How Can I Have a Bloated Stomach AND Diarrhea?

Bloated StomachI know that diarrhea is not the most pleasant topic for a post, but since it’s a common symptom for IBS sufferers (as well as the second most common reported illness in the USA), it’s worth discussing it in some detail (with as few gory bits as possible!).

One of the most common misconceptions about IBS is that all of the symptoms are connected in some way. They are, in the sense that your whole bowel is irritated, but different symptoms affect different areas of your digestive tract. If your digested food is moving slowly through your bowel as a result of the inflammation/irritation, the food you have eaten will sit in your stomach longer, ferment longer, and produce more gas. If you “gobble” your food and take in a lot of air when you swallow, that will add extra gas that will probably expand your stomach (distend) even further.

If you are experiencing spasmodic cramping as part of your IBS symptoms, those spasms may actually be your digestive tract pushing the food through the colon too quickly, with the result that fluids are not absorbed properly and your stools will become loose and watery. The lining of the colon (the epithelium) is directly affected by your immune and nervous systems that regulate the movement or motility of the colon. The stress and anxiety associated with (and sometimes caused by IBS) can directly affect that motility, producing diarrhea.

The good news is that diarrhea is relatively easy to treat with appropriate adjustments to diet and, in more extreme cases, anti-diarrheal medication.

The bad news is that many IBS sufferers experience cycles of diarrhea and constipation where the erratic motility of their colon switch from one extreme (too fast) to the other (too slow).


My blog is for information purposes only – as a fellow sufferer of many of these conditions, I have done a lot of research and wanted to share that material with as many people as possible. Do not self-diagnose your condition – many of these symptoms can be indicative of bigger health problems. I have found that taking a supplement like RezVera has been very helpful for me, but if you’re experiencing severe or chronic stomach bloating that is frequent or prolonged, consult a doctor for a full medical diagnosis.

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