Panic attack & UC

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 209
   Posted 7/6/2008 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Last week, I had a major anxiety attack. I have ulcerative colitus which means when my body says it is time to go to the bathroom, I have about 15 seconds to find a bathroom. Last week, I was booking tickets for my families airline tickets for vacation. Then I started thinking what if my colon acts up during landing or take off & I can't get to a bathroom. I had a full fledge attack. I was laying in bed & the next moment, I was in the bathroom. I had diarrhea, my heart was pounding, & I was freezing. this went on for about 2 hours. I even was dry heaving while having diarrhea. I had attacks about 3 years ago when I was going through a time of bad health. I was so bad that the next day, I canceled the tickets. so now we will be traveling in the car for 15 hours instead of on a plane for 3 hours. I have flown in the past & it didn't bother me but I wasn't having problems with UC at the time. I can still feel little minor attacks since the major one last week. I don't know what to do. I am afraid that I will have another major attack. I can't stand losing control of my body that way. I am in fear now of having another one. any suggestions?
Asacol 6 tablets twice daily
Remicade every 8 weeks
Folid Acid daily
Methotrexate 3 times a week
Iron supplements

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/6/2008 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I ahve Crohns and I do know what it is like to travel with these chronic DD that affect our lives everwhere and every time they can

It sounds like you had and are having some
Anticiaptory Anxiety about the whole trip and the "What Ifs"

Could you talk to your doc abotu something for short term use for your nerves so you can be calmer about this whole thing or trip??

I am on benzo's for my anxiety with chronic illnesses as are many ........
YOu can try some techniques like deep breathing and others in Resources at op listed by WEN but IMHO you may want to ask the doc for something to help you thru the times like this

I do know how you fell I have had a few accidents and it is bery hard on your self esteem as well as alot of other parts of your mind and body

I am sure others will post their input as well

I do wish you all the best and hope you will let us know how you make out .......LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 209
   Posted 7/6/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I was given Klonipin to help me cope with my illnesses 3 years ago. I don't like how it makes me feel. I feel like I am in a haze but still panicky
Asacol 6 tablets twice daily
Remicade every 8 weeks
Folid Acid daily
Methotrexate 3 times a week
Iron supplements

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 7/7/2008 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Winter, I don't have UC, but I used to always have trouble with diarrhea. It's now under control b/c I figured out I have lyme and lyme disease was causing my intestinal distress.

A few questions: why take a vacation where you need to drive 15 hrs. I think if you're having some recurrance, maybe you should take a trip that is not so stressful on the body? Just a thought.....

Also, I'm sure you're very cued in to your UC, but how is your diet? Do you follow a clean diet? Do you smoke?
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/7/2008 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I can only sympathize. I have lymphocytic colitis and just got back from a car ride that ended up lasting about 12 hours. My husband was nice enough to be VERY patient with me and stop as much as I needed to. I preferred the rest areas to other places as usually their bathrooms are better. I would try to go from rest area to rest area (like a game with myself), but if I couldn't make it we would stop at the cleanest place we could find. I did wear depends (a little humiliating yes, but mentally made me feel safe) but thank GOD never had to use them - being only 35 years old I didn't want to wear one, but my husband talked me into trying it just for the long trip and mentally it did make me relax more. I of course took the max amount of Immodium throughout the day (some people take Lomotil - but I can't due to side effects) and maybe your doc can give you something to "relax" your nerves (like Valium, Xanax or the alike?).

I just wanted to say I feel for you and I know it is difficult. We have already decided if we go on a vacation next year it won't be so far, but we have to do what we feel we can do. I pray you find an answer that works for you.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/7/2008 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   


don't you hate the restrooms where you have to ask for a key and it is on a chain hooked to a big giant broom I am going into the presidents suite.

The whole world know what I am doing..............  :)

Glad you made the trip ok. Hugs

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/7/2008 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   


Hello and welcome to the A & P forum and please feel right at home here. My hubby has Crohns so I know about the bathroom issues and the anxiety.

He has a schedule and anytime he has to deviate I can tell he is anxious.  He refuses to ask for anything from his Doc as he is a guy you know.

Airplanes are always tough for him so I try to make sure the flights are short, 3 hours at most.  He is also a smoker so he white knuckles it when we are flying.

Valium may be a good drug for your anxiety..........2 mg is usually just enough to take the edge off and most people don't get loopy.

Something to visit with your PCP about

I look forward to getting to know you better.

Gentle Hugs



Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 209
   Posted 7/7/2008 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
the reason we are going on a 15 hours drive vacation is that my husband won it through work. I have a somewhat clean diet & I don't smoke. My Dr prescribe celexa today so that may help with the anxiety some also. Actually, I am doing ok with my UC but still feel uncomfortable when I know I can't get to the bathroom when I need to with a bunch of strangers around. I feel comfortable in my car with my family because they understand my condition. Next year if my husband wins the trip through work, it will be in Mexico ( great). Hopefully by then I will have things under control. thanks for the input
Asacol 6 tablets twice daily
Remicade every 8 weeks
Folid Acid daily
Methotrexate 3 times a week
Iron supplements

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 638
   Posted 7/11/2008 5:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Winter,
I totally understand how you feel about traveling and the bathroom issues. I've had UC for 21 yrs now. I scope out where the bathrooms are right when I get to a place. I take lexapro for the anxiety and panic and mood. I started it about 4 years ago. 20 mgs a day. Its really heped me with my worring. Ask your doctor about ti. Its been a big help for me.
Good luck with your traveling and UC.
Let us know how you made out. :-)
~~ Donna ~~
Diagnosed with UC in 1987 at age 16
Imuran ~ 2 1/2 pills a day,Pentasa 2x4 a day
Lexapro ~ 20 mgs daily for sanity  :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 7/11/2008 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   

I've got UC and my anxiety always gets worse when I'm in a flare up. In fact, I remember a while ago there was a thread on the UC forum asking how many people also had anxiety, and just about everyone wrote in saying they did. I know its extremely common for the two conditions to go together, so you're not alone. I just recently started taking Wellbutrin, which has helped take the edge off, and low doses of valium always helps too.

Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 7/21/2008 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I gave up everything when my IBS was acting up. (terrible) I know that Chrons is not IBS but the
symptoms can be the same. I changed my life -- no walks (unless there were lots of bathrooms
close by) No restooms or grocery stores (the same reason) Would I have gone on a long car trip or
a flight. No Way!
Xanax (or one of those) will help ... but I don't think they would help enough. At least in my case they
The IBS still bothers me at times but it's not full force as it was nine years ago.
Laurar: What's the Tumeric for? (D?)

Osteoarthritis all levels of spine right down to Coccyx
Myofascial Pain
Bulging Discs
Spinal Stenosis
Chronic Constipation (Take meds that solve that problem. : ) )
Carpel Tunel Syndrome
Prolapsed Bowel and Bladder (Doesn't cause much problem)
Attention Deficit Disorder
Depression and Anxiety

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