If you suffer from chronic abdominal pain due to IBS, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, ulcers, reflux, colitis and other conditions, you know that it can overwhelm your daily life. Living with symptoms like frequent constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or bowel obstructions can be very disruptive and all-consuming. Have faith; there are coping strategies to help you gain control of your condition and manage your life.

By the way, many of these strategies work for most chronic pain conditions in addition to abdominal pain.

abdominal painTo learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments of abdominal pain, read this WebMD article.

If you’re not sure what type of abdominal condition you have, refer to the Mayo Clinic symptom checker.

Here’s a personal story that you may relate to:

“Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects my life every day in that I have to be constantly vigilant about avoiding pain triggers. A few bites of the wrong food, an increase in my stress level, and even the altitude where I might vacation can bring on debilitating pain (I learned that one the hard way!). I never go anywhere without my pain medications. … Do I resent the travel restrictions and having to avoid the pleasures of wine, fried foods, red meat, ice cream, and fatty or spicy foods? Each time I have discovered a new trigger to my pain, I have simply been relieved to find one more way to avoid hours of excruciating pain or even a trip to the emergency room. Sacrificing some food or drink is well worth avoiding an IBS flare up and is just a part of my life.” – Becky Y.

It can be a challenge living with abdominal pain, but determining what works for you, understanding your condition and medication, and connecting with others who are experiencing similar symptoms can really help.

What advice do you have for managing your condition? We’d like to learn from you.