What you should read First

What you should read Second.

Start with "Fibromyalgia Definition"and and then move on to the rest of the posts of dated April 24th

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Do They Go Together?

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Why Do They Go Together?
By Adrienne Dellwo, About.com

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) frequently go together. No one really knows why, but we do know that all three conditions can include imbalances of serotonin -- although in fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS orME/CFS) it's an imbalance in the brain, while with IBS it's in the gut.

Like FMS and ME/CFS, IBS by itself can be debilitating and can impose a lot of restrictions on your diet and lifestyle. Anything that causes pain or stresses your body can exacerbate FMS/ME/CFS symptoms. So it's especially important to treat your IBS. With some effort, IBS symptoms typically can be well managed.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome
People with IBS can frequently have urgent diarrhea or constipation, or can have alternating bouts of each. They also have frequent abdominal pain. While most people with FMS don't have abdominal pain, IBS pain feels similar to the pain of FMS.

When you have IBS, your bowel does not function properly. The intestine itself is fine, but some people may have a lower tolerance for intestinal stretching and movement, or they could possibly have a problem with intestinal muscle movement.

Researchers don't yet know why IBS develops, but they do know that it often starts after severe gastroenteritis(stomach flu) or an extremely stressful event. Researchers currently are looking into the neurochemical systems of the gut and brain in order to better understand the relationship between stress and IBS.

Why Do Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Go Together?
The short answer to the question of why these conditions often occur together is, "Nobody knows." The long answer is, at this stage, speculative. Similarities that bear looking at include:

All three conditions may involve serotonin imbalances
IBS and ME/CFS both can begin after another illness
IBS and FMS both are strongly linked to stress
Right now, we don't know the underlying causes of any of these conditions, and we likely won't understand their relationship until we better understand their causes and mechanisms.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS can cause pretty much any unpleasant abdominal symptoms you can think of. Along with constipation and/or diarrhea, symptoms include:

Nausea and vomiting
Abdominal distention
Symptoms NOT associated with IBS include:

Bloody stool
Pain and cramping that wakes you up or keeps you awake
Significant, unintentional weight loss
Any time you have a marked change in bowel function, talk to your doctor.

Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Another thing IBS has in common with FMS and ME/CFS is



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