I am one of the unlucky Endo Sisters who have been diagnosed with IBS. The first time I was diagnosed with it was many years prior to my Endometriosis diagnosis. IBS is often a misdiagnosis in women with Endo because both conditions present very similar symptoms. However, I suppose it is possible for a person to have both Endometriosis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Recently, I was diagnosed with IBS again, by a different GI specialist, who is well aware of my Endometriosis and quite knowledgeable on the disease (although somewhat behind the times on treatment options). He did acknowledge that my GI symptoms could very well be a result of possible Endometriosis on the bowel and that there is a high chance that I also have adhesions and scar tissue on my colon in addition to my other abdominal organs. Adhesions undoubtedly cause some of the GI symptoms that mimic IBS (or cause it, depending on your way of thinking).
Whether my IBS symptoms would resolve if all of my Endometriosis lesions could be successfully and permanently removed is unknown.
I will admit that the IBS medication has helped some. I still suffer from horrendous GI issues but the medication seems to be blocking some of the pain signals that go along with the chronic rotating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, which can be debilitating at times, and for even a small amount of partial relief, I am thankful.
I have been in the early stages of an Endometriosis flare-up all week and today I lost the fight and had to stay home sick from work, which I HATE for many reasons. In addition to the abdominal pain and crushing fatigue, it feels like my facial pain has morphed into something like a migraine headache so I wonder if it could be responding to my hormone cycles.
I stumbled across some research that has established a link between Endometriosis and migraine headaches. Wouldn’t that be weird if my mysterious facial pain syndrome, that has been diagnosed as so many different things, was actually migraines all along?
I need to do some more research and give the idea some thought before I decide whether or not to bring it up to my doctor. Going down that road would likely be expensive and time consuming, complete with lots of additional tests, procedures, and medication trials and errors. If it worked and brought answers (and more importantly – relief), it would be worth it but if not, it would bring the painful sting of another failed attempt to get better and those become a little harder to swallow each time.
All of this makes me feel the need to spread awareness for this disease and all chronic pain even stronger because we all need and deserve an actual CURE.