For people living with inflammatory bowel disease, abdominal pain can be debilitating and can make their lives miserable. Managing the pain associated with the condition is an integral part of treatment, but it can be quite complex. Although the pain is usually felt when the patient is experiencing a flare, some IBD patients report abdominal pain even when they are in remission.
In Physician’s Weekly, Dr. Srinath suggests that many IBD patients may also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which could be the cause of some of their abdominal pain. Others may suffer from psychological pain so pain management for IBD patients needs to be customized. Those with severe abdominal pain with no evidence of inflammation are particularly difficult to manage and there is often no “quick fix solution.”
Srinath notes that along with conventional medications for pain relief, there are other avenues that IBD patients can explore to try and find relief from abdominal pain, including acupuncture, TENS, and nerve blocking. For those who may be suffering from a hypersensitivity to pain, stress management and other forms of behavioral treatment may be beneficial alongside medications.
He concludes by saying that more research is needed for developing better therapies and treatments for those who suffer from abdominal pain without IBD activity.
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