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Thread: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    739

    For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    I'm writing this as much for myself as for everyone else that needs some reassurance. Hopefully the next time I have a flare-up of IBS I'll remember to look back at my posts and save myself a lot of anxiety.

    I've suffered from IBS since I was a child, usually brought on by anxiety but often triggered by bad eating habits and encouraged by anxiety due to the symptoms.

    Like most Health Anxiety sufferers I always think the worst, Google my symptoms and find something terminally wrong with me sound familiar?
    And each time I get a new bout of IBS I do it ALL over again!!!

    The symptoms aren't always the same and new symptoms cause new worries. The worry prolongs and magnifies the symptom.

    I'm going to try and list all the symptoms I can remember and I'm sure you'll find yours on the list.

    Lower right hand side pain (I always think this is appendicitis)
    Pain around navel area
    Pain below ribs
    Upper left hand side pain
    Chest pain (I always think this one is my heart)
    Back pain
    Pain moving from chest all the way down to groin area.
    Bloating
    Alot of wind with constant belching
    Stomach gurgling and grumbling
    Diarrhea
    Followed by constipation (without taking any medication)
    Acid reflux
    Burning in throat on swallowing food (due to acid)
    Complete loss of appetite
    Weight loss
    Dry mouth
    Bad taste in mouth

    All of the above will disappear if I can get to sleep (even just for a nap). But symptoms return as soon as I'm fully awake and start focusing on my stomach.

    Because I get really anxious when I have these symptoms they can continue for months. I've had flare-ups that have lasted for six months where I've tried eliminating every food I can think of that might cause symptoms and I've been down to only rice and water and STILL in pain and the weight has just dropped off me which of course feeds the imagination....(I've even had to hide the bathroom scale away). As soon as I accept that it's the anxiety that's causing the symptoms, something seems to click in my brain and the symptoms leave like magic.

    What else helps?
    Hot water bottle for pain.
    Walking regularly
    Drinking plenty of water
    The FODMAP diet. Even though my IBS is triggered by anxiety it seems that my gut becomes tender and eating the right foods definitely does help. Or maybe just the fact that I'm trying to do something about it helps....

    The thing is, the symptoms do go. And I can be fine for months and months and eat normally again.

    I've given up going to the doctor, the diagnosis is always the same. They give us pills and send us for tests but what else can they really do? we're looking for reassurance to relieve our anxieties. Another test is one way of providing this.

    At the end of the day it's the anxiety that controls my IBS. I'm sure a lot of you will agree with me.
    __________________
    General Anxiety and Panic Disorder for 25 years. Recently returned to South Africa from the UK and now living in Botswana.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    105

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    So you've had diarrhea that has lasted for a long time? I got a tummy bug over labor day weekend and it slowed down to just happening once a day. Every morning when I get up it's loose. Some days are better than others. Like last week it was pretty good. Then BAM! I've been yucky since Monday. I have had blood work done and it's all clear. I'm giving my doctor a stool sample to be sure I don't have anything that needs antibiotics. I just have a hunch that it's my anxiety. I'm not having any pain. My tummy just grumbles sometimes. I would think if it were crohns, UC, the C word, I wouldn't be going back and forth and that I would have more than just a loose stool a day. I have lost 3 lbs in the last 3.5 weeks, but I'm eating less because I'm a wreck, and I'm trying to figure out what's bothering me so I've cut down on all kinds of foods that I used to eat (like cheese, milk, pizza, etc.) But nothing is helping me. I thought the probiotics were helping last week but I'm back to the D again. It sucks. And it panics me. Every morning when I go potty my heart pounds and I get shaky, because I'm so upset that it's not normal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    739

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    I've had anxiety and IBS for many years. If there's one thing I've learnt it's that the two are definitely connected.
    You're obviously very anxious about your condition as I can see you've made a number of posts about it.
    I'm not a doctor but, based on my own experiences , I would say your problem is definitely anxiety related.

    Is it just in the morning that you have diarrhea?
    I went through a time of extreme anxiety where I had the same thing. Every morning as soon as I woke up I would need to run to the toilet. No pain either. And nothing for the rest of the day. This went on for months.

    It seems pretty similar to panic attacks that can happen at the exact same place and time each day. It's a habit that's formed in your mind.
    The only thing that'll work and break the habit is to accept that it's anxiety.

    I don't know if you have anxiety caused by any other issues but it seems that your stomach problems are causing you a lot of worry.
    If your mind can accept that there's nothing physically wrong and that the anxiety is causing the diarrhea you'll find that your stomach will soon recover.

    Try to reason with yourself: you've seen the Doctor, had tests done, if it was anything more serious you wouldn't just have loose stools once a day and your symptoms would increase and you'd likely have pain.

    The bug you initially caught is most likely completely gone by now, but it triggered the IBS which in turn triggered the anxiety. You're now in a loop that you need to break.
    Meantime try following the FODMAP diet and drinking plenty of water.
    __________________
    General Anxiety and Panic Disorder for 25 years. Recently returned to South Africa from the UK and now living in Botswana.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    957

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    When they upped my antidepressant it really helped alot. I guess that is common for people with IBS. Alot of our serotonin level is reflected in our stomachs. Thanks for posting that by the way!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    4,287

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Great post and I'm in a very similar position:

    Anxiety since year dot with stomach trouble since I was a child which, eventually in my 20s, was diagnosed as IBS (I'm mid-40s now). I suffer most from bloating and pain, and whilst some foods make it worse (I miss you onions), it's mainly brought on when I'm particularly anxious.

    My main symptoms are lower stomach pain (it moves around depending on its mood) and lower back ache - bending down sometimes is agony. It comes on, lasts for anything from a day to 6 months and even when it's having a break, I can always sense it lurking in the background.

    The problem we face is that when it lasts a long time, we start to question whether it's IBS as usual or something else. This, of course, makes us anxious which makes the IBS worse. Great, isn't it? The only way to stop it is to ignore it and pretend it's not there. Easier said than done when I'm hobbling around like an arthritic old man who also miraculously seems to be pregnant. With triplets.

    We're all in it together chaps. Gritted teeth and on we go...

    Pip xxx
    __________________
    Not drowning, but waving

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    739

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Thanks for replying Pip. I find it really helps when people share. Makes it all a little less frightening.
    My main symptom is also bloating, gas and pain. Sometimes I wonder how I can produce so much gas??
    Ignore it yes, but as you say, easier said than done.....
    Back to boiled rice for me :(

    ---------- Post added at 19:33 ---------- Previous post was at 17:32 ----------

    I'm thinking of trying probiotics. I read an article today that said all IBS sufferers should take them. Anyone else tried them?
    __________________
    General Anxiety and Panic Disorder for 25 years. Recently returned to South Africa from the UK and now living in Botswana.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    4,287

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Quote Originally Posted by Beckybecks View Post
    Thanks for replying Pip. I find it really helps when people share. Makes it all a little less frightening.
    My main symptom is also bloating, gas and pain. Sometimes I wonder how I can produce so much gas??
    Ignore it yes, but as you say, easier said than done.....
    Back to boiled rice for me :(

    ---------- Post added at 19:33 ---------- Previous post was at 17:32 ----------

    I'm thinking of trying probiotics. I read an article today that said all IBS sufferers should take them. Anyone else tried them?
    It also helps me when I know there are others with the same symptoms

    I take probiotics. Yoghurt on my cereal (Activa) and a Probio 7 tablet each day. They're not particularly cheap but I find them quite good. I buy them from Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Probio-565m.../dp/B002FOL63E) and I imagine you can also get them in South Africa.

    Take care

    Pip xx
    __________________
    Not drowning, but waving

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    81

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    I, according to my doctor, have ibs as well. I've spent nearly this entire year convinced I have colon cancer(flat stools and pain just to left of naval). I haven't had a colonoscopy to rule out anything serious, but I'm only 26 and my anxiety is on another level, so I'm holding on to that lol. It seems as though ibs is very prevalent in the HA community. It's a vicious cycle I wish would end lol. Your post has allowed me to see a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel. Thank you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    957

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    I take a probiotic I think it helps

  10. #10
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    Jun 2016
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    957

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipkin View Post
    Great post and I'm in a very similar position:

    Anxiety since year dot with stomach trouble since I was a child which, eventually in my 20s, was diagnosed as IBS (I'm mid-40s now). I suffer most from bloating and pain, and whilst some foods make it worse (I miss you onions), it's mainly brought on when I'm particularly anxious.

    My main symptoms are lower stomach pain (it moves around depending on its mood) and lower back ache - bending down sometimes is agony. It comes on, lasts for anything from a day to 6 months and even when it's having a break, I can always sense it lurking in the background.

    The problem we face is that when it lasts a long time, we start to question whether it's IBS as usual or something else. This, of course, makes us anxious which makes the IBS worse. Great, isn't it? The only way to stop it is to ignore it and pretend it's not there. Easier said than done when I'm hobbling around like an arthritic old man who also miraculously seems to be pregnant. With triplets.

    We're all in it together chaps. Gritted teeth and on we go...

    Pip xxx
    The worrying makes the IBS worse and IBS makes the worrying worse.

    ---------- Post added at 20:13 ---------- Previous post was at 19:53 ----------

    Thanks for posting Beckybecks.

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