One of the least-discussed but more life-limiting symptoms of fibromyalgia, at least for me, is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For those who are lucky enough to be unfamiliar with this condition, here are a few of the particulars. IBS has three categories: The first is IBS-D, which produces diarrhea; the second is IBS-C, which produces constipation; and the third produces symptoms that vary from one to the other. Additionally, a host of difficulties accompany IBS, including gas, bloating, abdominal pain, mucus in the stool, nausea, and fatigue. Some people experience these symptoms infrequently. For others, like me, it’s so common that it's pretty much a way of life. During a recent three-year period, my IBS-D became so severe that it caused me to lose 40 lbs. Of course, I sought treatment during that time, as I had so many other times in the past. Sadly, treatment is ineffective unless the cause is known. To this day, the cause of my particular symptoms remains a mystery. Conventional healthcare providers commonly look first to infection as the cause. Initial treatment often consists of a course or two of antibiotics. Sadly for me, most antibiotics produce diarrhea for my sensitive system even during the best of times. This mode of treatment did not prove helpful for me in the least. Life stresses are another common cause. Anxiety is known to result in digestive upsets of all kinds. Although I do suffer from anxiety, I’ve been under treatment for years, taking an anti-anxiety medication daily, and regularly meeting with a therapist. The issues I routinely encounter were no more severe during that period than at any other. So, stress was ruled out as the primary culprit, even though it’s a contributing factor in times of emotional upheaval.