IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) 

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

IBS is a common condition affecting the digestive system. It is known that 6-18% of the world population are living with this condition and it triggers everyone differently. Each episode can last for days, weeks or months at a time. 

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Pain & Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Alternating diarrhea & constipation
  • Changes in bowel movement
  • Gas & bloating
  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety and depression


Although triggers are different for individuals, the groups of symptoms have common traits such as diet, stress, poor sleep and changes in gut bacteria.


Certain food groups can trigger symptoms including and not exhaustive to; the nightshade family, spicey food, gluten and dairy, caffeine and sweeteners, processed and fried food, chocolate and alcohol.


Overactivity in the gut can be caused by stress and anxiety due to disturbances in the brain/ gut connection.

Poor sleep

People with IBS are less likely to have quality sleep and can wake regularly throughout the night. The sleep disturbances are found to aggravate the GI system.

Gut Bacteria

It has been found that the gut bacteria changes in the gastrointestinal tracts of fibro sufferers.

Because IBS is triggered in different people, there is no definitive answer or cure. However, you can do the following things to help.

Keep track

Keep a diary to help you identify when your symptoms are triggered. 

Change diet

Modify your diet to eliminate any foods that trigger your symptoms.


Exercise is thought to ease IBS symptoms by minimizing stress, improving bowel function, and reducing bloating.

Take probiotics

Probiotics can help restore the natural balance of the gut flora which helps improve the IBS symptoms.

Drink more water

Water along with electrolytes will help keep you hydrated during bouts of diarrhea and water will also help soften and move stools through the intestines when constipated. Water also helps sooth the stomach.

Get help with anxiety

Seek support for anxiety. IBS can exasperate anxiety and via versa.


Practice relaxation daily.

Meal Advice

Being mindful of not just to what you eat but how and when you eat may help improve your symptoms. Making small changes can help you observe any changes which can help you eliminate those offending foods and habits from your diet.

Cook fresh homemade meals

Do not delay or skip meals

Do not eat too quickly

Avoid fatty, spicy or processed foods

Do not eat more than 3 portions of fresh fruit a day (80g = 1 Portion)

Limit yourself to no more than 3 cups of tea or coffee a day

Avoid lots of alcohol and fizzy drinks

Overlapping symptoms in the Fibromyalgia Syndrome

IBS is one of the 5 main conditions within the Fibromyalgia syndrome. IBS also has the following overlapping symptoms with Fibromyalgia symptoms.






Being more aware of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, it is becoming clearer that we are what we eat. Working to build a healthy digestive system will lead to better sleep and reduce pain and fatigue and improve our mental wellness.

We find treating fibromyalgia holistically is more beneficial. See below our projects that help maintain your symptoms.

Programmes and activities that Fibro Active offer to help manage your symptoms

Fibro Active have several programmes and activities that can help you with your symptoms of Fibromyalgia.  We focus on a healthy lifestyle, gentle exercise and sharing information whilst supporting it's members to accept and manage their illness in a positive and friendly atmosphere.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi for Arthritis is designed to enable people to be active when they are unable to participate in other forms of exercise. For more information as well as times and dates please visit our Tai Chi page.

Space to Think

We offer funded 1 to 1 emotional support sessions with a facilitator from Open Minds, a local Nottingham based charity. These sessions are open to group members and our Tai Chi students. 


A new and fun interactive educational nutrition programme that aims to support those with living with Fibromyalgia and other related health conditions.