Constant Urging and Bloating with Normal Bowel Movements

PennyQ78 Asked :

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I have been suffering with typical IBS symptoms for years now and after many tests (all inconclusive) my doctor confirmed that it is IBS. It does not bother me all the time but usually comes on in episodes which is clearly triggered by stress, certain foods and coffee. It is so predictable that I have actually learned to stay calm because if I get even slightly upset, I can expect the loose bowel movements and stomach cramps within 20 minutes or so. I didn’t actually get diarrhea or constipation – I go three to four times a day which has always been normal for me. The bloating fluctuates and comes on more when I am having an IBS episode or during my periods. This is how my case has been for all these years.

About 2 months ago I had a prolonged episode after food poisoning and now that the diarrhea has stopped, I noticed that the bloating and urging has not gone down. The urging to have a bowel movement is constant, sometimes even burning, and I often have to wake up and walk around because it makes me so uncomfortable. Even though I have the urge, I don’t go out all the time. My bowel movements are still three times a day or so but the urge is constant. I am not pregnant or anything so I am trying to understand what is causing this urging and constant bloating (not much gas or flatulence). It is not like my other IBS symptoms – it does not seem to get worse when I am stressed or by certain trigger foods. Is my IBS now progressing?


This question was posted under the Excessive Bloating & Belching/Burping article.

Any response by the Health Hype team does not constitute a medical consultation and the advice should be viewed purely as a guide. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your current treatment program. The information provided in this article is not an authoritative resource on the subject matter and solely intends to guide the reader based on the questions asked and information provided.


Dr. Chris Answered :

The urge to defecate although you may not actually pass out any stool if you tried is common in IBS. It is not always reported by every IBS sufferer but it is a feature of the condition in some cases. Most IBS sufferers describe the urge as a sensation in the lower abdomen which seems to get worse when there is pressure applied to the abdominal region. This should be differentiated from urging that is felt in the anus/rectum. With the latter, the cause is more often due to piles (hemorrhoids) even though you may not have any obvious signs like bleeding.

Hemorrhoid sufferers often report that urging feeling or the sensation that the bowel movement was incomplete. A burning sensation in the anus is a common symptom. Sitting often makes it (urging/burning) worse which may explain why you feel the need to walk around in order to relieve it. You should consult with your doctor so that he/she can examine the area and confirm whether you do have hemorrhoids. In IBS, especially where diarrhea or frequent bowel movements are dominant feature, many sufferers tend to sit for prolonged periods of time on the toilet (more than is actually necessary). Coupled with your recent bout of diarrhea from theĀ  food poisoning, it is quite likely that you may now have the early signs of hemorrhoids.

There is a common misconception about bloating in IBS – there is usually no correlation between the bloating and excessive intestinal gas in IBS. If you have undergone a recent colonoscopy and excluded other conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, then these symptoms may be due to your IBS and/or hemorrhoids. There may be other causes as well, possibly neurological in nature, but these would vary and you should have identified some trigger factors at this point. You need to speak to your doctor about this problem or see a gastroeneterologist who will conduct further tests.

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