Anxiety and IBS

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Robert S.
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/7/2006 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Does any one out there have experienced, like me, anxiety-the fear of not finding a toilet on time or at an appropriate place-leading to an IBS attack? Is it only mental or does it have a physical basis to it?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 8/7/2006 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Robert,
This anxiety leading to an IBS attack happens to many, if not ALL, of us. Just the thought of hopping on a plane or making vacation or day long plans will throw me into a nervous frenzy and give me the big D. It sucks. In my opinion, I think it's all mental with no physical basis. The way for me to beat it is to pop 1/2 an Imodium and go about my business. The Imodium will put my mind at ease that I won't need a bathroom, then I get to relax and enjoy my plans.... meanwhile not getting D.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 8/8/2006 5:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey robert. I totally think my IBS is the way it is cos of anxiety. 90% of the time my stomach is worse because of anxiety...Im usually ok when im out by myself cos i can just detour to a toilet if i need to. but with someone else around im like ahhh what will they think, i cant just run to a loo with someone lagging behind me...thats where the mental games come into one prob cares i have to go to a loo,its just me that thinks they do...I often worry i will not make it to a toilet in time, thats why i posted another topic "would anyone go this far" about putting a portable toilet in there car...Some ppl on here have done im thinking about it...I also get bad anxiety when i go to one of my jobs. i work in retail and the toilet is down the arcade, and im usually by myself so i have ot close the job, well wait for a customer to leave then close the shop and go loo. once i had a customer and nearly didnt make it to the loo, hence ive been stressed out going to work ever sucks...ive taken two weeks off and started Zoloft to see if that helps with my hoping it does cos im sick of worrying when going to work...bahhh

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/15/2006 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes, that anxiety is a mean culprit. I know exactly how you all feel, I may be going along doing great, and let someone, or something throw a kink in my rope, and I am right back where I started.

I have started to take the Imodium when I feel anxiety coming on, I feel like I am trying to head it off at the pass, so to speak. Like giving myself a jump start.

I have a terrible habit of letting people get to me, things they say...things they say about others....actions, and of course, mean people who like to hurt others with thought, word or deed. Shame on them all. I can't let this stuff roll off of my back, it just sits in side of me simmering away. That is the reason I have so much anxiety ibs attacks, thats what I call them anyway.

Stress is mean and cruel, it just attacks everyones body differently. We just happen to have it hit us in our guts!!

I just hope we can help each other through lifes bumps to make it through to the bathroom.

If I had to get to the bathroom, no way would I let other peoples ideas about it, keep me from running. YOU are the most important person when it comes to D, so go on and get there, explain it a little afterwards, just enough so they can be sympathetic, and then go on with life. Don't forget to take those Imodium though, it will save you before no one else, or anything else can!!  good luck.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/15/2006 10:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I have crohns, IBS and lactose intolerance...I suffered with anxiety (mental, not physical) and depression...when I finally started to feel a little better health-wise and sold my car and bought a van so I could put a port-o-pot in the back (my security blanket) and started exercising regularly that all helped diminish almost all of my anxiety.


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/21/2006 4:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, its like reading about myself.

I have IBS D, but can also 'talk' myself into getting D from anxiety.

I too take immodium when I have to go somewhere (usually in company that is not aware of my problem) and I'm worried about not finding a toilet.

I used to think that it was 100% anxiety, but I also get D and gas and cramping when I'm not anxious.

I've got a holiday planned in October and it involves taking a plane trip and a shuttle bus. I'm already scared about the shuttle bus trip - no toilet.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 9/23/2006 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
As far as stress is concerned, there is no doubt that it  makes the IBS worse but I really resent being told by a dr that it's CAUSED by stress. I think once you have IBS you are stressed as a result of the uncertainity of what will happen next. I have IBS and some diviticulos according to the gastro and it started the day I had my Gall Bladder out. As a result I'M STRESSED yeah

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/27/2006 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Anxiety will make it alot worse,sometimes I feel cursed! granted things could be worse,its still a mental battle! Alot of my anxiety comes from ibs.I was ok for few yrs,went to college,worked..,now im housebound,I usually dont get the D but still afraid to leave house on most days,when I do ,I take imodium,which i have for yrs to control my problem,then imodium can really plug ya up! I was on paxil for anxiety and it helped,now im not on it and i can tell the difference,I've had public accidents...I got so phobiac about it,and still i am to some point,but when i was on paxil i was embrassed but i got over it,and my logic was so what?!? it isnt gonna kill me..go home and take a shower! my sis n'law's sister has chroans and has alot of accidents but she dont let it stop her from going out and enjoying life,life is to short to worry what other ppl think! so what I started to do was keep a tote bag with extra pants and change of clothes,babywipes..and of course imodium!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 9/28/2006 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Merri, I can't attest to your gall bladder removal causing your diverticulitius (because they're not related), but removing the gall bladder does usually cause post-cholesectomy syndrome--often mistakenly confused with IBS. Basically you no longer have a gall bladder to regulate your bile flow, so you end up either having too much or too little most of the time. Technically IBS is a bowel problem with no known cause.

I have too much bile and my G.I. put me on the cholesterol medicine Welchol. I've been on it for 2, almost 3 years now and I love it. It makes me pretty regular and keeps food from messing me up as much. Some G.I.s are trying their IBS patients on it who have good gall bladders, but who have such rapid intestinal transit times that they don't have time to absorb their bile and other fluids enough to have a regular bowel movement. The Welchol specifically binds up bile. Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D, an OTC calcium supplement, can absorb excess water and some bile. I use it to help regulate me too. Some people can get relief enough from the calcium alone.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 10/13/2006 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Anxiety is most definitely a problem.  I believe that it is an actual cause of ibs.  I find that if I worry that I might have an attack I usually do.  I have been working hard at getting better.  When I have an IBS-D attack I totally freak out petrified that I am going to vomit.  It really scares me.  I have been working hard to trust in the Lord and remind myself how lucky I am not to be worse off than I am.  There was a time when I couldn't leave the house or be alone.  I would not sleep at all at night and work was miserable.  It was horrible.  I wish you the best of luck. 
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