holidays waiting at the Airport is a nightmare . We have stopped going Abroad as I think it was the oil they used I was so ill two years running I lost half a stone each time .see your dr and get them onPrescription if they work for you .

  • Thanks, I'll see how they work out. I know the label says to take 3 a day but I'd rather only use them when I'm desperate anyway. If they help then I'll see the GP. I don't like any kind of waiting, I know it's all in my head but I dread the thought of needed to go to the toilet when I'm out just in case it triggers one of the bad episodes, I don't think I could cope with air travel!

  • Hi , what strength are the ones you bought mine are 10mg and I can have 2four times a day .

  • They say 10mg but not been prescribed them so just reading the packet on how much I can have

  • This was a really interesting conversation for me. I suffer with exactly the same. I start getting mild stomach cramps which develop over the next half an hour to an hour. I begin to need the toilet and gradually the cramps get worse and worse and the stools looser and looser, then everything gets out of control. I also dread travelling and being away on holiday. I worry about whether I might get an attack on the day we have to leave to go home. What do I do then? We are flying abroad in a week or so and I am already worrying about getting caught short on the plane. This has happened to me before when driving home from a holiday. On that occasion we managed to find a hotel for the night and I felt a bit better by the morning. I usually let things take their course because I think maybe this is the best thing to do, but I will try Buscopan and maybe Immodium next time. The pain certainly does get very bad and it is quite frightening. Am trying a mindfulness course to see if that helps.

  • If I'm out I just try to ignore it and hold on until I'm home safe, it usually doesn't kick in until the first movement, though it goes bad quickly, literally minutes. I usually do just let my body get on with it, I don't like taking meds anyway & never convinced they will work but I also figure that if my body is just trying to get rid of everything then I probably should let it rather than dragging it out by stopping it. I would like to not have the pain though, especially as bad as that. I'd like to try mindfulness, I know that sometimes I can talk myself into feeling bad, I get anxious and spot he pains start even if not the whole bathroom part. I know it's stupid and all in my head, I try to tell myself that at the time and that I don't need to feel bad and I'll be fine and yet it still doesn't work!

  • yes i know what your going through i also exp. these bouts also feverish feeling like passing out had 4or 5 colonoscopies and others i have diverticolosis desease of the colon when ibs flares up its agony also quite a few polyps need opp but because i have heart respitery probs cant do so have to suffer they do not know enough about ibs diverticolosis but i would go and get checked out. have also lossed blood lg.quantaty cancer free so get checked out.nothing to fear does not hurt or painful. good luck.

  • I also have severe diverticular disease. I agree that you can talk yourself into feeling bad and I also try to give myself a good talking to but mind over matter is very difficult. I often think it has become a learned behaviour in response to certain situations particularly those that are unknown our out of my control. Maybe CBT might help. I have been living with this for the last 30 years but it seems to have got worse since I retired, not better as I would have expected.

  • Yes it is a learned thing sometimes, we expect to feel bad because we have done in this situation before and therefore we start feeling bad. I've had CBT in the past and didn't find it helpful, not sure I learnt anything from it. I've had this for 12 years, I doubt i will ever be cured so I guess it's just finding ways to cope really

  • I seem to be going through a particularly bad patch at the moment so finding ways to cope is not easy. I seem to be in a constant state of stress and anxiety. I recently did a short course on mindfulness on Futurelearn. It was a free course (a MOOC) and I was able to download some of the exercises. I do these every so often and find them quite useful when I need to try to relax.

  • i also have this and felt sick and nearly passing out even coughed up bowel contents suffered years with it plenty of veg n fruit n water not much advice at all my ibs has just got worse along with diverticolosis desease of bowel so sorry i cant help i cant get it myself

  • I,ve had the same symptoms on several occasions, the pain is terrible,over the past six months this has happened about 8 or 9 times, I have Coeliac disease and been diagnosed with Ibs, it's been a nightmare now for about five years, seen five or six doctors two gastroenterologist, had colonoscopy and three ultasounds tried several types of medication, Colofax, Buscopan, peppermint capsules and more recently theGP tried me on Amytrplene all without anything working, I now just try to live with the symptoms as best as I can without taking any medication.

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