Advice about pain in IBS : Hi I'm new here. My... - IBS Network

IBS Network

41,283 members13,848 posts

Advice about pain in IBS

Laura0912 profile image

Hi I'm new here. My boyfriend has just been diagnosed with IBS. He is on Zapain painkillers constantly for stomach pain above his belly button and below his rib cage. He has had scans and blood tests that all have returned normal. My question really is that is it normal to be in this sort of pain permanently? He doesn't really have diarrhoea or constipation and he has changed his diet to the low fodmap diet. He has been in this pain for nearly three months now (which is constant). When the painkillers wear off every four hours the pain is there straight away. Is this normal of IBS. He isn't sleeping properly as when the painkillers wear off during the night then he's awake!

Any advice would be great as I'm so worried about him.


28 Replies

Sounds more like he's got used to the painkillers and when he doesn't take them he's getting rebound affects. When you take painkillers constantly your body gets used to them so when you don't take them the pain comes on. Some painkillers have that as a withdrawal affect I believe. It could also be a sign the original problem isn't resolved. I had a back injury. Guess what don't take painkillers painful back for me years later. Now obviously it's not always a good idea to have surgery on your back can make it worse in some cases. But he has bowel problems so I'd get him to see his doctor and maybe order some tests. He shouldn't be in constant pain like that.

Thanks for your reply. He has had scans and a blood test that has all come back negative. Don't know what else to do at the doctors really.

Perhaps they could at least give him something that helps him sleep?

He should seek pills to stop the cramping rather than painkillers. My doctor told me I had IBS when I was 13 but now after a bad allergic reaction finishing my guts off, they believe its chrons disease at 21. I was given pills to take 20 mins before every meal just to keep the food down and stop cramps.

I say confirm it is 100% IBS with a doctor and change diet + meds as advised.

This could be a stomach or duodenum problem such as an ulcer and I would suggest he asks for referral to a gastroenterologist. It certainly needs a bit more in-depth investigation by the sound of things.

Thank you both for your advice I will keep you updated. So being in constant pain, is that normal for IBS even though he's hardly had any diarrhoea or constipation. He is currently on week two of the low fodmap diet.

in reply to Laura0912

Most people on here have either constipation, diarrhoea or both, so no, it's not common to have pain without bowel irregularities as well.

IBS is not an actual illness in itself, it's just a label which doctors give patients who have bowel issues where the reason for which is undetermined. If tests for all possible known causes haven't been carried out, your boyfriend should pursue this further.

rosco1 profile image
rosco1 in reply to

Hi Pagang how can you say IBS is not a actual illness, believe me it's real. I have passed out 3 times with the severe pain I have to suffer so it's real alright.

Fergie53 profile image
Fergie53 in reply to Laura0912

I don't think being in constant pain is normal. I have IBS an pain comes and goes with bloating and other symptoms, I think you should ask for referral to a gastroenterologist

Thanks will have to keep pushing

Hi there because of the location of the pain maybe you could see if it's more acid reflux. I had upper stomach pain last week and tried to self manage and treat at home 1st. I went to the doctors and they supplied me with omeprazole and that has helped loads with the pain. I don't even have the pain now. Xxx

Laura0912 profile image
Laura0912 in reply to Suzied2b

Hi there

He was first given the tablets that you were on before being diagnosed with IBS. They did absolutely nothing for him I'm afraid. I just can't understand the constant pain. It doesn't even just come on in flare ups it's there constantly. Plus like I said before the pain is in the upper area (between belly button and ribs). He's also not glued to the loo either with diarrhoea or problems really with constipation? I've just never heard of this type of IBS and that when the Zapain wear of the pain hits straight away. Either on Zapain the pain is still lingering in the background. It's all very confusing just have a feeling this really isn't IBS.

Mmmm very strange I'd definitely keep pushing and pushing. As you know your own body better than anyone. I was diagnosed with its at 16. It's not nice but I tend to get the constipation side and when it flares up it not normally a long episode and I have Buscopan that helps with the spasms.

I hope you get to the bottom of it soon. Xx

First what kind of tests your boyfriend had taken? (was it colonoscopy as well?) stool tests (calprotectine level?). In my country for IBS we are given medicines such as Ibutin, Duspatanil which help/ameliorate in time the symptoms.

Laura0912 profile image
Laura0912 in reply to Lukkkas

Hi there

The only two tests he has had is a blood test and a scan on his stomach to which both came back clear

Lukkkas profile image
Lukkkas in reply to Laura0912

Scan cannot see the organs full with air (stomach or bowl) and this is why for both organs doctors are using minimal invasive techniques like endoscopy for the stomach and colonoscopy for the bowl. If your boyfriend is too afraid of invasive investigations it won't be that difficult to go for some stool tests (calprotectine test and occult blood in the stool test). Also go for a specialist doctor not a GP (even if it means to go in a private clinic). Three months of continuous pain which need painkillers may involve a serious health issue.

The location of the pain sounds wrong for IBS. I have IBS and the pain is typically really low down in the abdomen. I had an episode of gallstones last year and the pain was right up under my diaphragm, roughly where you're describing. I believe that pain in that area can also be related to the pancreas or liver issues - but I'm not a doctor!

when I had my gall bladder removed, I had a follow-up gastroscopy and they spotted a small hiatus hernia, which is asymptomatic - i.e. Doesn't need treatment or medication.

I think I'm just saying that there are a lot of possibilities for causes of pain in that area - as others have said, keep pushing for further investigations.

I hope things soon improve for your boyfriend.

IBS can be also under the ribs (left or right) and also travelling pain in different places.

I would definitely go back to the doctor as I would say further investigation is needed.

Thinking of you

Hi there. I went thru that right before I was diagnosed. I took pain killers too and it just made things worse....made me more constipated. It is the gas that is causing the pain. When I gave up gluten and dairy the constipation went away. Just stick to the low fodmap diet and make sure he goes to the bathroom everyday. Hope this helps

Thank you all for your advice. He wants to give it a couple more weeks on the low fodmap diet but I will keep you all updated. I'm so glad I joined this group it has really helped 😊

I've had the same problem for 4 years now. Constant pain & hardly any sleep. I take one, sometimes 2 Percocet a day, always 1 in the middle of the night. I don't want to become dependent. Pain lessens, but never goes away. I've had a few colonoscopies, endoscopy, labs & many scans and they only tell me that I have a bad lower back when that's not what I'm concerned with at all. Still trying to find a good Dr. I'm in CA so you'd think the doctors would be great. Not so. Sick & tired of being sick & tired. Never leave the house except to go to the useless doctors. I'm totally alone, so the whole thing is very depressing & lonely.

Laura0912 profile image
Laura0912 in reply to wizzie2090


I'm so sorry to hear your going through this it's so miserable isn't it 😢. Wishing you a speedy recovery and never give up! X

wizzie2090 profile image
wizzie2090 in reply to Laura0912

Thanks Laura. You’re very sweet. Wish I’d hear this from family and friends, but deafening silence.

Hi wozzie, that happens to the best of us, sometimes family don’t understand the problem if it’s something that can’t be “seen”. Like their has to be something wrong that can be diagnosed, Otherwise it’s not “real”!

Also sometimes they tend to think you are using your pain and symptoms as an “excuse” to not go anywhere or do anything with them. After so long or so many times they give up in asking and visiting is awkward so they just distance themselves farther. They don’t understand the pain, symptoms, embarrassment, etc. That sucks I’m sorry. It does make for lonely and depressed. Hopefully you are being seen by a therapist or dr for the mind-gut connection thing. It really does help.

I wish you the best and healing! Good luck!


Hi everyone

Just a quick update. My boyfriend has returned to the doctors this morning with the same constant pain and more rapid weight loss to be told he hasn't got IBS by yet another different doctor! He is now being pushed through for a camera examination. Fingers crossed as the doctor is saying they don't think it's anything too serious because the pain is upper abdomen and there are any vomiting symptoms. Will keep you all updated and thanks for all your advice on my previous post 😊

Hello everyone

I haven't been on here for a while. Well my feelings about it not being IBS were right. Unfortunately it was found my partner has inoperable oesophageal cancer 😒 . So angry with the wasted months of misdiagnosis from the doctors! Anyway I haven't written an update to frighten anyone but just listen to your body and if you feel something's not quite right then get yourself second opinions. My partners treatment has started and we will always have hope that this horrible disease will disappear and will fight it with all our strength!!!!!!!!

I’m so sorry to hear of this diagnosis! You are right if it doesn’t seem right, keep searching, and never give up! Hopefully he is able to get some better relief of pain if nothing else.

Best regards, Brandy

You may also like...