living with ibs and anxiety

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red2009
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/23/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I was told i had ibs about 1yr an 1/2 ago. Since i had my daughter it got better but I still battle with this everyday. Now i have developed anxiety and my nerves are horrible. My gastronologist said i need to see a physichiatrist that I am suffering from anxiety and probaly depression. I feel like this is a disease because it has taken over my life. Its all I think about from minute to hour through out the day. I remember what it was like being a regular person but no one understands how horrible this is. I suffer from (D). It def gets worse when I have something comming up and all i do is think about it and think about it, and then think of all the embarassing things that could potentionally happen. I feel like i don't enjoy life the second I am out of my comfort zone which is my home. This is affecting my life and I know i make it worse in my head. Does anyone have any suggestions they say ibs and anxiety is a visious thing. Ibs makes ur nerves worse and when your nerves are worse that makes your symptoms worse. I have seperaated myself from almost everyone and advoid almost everything. But i have two little girls and i want to be better as much as i fight this, its only getting worse.

KGood
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 9/23/2009 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Red2009,

I suffer from IBS, depression, and anxiety.  I didn't start taking an antidepressant until about four or five years after I was diagnosed with IBS.  Taking the antidepressant has helped me tremendously in terms of my IBS.  It truly can be a vicious cycle, but having your anxiety under control can really help with the IBS. 

The antidepressant isn't the only thing I rely on to help with my IBS, though.  I have tried to educate myself as much as possible about IBS and try to avoid trigger foods.  I also take Citrucel everyday which also helps so much.  Like you, I have IBS-D and didn't think fiber would help.  But it really does.  Taking a peppermint pill before each meal also helps me.  The helpforibs site has a wealth of helpful information for IBS sufferers.

Don't let IBS or any other health condition control your life.  Try to get it under control so you can live as "normal" a life as possible.



~Karen
Diagnosed with: seizure disorder in 1962; seizure-free since 1969, anorexia from 1968-1969; IBS-D in 1996, Mild depression, anxiety, & OCD in 2000, (probably had since childhood); PMDD in 2001, Dysfunctional tear syndrome in 2009; Meds: Phenobarbitol, Paxil, Allegra; Supplements: Citrucel tablets; many vitamins, minerals & herbs - too many to list here
 
 
 
 


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 9/24/2009 4:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I wish I could help you with anxiety. I too notice my IBS flaring up when I'm under stress or in stressful situations. Over time I've developed so many tactics when dealing with people who do not understand IBS or 1/10th what I go thru. Years ago I tried to educate them, ha! As if it were that easy. I would gently say - how do you feel after a bout with an intestinal bug? Awful of course they say, returning to eating again is tricky, etc. I would say - well that's how I usually feel. Then of course they would zero in on - ALL the time? Isn't there a pill you can take for that?

That's the one word that kills me each and every time - as if ONE pill or ONE specific medication is the all magical one for us. We wish huh?

So now, 10 years later, I don't even bother trying to get someone with a normal colon, non-IBS issues to even attempt to understand what I go thru. It's just not possible for them to understand.

Once I realized this and gave up the notion to achieving greater understanding from those without IBS, I began to manage my situation much better. Or more effectively.

Now I pretty much fake it. I know a therapist would say this isn't healthy but I find that it is healthy. When dining out with friends/family with normal colons, I pretend that I'm not that hungry at that given moment, ordering a cup, not a bowl of soup, or a small side salad, not a dinner sized salad. I never order a full meal, never dessert, not at all the amount of food they are ordering. They think I am just not hungry, or had had a large lunch, etc. I let them think all of these things.

If they want to see a movie or play, I suggest we see it before a meal. And again, order very, very light amounts of food after the play.

I then pick at my food. Eating even half of what arrived at my seat.

If people think I have stomach issues, because they find IBS and bowel issues awkward to discuss, I let them think this as well. If they suggest a med their grandma or aunt tried and worked for them, I pay attention, listen intently, thanking them afterwards for offering suggestions.

But again, I'll never take their advice. I just let them think I appreciate their advice.

This is how I live my life. Not in personal denial - I will be this way until the day I die - but I'm just not discussing it with other people anymore. My immediate family know the daily struggles I go thru, the plain diet I must be on, the nightly stool softener and probiotic pill I take to stay somewhat consistent, but the rest of the world thinks I have either A. a normal colon (I wish!) or B. stomach issues (because discussing nausea I guess is more socially acceptable?).

Of course this is just what works for me. I know where all the bathrooms are locally - at every mall, every grocery store, when on vacation at a new hotel and/or state park lodge, I search for off the beaten path bathrooms, near a reception hall that isn't being used for example, for when I do need a bathroom ASAP. I also never sit down unless there's TP. An ostomy nurse taught me this trick!

I just learned long ago to be prepared, know where my next bathroom is, not to tell other people what I go thru and just deal with it as it comes each day.

I wish I were normal but once I accepted this is the new normal for me, I noticed my stress level with dealing with IBS went way, way down.

I wish you well.
- Rectal Cancer 4/29/99, Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 8 weeks later)
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening


Chetta
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/25/2009 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
OMG I have the same problem. Im 19 and I know just how you feel, when ever i know something is coming up i think about it and everything that might happen and i make it ten times worse and i even get to the point where i cant sleep at night. al my doctors say im depressed but im not im sick and they dont understand that. i did take an antidepression for awhile and it did help but i went off it and my flare ups started again (they didnt stop but they did get better) but you should take a mild one because they do help calm your nerves for sure.

shoe-girl
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/25/2009 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I can relate to all of you. I have been suffering for 7 years, but did not know my diagnosis until recently. I have IBS+C. I have been through every horrible test, I have also had my gallbladder removed, to have no relief. I was seeing a GI doctor for the past four years who tried me on several different prescription meds. The meds would work at first, then stop. I was tested for Celiac disease, amoung other things. Recently, after having a colonoscopy, my doctor told me to take miralax everyday. I have been taking miralax for the past 4 years. The doctor pretty much washed his hands of me. I am so fed up with living this way. I have lost a total of 25 pounds, I now weigh 90 pounds. I have tremendous anxiety issues, which I take xanax for as my anxiety heightens. I just started seeing a new doctor who suggested I have a CT scan of my abdomen to rule out small bowel obstruction, after that, according to him, I will have had every test to check for bowel diseases. Marsky, everything you said was like a day in my life. I'm 28 years old, and my social life now is non-existant. I no longer eat out at restaurants because it is too stressful. After eating I get horrible abdominal pain/gas/bloating. Only having a bowel movement will relieve the pain, to which several trips are normally needed. I get hot, weak, and normally go into having a panic attack. You are so right that most people do not understand the problem. It is not just a problem with having to use the bathroom, it is MUCH MUCH more. After having an episode I am completely drained. Lately, with having lost so much weight, I just don't have any energy period. Like I mentioned, I am 28 years old, I am married and have a 3 year old daughter. I feel as though I am holding my family back because there are so many things that I cannot do.
I pretty much live on gas-x pills, peppermints, and crackers. That's my little cocktail for getting out the house. It holds me over so that I am not too weak from not eating, and the gas-x and peppermints soothe my stomach.
I have heard of a place in Seattle, The IBS center. According to their website people are getting completely CURED of all of these horrible symptoms. I am giving this new doctor about 2 months to try something spectacular, if not, I will be maxing out a credit card to get to Seattle and get well!
Good luck to all of you sufferers, I FEEL your pain.

Normal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 9/26/2009 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Marsky you sound so much like me. I really do feel you. After 28 years of IBS and all it has done to my body and mind I agree. But I think we all really need a support group to talk to. I cannot afford a therapist. I said years ago I was going to start one. I just never did. This forum is great but it would be so nice to go somewhere and relax with people who understand. I think it is important to have one person who is there for you. I dont have one now so I am really lonely.

Normal
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 9/26/2009 5:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I almost forgot, Red ask your Dr. about Donnatal. It worked GREAT for me for 4 years. Then I tried everything else in the book for a few years. I am back on it now. Doesnt work as well but without it I am homebound. And I work full time with it. I hope it will work for you cause I been there sweetie. Hang in there and MAKE your DR. help you. If he doesnt FIND ONE WHO WILL. Please ask cause it really worked for me.

Nor_TX
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 9/29/2009 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I am 60 years young, and have Colitis, IBS, gastro paresis, GERD, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance and I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I sat down a while ago and tried to make sense of all of this and I came up with The Crossroads Philosophy.... I read it over once or twice a week and sometimes it gives me that little push to get through the day when I most need it.

Here it is:

The Crossroads Philosophy

After many years of trying my best to cope with this debilitating, all-consuming disease, I have found that the difficulties of trying to deal with each issue concerning my health was bringing me to the brink of total frustration.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have sat down and tried to put into words, all the feelings I have been trying to cope with. I have come up with what I call the “The Crossroads Philosophy”. I kept picturing myself in that scene from the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away. The scene at the end, where he is standing in the center of the 4 roads trying to decide which way to go. That is the way I was feeling almost every day. Once I formulated this philosophy and wrote it down, I found I had some kind of reference or something solid to hang onto. I hope you don’t find this post too long and boring and not pertaining to how you feel. It has gotten me through some tough days.

The Crossroads Philosophy

Those of us with Colitis have 4 roads that we must travel each and every day.

The Diet and Nutrition Road: We all know which foods trigger pain and discomfort and make us sick. It may take eating a particular food a few times before we realize that every time we eat it we get sick, but that can be done with the aid of a food diary or just remembering the last time we had a real “poopy” day. Now what do we do with that information? Are we strong enough to refrain from eating that food or do we decide to give in to our cravings and needs and eat it? I have to admit sometimes the cookie is stronger than my will. The simple truth is that some foods make us sick and some foods don’t. Face it, admit it, and accept it. I repeatedly have to remind myself that no food tastes great enough to make up for the pain afterwards. What we eat can make or break the day or even begin a flare up. What I have to come to terms with, is who is stronger – the food or me?

The Mindset Road: It’s not only what goes into our stomachs that determines the way we feel, but it is what is in our heads that can go a long way towards our health. It is accepted that stress exacerbates our disease. Ok, so now that we know this, how do we help to relieve that stress? Along with trying to maintain positive thoughts we need ways to make our days calmer. Along with visual thoughts, we can do a hobby, read, walk, sit quietly and meditate or just take a nap. Nothing helps a rough day like curling up under a heavy afghan and listening to a book on tape or music, or the rain. Whatever you determine is your best way to relax and listen to your feelings and look towards positive thoughts will help. Sure there are days that seem to get away from us and our frustrations overcome any relaxation techniques that we try, but picture yourself at that crossroad and try to walk down the mindset road of calm.

The Medication/Doctor Road: It’s tough to find a doctor who listens when you speak. It’s tougher to find a doctor who understands when you speak. Even tougher to find a doctor who doesn’t lump you in with every other similar patient. Where I live, there are basically two huge conglomerates of digestive doctors. If you see one in a group and don’t get along or trust that doctor, you are not allowed to transfer to another in the same group. Your doctor is your lifeline to medications and it is crucial to trust and believe in that person. Bottom line is; if you don’t like or trust your doctor, find another one. Lack of trust in the person who holds the means to your medical care causes stress. Remember stress is something we have to avoid at all costs. If your doctor suggests a road of care, follow that road. Don’t miss dosages and follow prescription directions. If something isn’t working, tell your doctor and insist that they come up with something that will work. Be an informed patient. Keep track of your blood tests – I use a spreadsheet. Write down questions you have and insist on answers you can understand. Research meds, research procedures. Know what tests are being scheduled. Go into each appointment with what I call “patient information”. You will find that nurses and doctors will talk to you in a different manner when you have an informed attitude.

The Feel Good Road: It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I could no longer be everything to everyone and that I needed to be good to me. I still fall back from time to time and still forget that I have the option of saying “No”, when the mind and the body is not co-operating. I have a list of things that make me feel good. Sometimes it is doing something for me, sometimes it is doing something for someone else. Talking to my family long distance, looking at old pictures, checking out my new grandson’s pics on Facebook, taking a nap, sitting outside when Spring has sprung and feeling the warmth of the sun on my body. Whatever makes you feel good, take advantage. Sometimes a good cry and allowing myself to grieve for my condition is what I need to do. I do it and get over it and can face the world again. Think about what makes you feel good and do it for yourself. You are the only person who knows what you need to get through all of this.

So now as you stand at your own crossroads, look down each road and decide how your are going to travel it. I hope that you can find health and peace and calm in your life.

This long post is something I have done for me, myself… this is one way that makes me feel like I can pass along something that makes me feel good to y’all.
Presently on: 600 mg. Remicade every 5 weeks
                   Venofer infusion every 5 weeks
                   B12 every 5 weeks              
                   12 Asacol daily
                   Zofran as needed
Newly diagnosed with Asthma - Symbiocort 2/twice a day
Newly diagnosed with IBS and Gluten allergy


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 9/29/2009 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
NOR_TX - this has to be THE post of the month! Every single thing you said is so true, for this person who struggles with IBS. The diet, the food journal, eating only foods you know you should, eating ones you know you shouldn't but couldn't resist the temptation to do so and finally - the feel good road. I too have perfected the word no. And use it quite often! You have to! You can't do everything you once did, when you had a normal non-IBS colon!!! That is ridiculous to hope for. But that's not to say you can't do anything anymore either. You have to find out what you can and cannot do from now on.

Thank you so much for a wonderfully uplifting response. On a topic I didn't even start but I'll do my part to bump this up so others read your powerful words.

I sincerely thank you!

Mary
- Rectal Cancer 4/29/99, Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 8 weeks later)
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening


red2009
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/3/2009 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for everyone who replied to me. I am seeing a phsic doctor this tues, so I'll see what he says. All of ths is very embarrassing to talk about to people who don't have any of these conditions. Even my fiance doesn't get it. Marsky thank u i do a lot of the same things. Thank u too Nor tx and its absolutely true 4 roads..

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 10/3/2009 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
It is an embarrassing subject to discuss. I think for most of us, we almost apologize for the topic content and then try to launch into specifics, losing our audience in the process. It's even difficult to discuss with GI docs and colorectal surgeons, with normal colons! They hurry over the symptoms, details because they've heard them time and time again. When you wish they'd slow down and really pay attention to what you are describing to them. Very frustrating! Which is why I am so glad there are online medical forums. I have learned and gathered SO MUCH info from other patients. A wealth of info. Sure some of it can be confusing and out right wacky (those colon cleanses and fasts for one!). But a lot of it is helpful info.

I basically have relied on three main areas when dealing with my IBS - 1. my doctor's advice. 2. other patient's advice from medical forums and 3. my own gut instincts, to use a bad pun.

Which one do I rely the most or trust the most? At this point, 10 years later, probably my own. Initially I trusted my doctors the most. Ha! They had me eating a very healthy diet, fiber, fresh fruits, and I was like a new born baby back then - I had bm's all day long, at least 20. Probably more than that! Reading what other patients have tried and then suggested to other patients has greatly helped me figure out what is best for me at this stage. But since most of this is second nature now, I trust my own instincts the most. It's been a long 10 year ride for me.

I also cringe imagining where I'd be if I had had my colon resection and cancer before the internet. OMG! I'd be a real mess......but as my surgeon pointed out, years ago I would have had a permanent colostomy, no question about it. So with the newer surgical techniques, eventually the internet came along, thank God it did!

Night all......I'll be thinking of you red2009.
- Rectal Cancer 4/29/99, Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 8 weeks later)
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

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