stress and IBS

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damo123
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 709
   Posted 8/8/2007 4:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm just wondering what role stress plays with peoples IBS. I know stress isn't the cause of IBS but just interested to know to what degree people think stress excabberates their IBS symtpoms. Do people feel that conquering stress makes them get out of a flare up of IBS more quickly?
 
Thanks in advance for your comments

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dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 8/8/2007 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Stress definitely can exasperate IBS symptoms. Its extremely common. My suggestion is to maybe learn coping skills, learning to manage your stress can help a lot. Hypnotherapy and CBT have recently been recognized as beneficial for IBS patients. In fact, there is a medication called Librax that is a combo of an antispasmodic and a benzo that gives many people relief that can target their IBS spasms and anxiety all at once.


"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin PRN, Miralax 17g, Supplements


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gutastrophe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 8/9/2007 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Honestly, after dealing with IBS for 20 years, I don't believe stress plays that big a part.  While a seriously nerve wracking experience (speaking in public, flying on a plane, etc) might cause a sudden change in symptoms, it does not impact the overall disorder.

I was in psychotherapy for nearly 22 years.  I have effectively eliminated all external stress from my life.  I have a great job, great kids, strong faith, good friends, etc.  I watch my diet, don't drink, take no drugs, etc.  I'm generally happy and joyful and peaceful.  I still suffer everyday with IBS pain.  My gut is the CAUSE of any stress I have in my life.


purdylady
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 8/16/2007 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Stress definately plays a role with my IBS, as does eating different kinds of foods, unfortunately one day i can eat the same amount of contents in a salad and my bowel is normal to C and say the next week (by the way this actually happened) I have pain in my stomach due to some sort of stress and I eat same salad contents within 15 to 20 minutes I have major D. So bad that my stomach hurts even more. I was told this is called a flare up. Sometimes I have to lay down, but I always get back up and just say okay last night was not a good one and move forward. I am currently trying to reduce my stress and watch what I eat, but still enjoy each day the best I can.

scared2getsick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 8/17/2007 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Stress absolutely causes IBS!!!!! I can be in a stressful or emotional situation and get an attack out of the blue. As soon as the situation is removed, so is the IBS. I also know that if I worry I will get an attack while I am somewhere I usually will. The mind has big time control over the body. A study was done recently saying that the mind cannot differentiate from reality and when your watching a movie. Trick your mind. It works trust me. I have had IBS for 13 years and other than menstrual times and extreme stressful times I can usually control it. I also use Digestive Advantage and do Yoga. Exercise can relief both IBS and stress.
Always grateful for the blessings I do have!


dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 8/19/2007 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Doing yoga and other relaxing exercises are great scared!! I wouldn't say that stress causes IBS but in many will cause attacks with your IBS. No one knows what causes IBS but many experts believe that its caused by our bodies not "wired" properly (very general huh?). IBS is not the only illness exasperated by stress as its well know that chronic stress is not good for the body, although good stresses are.
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin PRN, Miralax 17g, Supplements


http://www.healingwell.com/donate


scared2getsick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 8/19/2007 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that IBS is not always caused by stress. I have had attacks that were not. However, I do believe that attacks can be brought on by stress. Lots of doctors believe that there may be a direct cause between the brain and the intestines, causing IBS. Therefore, the more stress on the brain, the more likely it is to send a message to the bowel that will cause disfunction. I know I have been in several situations where shortly after the event begins, an attack always happens. I have since learned how to relax and use positive reinforcement to prevent attacks in hard situations. Not always, but its much better than it used to be, I could not be in any kind of stress situation without an attack. The attack always follows the onset of the event, it never precedes it. I do however get attacks that are not stress related, especially during PMS. There are a lot of internet sites that discuss this topic, most often when comparing the benefits of exercise for IBS suffers.
Always grateful for the blessings I do have!


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 8/20/2007 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Stress is important in managing my IBS-like symptoms (brought on by having my sigmoid removed, 15 inches of my colon, my gall bladder removed too, b/c of cancer). If my schedule becomes too busy I usually get messed up. I prefer my powder room in my house when I feel ill. It's my safe haven but if I'm away from home, I actually close my eyes and pretend I am home. Does this work - sometimes, yes it does but I also take deep breaths, forcing myself to calm down and make the best of the situation. The last time I got so messed up was in April, for a close relative's funeral. I ended up very bloated, with putty like stool, taking Imodium b/c I was desperate, which ended up causing more trouble than helping. I was a mess and needed to support my family, at a time of deep sorrow but my gut had other ideas. I had on a girdle, panty hose with control top, a slip under my dress. I remember going into the bathroom later at a dinner (nice restaurant) and taking off the girdle, ditching the hose and putting up with my stomach sticking out! I said at that point, to heck with it. I knew I shouldn't eat at this point, which made things worse so I nibbled on my food, taking 2/3rds of it home.

If you can somehow trick your mind into imagining your calm place (for me, it's my home, with my Golden Retriever at my feet, yes she hangs with me in the bathroom), it does work.

Wishing you the best here......managing IBS is not easy.

scared2getsick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 8/20/2007 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
MARKSY

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL. STRESS CAN DO LOTS OF AWFUL THINGS TO OUR BODIES. WE SHOULD DO OUR BEST TO DESTRESS AS AMUCH AS POSSIBLE. IBS OR NOT. SLEEP WELL ALL
Always grateful for the blessings I do have!

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