12 In all/ Health & Wellness

IBS or Gatroparesis…It All Ends In The Same Place ~ 2 Common Digestive Issues In FMS & How To Help

Most Fibromyalgia patients are on a first name basis with IBS.  This uninvited guest showed up at the dinner party early, took a seat near the head of the table, and with obtuse disregard, blatantly ignored the hints that he had out stayed his welcome.

Wait, it gets worse.  Not only was he not on the guest list, but he brought a ‘plus one’.  Introduced as ‘Monsieur Gastroparesis‘, the two proceeded to dominate the evening.   With an overt disdain of decorum, these two party crashers caroused throughout the night with a drunken abandon that would have put a Roman gorge fest to shame.

2 common digestive issues in FMS & how to relieve the symptoms of IBS and Gastroparesis

Although they share commonalities, the disorders also have a few distinct traits that separate one from the other. Both are digestive disorders, and both are common in Fibromyalgia sufferers, although you may never have heard the term gastroparesis.  Oh, and it is possible to have both…isn’t that special?!


Gastroparesis is a disorder where the stomach does not empty itself of food normally.  One of the causes of this is damage to the vagus nerve, or a reaction that causes this nerve to kick into inflammatory mode .

It has been hypothesized that this may happen due to viruses (such as the Epstein Barr Virus) which reactivate from time to time.  The virus causes alarm signals within certain cells that carry a warning message to the nerve, which then tells the brain terrible things are happening in the body and voila!  You have FMS/CFS/ME symptoms running at full capacity.  Although there may be a small amount of infection, the cells/vagus nerve/ and brain overreact and cause full-blown flares.

It’s a logical leap to make that if the vagus nerve (which is responsible for over-seeing digestion) is compromised,  your digestive functions may be adversely effected.

See your physician if you suspect you have IBS, gastroparesis, or are experiencing any digestive issues with your FMS.  There are tests that show if the stomach is not emptying properly.  Depending on severity, medication and/or diet modification may help.

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  • Reply
    March 13 at 7:51 pm

    Wow, our bodies are literally so complicated… It makes me think of this verse in Psalm 139:14, ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.’ I have a small share of digestive problems, and it’s such a continual reminder of how God is so sovereign over my body. <3 Thank you for sharing these differences. I think it will help me. <3

    • Reply
      March 13 at 8:03 pm

      Very true Emily! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    Shirley Wood
    March 15 at 1:50 pm

    My daughter has a cat with IBS. They have a full time job caring for him. Pets can get some of the same things people can. #merrymonday
    Shirley Wood recently posted…Merry Monday Link Party #95My Profile

    • Reply
      March 15 at 3:15 pm

      Interesting Shirley, learn something new everyday! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristin 2z
    March 17 at 12:44 pm

    I’m thinking that this is what’s going on with me. Not able to eat much at all.

    • Reply
      March 17 at 12:47 pm

      Could be Kristin, I would see your doctor asap to check it out 🙂

  • Reply
    Deborah Davis
    March 22 at 7:24 pm

    It’s such a pleasure to read and share your healthy and informative insights on these digestive issues. Thank you for partying with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m pinning and sharing this!
    Deborah Davis recently posted…It’s Party Time at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #103My Profile

    • Reply
      March 22 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you Deborah! Hope your dad is doing well! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brandi Clevinger
    March 24 at 5:56 am

    After reading one of your articles last week about slow digestion, I started modifying my diet. I’m much more aware of when I eat, how much, and listening to body signs that I’m digesting food properly. I’ve also increased my water intake, and started drinking more hot teas to help with digestion. In just a week’s time these changes have greatly reduced that full, bloated feeling. I know I have both of these issues listed, and changing my food intake was the first step in relief. Thank you, thank you!

    Thanks for sharing at Chronic Friday Linkup! This was pinned to the Chronic Friday Linkup board at https://www.pinterest.com/beingfibromom/chronic-friday-linkup/
    Brandi Clevinger recently posted…Chronic Friday Linkup 11My Profile

    • Reply
      March 24 at 6:18 am

      That’s so awesome Brandi!! To be able to get a handle on the whole slow digestion thing is key! Thank you so much for a wonderful comment 🙂

  • Reply
    July 27 at 11:54 am

    I was diagnosed with both of these before I even received my fibromyalgia diagnosis. Gastroparesis came first in 2006 (as well as GERD), then IBS in 2007, and finally I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2011 although my sister had been saying she felt that’s what I had since at least 2008. Its very complicated and none of my doctor treat them as intermingling but separate issues. It is so frustrating. If the would just connect the dots…..its not separate but one train with different cares attached…….digestion isn’t my only underlying issue. I had a flare and finally my Rheumatologist said my migraines also contributed to it, smh

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