DR ELLIE CANNON: Is my sore back a result of IBS? 

Mail Online | 4/6/2019 | Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday
InLove4567 (Posted by) Level 3
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I’ve suffered with IBS for many years, causing constipation, bloating and cramps. I also have back pain which is worse when my IBS is bad. Are they connected?

Irritable bowel syndrome, otherwise known as IBS, is very common. As many as one in five people suffer with it and symptoms can be debilitating.

Bloating - Stomach - Pain - Diarrhoea - Constipation

Bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea and constipation happen frequently, usually every day.

But it is also associated with symptoms you wouldn’t necessarily associate with the bowel.

Tiredness - Headaches - Bladder - Issues - Dysfunction

This includes tiredness, headaches, bladder issues, sexual dysfunction and, yes, back pain.

Symptoms of IBS can come and go and are dependent on triggers that make them worse. These can be dietary such as caffeine or alcohol, or emotional such as stress and anxiety.

IBS - Pain - Symptoms - Time

For those with both IBS and chronic back pain, symptoms of both are likely to flare up at the same time even if they are not directly linked.

Symptoms of any condition can cause stress, which in turn generates a flare-up of problems caused by another illness. Pain conditions in particular, including back problems, are very sensitive to emotional stress.

IBS - Conditions - Combination - IBS - Pain

Importantly, IBS can mimic other, more serious conditions. The combination of IBS and back pain could disguise similar symptoms of endometriosis or Crohn’s disease, for example.

It is essential that these conditions are ruled out as part of the diagnostic process for IBS.

Access - Computer - Internet - GP - Order

I don't have access to a computer, never mind the internet, but my GP says I must order my repeat prescriptions online. Surely they can do it over the phone instead?

It is not standard procedure to issue prescriptions over the phone. Most GP surgeries do not have the staff to facilitate it, increasing the risk of serious errors.

Cases - Patient - Prescription - Request - Slip

In most cases, the patient fills in a prescription request slip at the surgery, in writing, and it is signed off by a GP in two to three...
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