How do you handle stress?

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catpower
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Are there any tricks for not letting stressful situations go right to the gut? Literally, as soon as I hear bad news, I run to the bathroom. I have some stressful things going on right now. My condition has finally improved now that Imuran has kicked in, but when I get stressed, worried, etc., I get sick instantly. Is there anyway to stop this reaction? Deep breathing and counting only helps somewhat.

These stressful situations, thankfully, are not something that constantly happen -- maybe once every few months, but when they do happen, I get really sick nd sometimes I feel like these bouts put me into a full flare.

(Also, I once tried an anti-anxiety med, it was either xanax or zoloft, and that messed up my stomach even more, so I am really looking for med-free stress solutions).

Thanks for any advice you might have.
Dx with Crohn's Colitis; Meds: Pred and Imuran; female in late 20s.


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   
This is not something that can be fixed easily. Stress is a known cause of flares and short of curing your Crohn's, only a daily meditation program can offer some help. Unfortunately, it commonly takes years for that method to work. You could try to find any of Eckhart Tolle's books at your library for some ideas about how it might work - and whether it would be suitable for you.

*Phoebe*
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 6/9/2009 10:42 PM (GMT -7)   

I am exactly the same in that as soon as I am stressed, upset or worried, in even the slightest way – my appetite absolutely disappears. My boyfriend and I broke up a few months ago and I didn’t eat for 5 days straight – I couldn’t even stomach ½ a gingernut biscuit it was that bad. I would literally feel like I was going to throw up at the prospect of food.

 

I lost so much weight during those 5 days it was dangerous. When we started talking again my appetite gradually returned.

 

I have always been someone who gets nervous ‘through’ their stomach. When I was younger I used to have panic attacks and feel like I was going to throw up. It was terrifying.

 

My coping mechanism with those was deep breaths – the last thing you feel like doing when you’re stressed or worried but it really works. Try to find that ‘zen’ place – focus on a candle, take a hot long bath, try to relax your muscles body part by body part – and be conscious of the effect that stress is having on your body physically just as much as mentally. I think being conscious of the stress is always the first step to dealing with it.


crohnielass
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 6/10/2009 4:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi when i get stressed i tend to lose weight quite quick i have recently brought a book on Amazon called cognitive behaviour therapy for dummies its not new out but is brilliant! its more a reference book it gives you ways of dealing with different situations such as stress,negative thinking, Panic and anxiety i really recommened it i showed it to my GP and he was impressed and has made a note of it to pass on to patients that he has with therse disorders good luck Bev x

Diagnosed with crohn's at 13 now 42
resection, right hemi 1993 In remmision from 93 till last sept with no meds or docs
2 resections small bowel  and fistula jan 09 and given temp stoma
 No maintance drugs as such on B12 shots,iron syrup,loperimide, 20mg EScitalopram 4 anxiety.


isergodur
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 6/10/2009 4:52 AM (GMT -7)   
If it is something I can avoid I do it, but if I cant I sometimes take Xanax.

I used to get really bad panic attacks but this book saved me http://www.amazon.com/Panic-Attacks-Workbook-Program-Beating/dp/1569754152/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244634670&sr=8-1 Highly recommend it if you get panic attacks or anxiety
24 year old female
Diagnosed with Crohn's disease in December 2008..
Medication - Asacol, Remicade, Entocort, Cipralex and Cerazette.
My wonderful dogs :) ~ www.poodle.is ~


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/10/2009 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I developed anxiety related to my Crohns. I now take Xanax (lowest dose) at the first hint of my anxiety ramping up and it stops it in its tracks. I use to have those stress flares 3-4 times a year, and now with the help of my Xanax I have not had any in ages. CBT therapy as mentioned above in another great help. By the way, I only use my Xanax maybe 1-3 times a month.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

catpower
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 6/10/2009 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners - did your GI prescribe the Xanax? I heard that it makes people sleepy - if you have a sudden stressful situation during the day, can you take it and still function? Thanks.

I will definitely look into the recommended books, thanks for the suggestions.
Dx with Crohn's Colitis; Meds: Pred and Imuran; female in late 20s.


KNJ
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/10/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I do not know if you are a spiritual person or not, but when I am stressed, I say the Serenity Prayer several times. It seems to help me put things into perspective.

Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I can not change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Crohn's Disease - dx March 2004 @ 25 yrs. old
Osteopenia - dx March 2009 @ 30yrs. old
 
Mercaptopurine (6-MP) 85mg
Nexium 40mg
Calcium w/Vit. D 600mg 2xdaily
Multivitamin
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 6/10/2009 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Exercising regularly has been a HUGE stress reliever for me, I can deal with things much better emotionally since exercising regularly than ever before...it has even helped with combating the depression and anxiety issues I had due to crohn's. Not to mention all the other benefits that come with it.

:)


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


bethlaurie
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/10/2009 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
While I take Lexapro on a regular basis, I, like everyone, have found stress to really take a toll on my body.  Most of that stress comes at work.  I have tried to reduce that by simply deciding it's not worth it.  I know that sounds simple, and it's not, but it truly has worked for me.  After being so sick, I've just decided that work is not the most important thing.  When I decided that, the stress about each little thing dropped dramatically.  Sure I still get worked up.  I'm a manager and there are always all kinds of fires to put out.  But I no longer make work the most important thing in my life.  Good luck.

Diagnosed  with Crohn's Sept. 2007. 
 
Currently on Pentasa, and just started Entocort in place of Prednisone. 


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/10/2009 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Catpower,

I take the lowest dose of Xanax (.25mg) and it does not make me drowsy. But I have a pretty high tolerance to meds, and take pain meds regularly. If I need it at work, I always have some in my drawer. It has made a world of difference, especially with those stress flares. Oh and my family doc prescribed them.

Hugs
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

darla scared
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 6/10/2009 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I take lorazepam...when the panic strikes I take one and dissolve it under my tongue asap. While I wouldn't recommend taking two because it can knock you on your butt and make you really sleepy, I find one takes the edge off really quick in order for you to get to the point of trying to relax your mind...as much as humanly possible. once again it is called Novo-lorazem of Lorazepam .5mg. I know the other anti anxiety meds they tried on me just made me get gut rot and made it worse with the shakes and nervousness feelings. Hope this helps.

LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 6/10/2009 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I take deep, and I mean deep, breaths. I haven't taken any kind of medication for the stress so right now I try and surround myself by things that are soothing or light e.g. as in books, movies, music, etc. To help keep me a little less on edge for when I am away from anything that might be comforting.

And sometimes I just bawl my eyes out. It makes me feel better mentally though I do notice some stomach upset after severely crying hah..
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking: Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics prescribed by my GI.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
bonniegriffith.blogspot.com/
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/10/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Catpower, just wanted to let you know one more thing. I tried Zoloft before too, and it tore my stomach up BAD. The Xanax doesnt upset my gut at all, in fact, is very calming. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Wolfie40
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 6/10/2009 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I too am a stress sucker, I get stressed about every little thing and my gut pays the consequences. I recently quit coffee and I'll see if that helps any.
Diagnosed with Crohns in 2001
First and hopefully last Ileocecectomy 2/18/2009

Medications: Asacol, Folic Acid, Multivitamin, Dbl. Calcium, Probiotics, Protonix, Monthly B-12 injections.

Living a Great life with my Wife and my two Chocolate Labs
Hunter & Hailey.
I love them dearly.


Jen77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2691
   Posted 6/10/2009 4:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, same here. Any emotional upset, or even excitement or nerves can cause me to run straight to the bathroom! It's crazy!

I've been on a anti-depressant for the past 6 months for anxiety, and that has helped a lot. I'm a lot more calm and peaceful these days.


~Jennifer
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.


isergodur
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 6/10/2009 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners said...
Catpower,

I take the lowest dose of Xanax (.25mg) and it does not make me drowsy. But I have a pretty high tolerance to meds, and take pain meds regularly. If I need it at work, I always have some in my drawer. It has made a world of difference, especially with those stress flares. Oh and my family doc prescribed them.

Hugs
Gail *Nanners*


I also take .25 mg I get sleepy if I am not doing anything but if I am active I stay awake..
24 year old female
Diagnosed with Crohn's disease in December 2008..
Medication - Asacol, Remicade, Entocort, Cipralex and Cerazette.
My wonderful dogs :) ~ www.poodle.is ~


dinkydee
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 6/10/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
This is what I do when I am stressed:
1. pray
2. read my Bible
3. journal
4. walk
5. talk to my mom
Not neccessarily in that order. And a weird thing I do when I can't sleep, I visualize being at the dentist office breathing in nitrous oxide taking in deep breaths through my nose, and feel my body relax as though I'm actually getting the drug. Funny too, cuz going to the dentist in reality gets me anxious.
But the number one thing I do everyday to help me relax is I always read a good, light hearted novel. Sometimes just a couple of pages a day. It's the best escape there is!!
Diagnosed with CD 3 years ago.  Refused to take meds until recently started Colazal. 
 
 
I live by faith and not by sight....


gumby44
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4101
   Posted 6/10/2009 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't really see a direct correlation between stress and my symptoms. Sometimes I feel really calm and happy, but still have symptoms, and sometimes I can handle very stressful events without any symptoms. But one interesting thing, is that when I'm having bad GI pain, Xanax is the only thing that helps. I don't know if that's because I get really tense when I'm in a lot of pain, and the Xanax calms me down, or if I'm anxious and not recognizing it that way. I only take 1/2 of a .25 pill, and only at night, but it works to take the edge off the pain.
50 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation


78SilvAnniv
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 6/10/2009 10:42 PM (GMT -7)   
How do I handle stress? I don't. It man-handles ME! Usually it picks me up and twirls me over its' head, making the room spin and I feel nauseated. Then it bounces me on its' shoulder a few times for good measure before it throws me to the floor and stomps on me.
So. I try to avoid it at all costs. My family also makes an effort to keep the stress low, and I appreciate that. Stress is just gonna steam-roll over me. After the initial reaction and if I have a little bit of time to think and plan, then I feel like I can handle it...but I just gotta let it run its course until I have a plan to set me straight and feel like I have some control, or will be able to get control soon.
heidi

I like the prayer, but I added something to it:

Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I can not change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
But please, God, do not give me strength.
Because if you give me strength I know I'll *kill* the bugger who's stressing me!
I have the ability of single-minded determination and accurate project focu....Hey, look, a cat!
 
Crohn's and UC are pretty darn crappy, but if you can't laugh at yourself, you'll cry......I'd much rather laugh.
2001 Dx'd with UC.  No remission.  No improvement with Remicade.  5/2008 surgery, removal of 6" of left side colon.  Dx changed to Crohn's.  Remission for 8-9wks after surgery, symptoms returned after resuming 6MP.  Changed maintenance med to Methotrexate (MTX) and had great results with IM injections.  Nausea and symptoms returning with oral MTX.  Switched back to IM injections and am slowly improving.


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 6/11/2009 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   
A link to a stress coping guide: BadGut

Sylph
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2004
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 6/11/2009 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
SilvAnniv

Thank you for the laugh. I know just how you feel!

Sometimes I think the stress will kill me long before the disease will, but I guess it's still this DD that's really the problem.

Sylph

Carbec
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/12/2009 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Stress is certainly not our friend.  I like meditation because it quiets my thoughts.....get a CD that is a "guided" meditation, meaning they talk you through.  It's relaxing and easy.  Playing "happy" music helps me too.  I made a CD that has only uplifting songs on it.  I also have a great network of friends and family who understand my disease and that's important!  I am a very positive person who uses the law of attraction and living in the moment, which for me, works amazing!!  I have a blog that you may want to check out too:  www.carolbeckwall.blogspot.com
 
Good luck!

MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 6/12/2009 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Ice cream? :)
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


Crohn'snme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 6/12/2009 6:13 PM (GMT -7)   
For me Cymbalta.
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