Stomach or abdominal cramps and spasms
Stomach cramps or abdominal spasms Cramps, stabbing pains and spasms in the stomach or abdominal area are key symptoms of IBS. They’re linked to how our bowels move, and can cause quite severe discomfort and pain in the abdomen (anywhere between the hips and chest).
What is causing the pain?
Constipation and diarrhoea, both key symptoms of IBS, can cause the stomach and bowel cramps and spasms so commonly reported by IBS sufferers. These disruptions to our digestive system may be caused by diet, stress, medication, not drinking enough fluids – and sometimes by neuromuscular disorders or endocrine disorders such as diabetes.
For women, it is quite common to experience pronounced IBS symptoms around the time of menstruation – approximately a third of women experience gas, diarrhoea or constipation.
What can I do to tackle stomach and bowel cramps and spasms associated with IBS?
Talk to your GP about the symptoms, and let them know about your diet, lifestyle and stress levels. Your GP should be able to identify triggers, and perhaps other symptoms of IBS that are related to cramps and spasms. It may be that simple changes to your diet or daily routine can help make cramps and spasms far more manageable, and treating one symptom of IBS can very often reduce others.
There are also treatments available, such as medicine to rel ieve stomach cramps , which you discuss with your doctor once you have a better understanding of the causes. For example, IMODIUM® IBS Relief for diarrhoea, or COLPERMIN® IBS Relief to ease bloating and digestive spasms. Both are available without prescription, but always talk to your GP first.