Anxiety and Stress causing diarrhea???

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/24/2007 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,
I need some help... exactly 2 weeks ago yesterday, my boyfriend of 5 months and I had our first ever serious discussion during which time he told me he needs a couple of weeks to think about our relationship because he's not sure he is ready for something serious (long story short, he has his own issues and has been hurt many times before).  Of course I was devastated and still feel really bad considering I haven't heard from him yet and I am in limbo not knowing if we will move forward or end things...
So that gives you the background for my question... ever since it happened, I have had diarrhea every day.  I usually get it in the morning right after I wake up but also at night too.  Sometimes I get it after talking to someone about the situation with my boyfriend.  I wasn't worried so much at first because I had been so upset over what was going on with my boyfriend and I attributed it to that.  However, it is now going on the third week and I'm starting to feel worried.  Especially because I don't feel as actively stressed and anxious over my love life as I did the first few days... I am basically going about my life and waiting to hear from him but trying to accept that whatever happens is for the best.
So why do I still have daily diarrhea?  I have looked on web md and other sites and it made me feel even more nervous... although I have no other symptoms (like dehydration, bloody stools, abdominal pain, etc.) just plain old diarrhea.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before - is this what love can do?  Or do I have a more serious problem?  I'm afraid to go to the doctor because I worry she will want to do all kinds of tests... and I mainly think it's psychosomatic, especially because a friend said, "you may not feel better physically until this whole situation is resolved" - great!
Should I just keep an eye on it?  Should I see my doc?  Should I tell my boyfriend that no man is worth such physical distress?  (O.K., the last one was a joke - but the first two are real questions...) and has anyone else ever been through a similar problem with stress related diarrhea??  Any help is appreciated!!  Thank you :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 11/24/2007 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stressgirl,
First off, Welcome to the Healing Well Family - you have come to a great place to gain advice, insight, friends, and most importanly, support.
Simply put, yes, anxiety/stress can and do cause diarrhea.  I have gone through a similar situation as yours regarding a relationship breaking apart and I had the worst diarrhea ever.  I could barely get through a meal without having to run to the bathroom and this went on for what seemed like an eternity. 
I am not a medical professional in any way at all, but I think this is what I would do - buy Pepto-Bismol, Immodium AD, or Kaopectate.  Use it for a day or two, see what happens.  See if it will help either slow things down or stop it all together.  In the meantime, make sure to drink plenty of liquids (but stay away from milk, that will make it worse/continue) so that you don't become dehydrated.  That's the last thing you need to deal with. Just within the last month I had diarrhea pretty bad for about two weeks before I called my doc.  When I called my doc, she told me to start drinking Gatorade or Powerade.  This will help to put the electrolytes back into your system that you are currently losing.  I'm not a fan of the stuff, but it works.  My diarrhea ended up being from one of the meds that I was recently taken off of.
You can also try what's called the B.R.A.T. diet - pediatricians use this quite a lot for kids with nausea, vomiting and even diarrhea.  It's Bananas, Rice, Applesauce (unsweetened) and Toast (dry).  It's not the most appealing diet to eat, but you aren't putting fiber or anything too heavy into your system.  Here's a page from Wikipedia about it with more information for you - it also contains some other versions of this diet, as well as some contrary advice. 
If these things don't start working within a couple of days (I wouldn't let it go on much longer, considering how long it's been already) call your doctor to either schedule an appointment or to have her call you back when she has a moment free.  Give her a brief version of what happened with your b/f and tell her what's been going on since then.  Make sure you tell her that you have no other symptoms (like the ones you described) and you honestly think it's psychosomatic.  Also make sure to tell her if you have done any of the things I have suggested above.  She may just tell you what else to do over the phone instead of having an office visit.
Please remember that I am not a healthcare professional and these are only suggestions for you.  You may decide you want to skip it and see your doc right away, which is also a good choice.
I hope I have helped.  Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
Lots of gentle (((((Hugs))))) so as not to upset the tummy too much.

Agoraphobia, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Panic/Anxiety Disorders, Probable Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Severe Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, Social Anxiety

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A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 924
   Posted 11/25/2007 2:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to Healing Well!!! Everytime I have a panic attack... or am having anticipatory anxiety.. it's straight to the toilet for me!!

If I have somewhere even remotely far to go... I'll pull over to a gas station within ten minutes of driving and have to go... you know... all diarrhea like... it's not fun... trust me...

The more nervous or stressed out you get... the more icky toilet runs!!! But don't fear... it'll subside... just take deep breaths...

check out

This site has great pages on breathing and relaxation techniques... this will help to make the diarrhea go away... a little pepto bismal wouldn't hurt either..

The boy doesn't seem to be helping your situation either.. ugh it's worse when men are involved and make the anxiety worse... just do what you feel you should do...


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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 11/25/2007 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, if you haven't so much as heard from him in two weeks, I'd say that it's probably over. I don't know if that's what you want to hear or not. I'm a guy and know how other guys TEND to may or may not be the case that he's ended it without telling you but more than likely he has.

So, in light of that, I'd accept his decision and begin considering him a jerk for basically running off like a coward. Then you can start putting it behind you.

Stress and anxiety can indeed cause many "digestive issues". Stress and anxiety can also weaken the immune system. If this has persisted for more than a few days I'd definitely consider seeing a doctor about it. He may very well tell you that it is just stress, but he can rule out other things definitively whereas we cannot. Also, if you tend to be a nervous type to begin with, it's possible that you have an anxiety disorder. Your family doctor should be able to tell whether you need a psych referral or not. A/P is a progressive disorder, so if you do have it then you should undergo some treatment before it gets worse. All of these are medical questions and can only be answered by physicians.

Good luck to you.
BRAINFRIENDENEMY is no longer an A/P blog:
BRAINFRIENDENEMY2 is now an A/P blog, though:

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