Stomach cramps are another common symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The pain is often described as cramping, spasms or even short, stabbing pains. The pattern of pain varies from person to person but the pain normally lasts for a short period of time and is often more intense after eating or during the night.
What does IBS cause stomach cramps?
There will be multiple reasons for the pain, and it may be hard determine the exact cause. Sources of the pain could come from:
- Food intolerance flare ups could lead to excess gas and lead to the swelling of the wall in the gut.
- Constipation will lead to contractions moving through the gut slowing down and the gut swelling with waste material.
- Diarrhoea could lead to faster contractions causing a cramping sensation.
What are the treatments for stomach cramps?
Finding a quick treatment to relieve the pain is important to minimise the impact the pain will have on your quality of life.
- Medication: Taking medication containing hyoscine butylbromide in the short term may provide relief. The NHS recommends that you do not take this longer than two weeks without consulting your GP.
- Exercise: Exercise can help to divert blood to your muscles, taking the pressure and attention off your gut allowing it to restore calm and stabilise. Any trapped wind causing bloating and pain can also be dislodged during exercise
- Hot Drinks: Drinking some herbal teas may help to settle a distressed gut.
- Stress: Stress can have a profound impact on your gut and activities such as yoga and mindfulness can help.
To help minimise the pain in the longer term, you may consider:
- FODMAP: Following a Low Fodmap diet may help you to identify which carbohydrates your gut has trouble digesting. Our recommended app is the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app.
- Stabilising Mast cells: Mast cells could be playing a role with your stomach cramps associated with IBS. Read more information on what Mast Cells are and why we believe our IBS Advanced Formula + could stabilise mast cells and provide longer term relief to your IBS.