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  1. #21

    Wink Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    This is a really helpful thread. Not sure if people still look at it but I saved it to my home screen on my phone. I like to read it for reassurance when I am having symptoms of my own.

    Itís very frustrating this IBS/Anxiety vicious cycle that we are in. I have had these symptoms for at least 8-10 years now but every time it comes back I get just as nervous and think something is wrong. Right now I am in the midst of a 6 week bout. First it started as just Constipation. Some pains in stomach. Post nasal dripish/lump in throat feeling; almost like itís allergies or GERD. (Could the 2 be related..?). Very gassy and bloated at night. I havenít had a regular bowel movement in at least a month I think and Iím begging for one!! Neither soft coming out. Or none at all and people like. Orrrr diarrhea but not explosive. Just a bit. Today the cramps and stomach pains were bad, especially this morning and every time I went to the bathroom it was loose and SMELLY!! I guess Iím also here looking for Some reassurance.

    Do these things happen to anyone else?

    When this goes on for so long how do we not all go and get Colonoscopies?! I

    went and saw a great GI dr and he told me he could feel the anxiety ooooosing off me. But I canít help but wonder to myself. What would I feel like if I had colon cancer or something terribly wrong? Would it be worse? Wouldnít it have gotten worse over the years? Wouldnít I have lost weight? Could these horrible symptoms just be IBS and anxiety over my health.

    As you can see. Iím almost rational enough to realize whatís wrong but my health anxiety always made me second guess myself. I
    Plan on making an appt with a therapist actually to talk about it. But until then I left to wonder what the hell ia going on.

    If anyone still reads this post and can help me with some answers or thoughts I truly would appreciate it!!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    753

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    HI Scott. I wrote that post last year. For fellow sufferers like you and to help me too, because each and every time I have an IBS flare-up I think the absolute worst AGAIN!

    We all think colon cancer of course but realistically I think there are worse symptoms, like rapid weight loss and blood too. And even then, they can be symptoms of something else.

    I can tell that in the back of your mind you do realise this is all about anxiety.
    Stress can pay havoc with your stomach, not to mention the rest of your body.

    Doctors will do tests but when they know you have anxiety they're actually just doing the tests to prove they're right, to ease your anxieties and because what else can they do?

    Why put yourself through all that? Believe the doctors when they says its anxiety related. They're trained professionals and they know what to look for.

    I promise you that Ive had all your symptoms and more and for very long periods of time, depending on how long I stress about my condition before going to the doctor and actually believing him.

    You can try changing your diet. Sometimes avoiding gluten helps. But to be honest when I'm not anxious and not suffering from IBS I can eat a bucket of gluten and it makes no difference. And then when I have IBS even a drink of water seems to set off the symptoms.

    I would suggest you try to eat a healthy diet, believe the Dr's diagnosis, get some exercise and try to keep your mind off the symptoms. They'll go!
    __________________
    General Anxiety and Panic Disorder for 25 years. Recently returned to South Africa from the UK and now living in Botswana.

  3. #23

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Thank you for your response! Makes me happy to know I can come on here and talk to other people about my symptoms.

    I do have a question for you. So the other day I was constipated but also when I went had SMELLY Diarreah also. So itís like I was constipated and had diarreah at the same time. Itís hard to explain. Then I started taking some Metamucil and for the last few days I was Constiapted again and finally went some earlier today, they seemed fairly normal. I didnít look tho (another issue I have, I never want to look cause Iím afraid of what Iíll see..). . First time Ive gone in a few days.. Now tonight I am incrediblyyyyy gassy. And the gas at times, I can feel it move itís way down my stomach to where I know itís there but itís like I have to force it out. Almost like it gets stuck. And also. Very smelly! This seems to happen to me ALOT. With that comes bloating at times and some abdominal pain.

    Does this sound familiar to you? Iíve heard the constant back and forth between constipation and diarrhea is common. But the whole forcing wind out because it doesnít seem to come out naturally is something I really havenít heard of.

    Going to see a therapist tomorrow about my HAís.

    Figured this could be the best place to ask about these symptoms tho.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    753

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    I'm glad you've found this forum and can chat about your symptoms and hopefully get some relief. I've always found this is the best and only place to come for my health anxiety issues.

    The symptoms you're experiencing all sound very familiar; a sudden switch between constipation and diarrhea, gas and bloating, and that horrid full feeling down below.

    I can tell though that you're very focused on your symptoms and quite anxious and this is definitely the root cause.

    Think about other 'normal' people who may experience these symptoms. They'll put it down to a bit of stomach upset and nothing more. Where we will agonize over each symptom, analyse the contents of the toilet and do research for hours whilst constantly focusing on our bowels.

    From past experience I would say your problem is your anxiety and once your mind can accept that this is the cause of your stomach issues, they'll be a thing of the past.

    And this is from an IBS sufferer for 40 years who has spent many unnecessary visits to doctors having tests, taking medication and self diagnosing with the worst terminal diseases known to man. All I needed was to convince my mind that there was nothing wrong and all those symptoms disappeared ! And I promise you some of those symptoms were severe and frightening.

    So yes, you're 100% correct that seeing a therapist to address your anxiety problems is the best place start.

    Feel free to contact me for any reassurance you may need. And let us know how the therapy goes, your experiences could be valuable to other sufferers.
    Last edited by Beckybecks; 16-11-17 at 06:35. Reason: Spelling
    __________________
    General Anxiety and Panic Disorder for 25 years. Recently returned to South Africa from the UK and now living in Botswana.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    219

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Hi there everyone. I am really glad to find this post because I myself have been getting in a worstening cycle of fear/illness/fear with my gut problems. Like you a lifelong sufferer of iBS acid reflux nausea belching dyspepsia bloating constipation/diarheoa lump in throat excess saliva......and so many other symptoms. Anxiety has always been my best friend, always sitting on my shoulder and driving my physical symptoms. This year I have lost all control. My acid reflux is really getting to me, I am obsessively thinking about it day and night. If its there Im petrified and if its not Im waiting for it to arrive! I am scared to do everything, I feel so fragile and so unwell. Im sure its my anxiety causing or worstening it but I cannot stop the cycle. I just saw a gastroenterologist again who said he thinks its stress but will do a barium swallow x ray to put my mind at rest. It will cost me £450 I dont really have which is causing me to worry even more. I will have to wait for months for an nhs appointment and all the time the anxiety is growing. Your post helps me to see I am in a similar cycle and that Im not alone. Once I get to sleep my symptoms seem to disappear but come back the moment I awake. I also take meds for the acid which im terrified about. I have had periods when my anxiety is lower without any symptoms but my symptoms are clever, they keep subtly changing so I have to worry all over again. Tell me why would I do this to MYSELF?? AAARGHH!!

    ---------- Post added at 16:22 ---------- Previous post was at 16:18 ----------

    Scott, I can reassure you that I have had all the bowel issues you mention! Also piles and bleeding from the constipation episodes. I was really obsessed with my bowel problems about 6 to 9 months ago and guess what, once I relaxed about them they all disappeared and normal bowel movements returned. Now all my focus is on my top digestive tract!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    753

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Hi Jessieblue. I started this thread to remind myself during future flare-ups that the symptoms leave when the anxiety goes.
    You have a really good understanding of your health anxiety and the link between brain and bowel issues.
    Remember that with health anxiety issues doctors can do very little but try to reassure us with clean results from (unnecessary) tests.
    I have had symtoms that have CONVINCED me I have something seriously wrong. They have lasted for months during which time I've lost huge amounts of weight.
    But here I am, survived and symptom free ......
    I was given Omeprazole for acid reflux but I have a huge fear of medications. I take it very seldom. But it does help and I've never had any side effects from it. Otherwise I watch what I eat and know which foods trigger the acid reflux. But of course anxiety does cause acid reflux too which in turn, if that's your focus at the time, will cause more anxiety. The cycle.
    I've found that the more I research and understand my condition, the more control I have over it.
    __________________
    General Anxiety and Panic Disorder for 25 years. Recently returned to South Africa from the UK and now living in Botswana.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    219

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Thank you Beckybecks. It does help to speak to others who have been in this position and come through it. I kind of know I am causing most of the symptoms by my fear, yet I cannot stop the cycle. I have the thought first and the symptom follows shortly after, I have realised that much. I fear how bad thing can get and then they do......I am so angry with myself. You have given me some hope and inspiration in a very dark place. Thank you for replying and for posting this. xx

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    250

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Hi My IBS changes from episode to episode. usually diarrhoea but sometimes constipation. I was also told the stomach ache from IBS doesn't wake you at night. But it does. Does anyone find it tends to flare a few days AFTER a period of stress?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    441

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    Ooh hello fellow sufferers of anxiety and IBS! My anxiety has hit a high recently, not everyday, but weekly, and of course my ibs flares up. I have been pooping frequently and i have a discomfort afterwards, lasts most of the day. I have been taking peppermint tablets and aloe vera juice. Nothing really wrong with my poop just this ache. And my belly gurgles and grumbles!!
    Sarah

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    753

    Re: For everyone worrying about their IBS symptoms

    I wrote this post more than a year ago. I've had several flare-ups since then and have used the post to remind me because I know the anxiety just prolongs the symptoms.

    I just want to add that each flare-up I've had has seen different symptoms. Tricky this IBS is, isn't it? Always trying to fool us into thinking THIS time it's something else!

    So I'm adding to the list for those who follow this thread.

    .. Just wind and nothing else which caused only pain in my upper abdomen and chest area. No other symptom. Elimination diets didn't help. Removing cause of anxiety did.

    .. Gastroenteritis which then led to IBS . The bug was gone within a week probably but the IBS mimicked the symptoms and continued for four weeks until I saw a doctor who confirmed IBS, my mind relaxed and symptoms left.

    This time round - yes I'm in the middle of a flare-up now - it's explosives diarrhea early every morning and after meals together with nasty stomach cramps. All these symptoms have disappeared by evening only to arrive bright and early the following morning.
    This time too, I've had nausea which wakes me up. No vomiting though.

    I thought that this time I would try just ignoring it and not give it any space in my head, because after all it's triggered by stress right? So what difference does it make what I eat? But that doesn't work either. Maybe our stomachs become ultra sensitive at these times so we have to eat bland food.

    I suppose it's a matter of dealing with the anxiety together with watching what we eat until we get better again.
    __________________
    General Anxiety and Panic Disorder for 25 years. Recently returned to South Africa from the UK and now living in Botswana.

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