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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Health Center

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Fibromyalgia and IBS: What’s the Connection?

What Can You Do? continued...

As odd as it may seem, pain medicines like opioids are not very effective. Over-the-counter NSAID pain medications like ibuprofen or aspirin don’t work well by themselves, but they can be used with antidepressants to treat fibromyalgia.

Focus on treating both the physical and the mental symptoms equally. Learn all you can about these disorders. The more you know about your condition, the better you will be able to take care of yourself.

Exercise will help, especially cardio. It gets your heart rate up and builds your muscle strength. But start out slowly. You can also try yoga or tai chi. Chang says she sometimes recommends meditation, which can calm the mind and the body.

Stay open to trying all the treatments your doctor suggests, even if you have to do more than one at a time. The usual treatments like drugs and surgery may not help.

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Reviewed on December 13, 2015

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