diarrhea: can anxiety cause it?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/30/2008 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had diarrhea for over a year, watery. I have had a series of bad things happen in the past two years -- lost big job, mom died, divorced -- and have had go be put on antidepression drugs. The doctor has done several complete blood tests, endoscopy, colonoscopy and two those complete xrays (including drinking the nuclear stuff) of the colon, stomach, pancreas, etc. He says that he's convinced my diarrhea is stress related and he wants me to get out more, try to forget it, take my medcine and just take some over the counter stuff for diarrhea. I have found that eating a certain cookie has provided bulk and apparently helped my diarrhea for the first time in over a year. I wake up at night, can't sleep well and have general insomia to go with this, sometimes dreaming, talking in my sleep and sweating. My question to you guys is: does it sound reasonable that this is stress related? And problem severe IBS to go with the stress? What do you think?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/30/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   


Hello and Welcome to HealingWell. I think it is very reasonable to believe you have developed diarrhea due to stress.  I know you said you went on an AD but are you in any type of therapy.

IMHO if you can get the stress and anxiety under control, the diarrhea will resolve.  If you have IBS I am sure you know what food triggers your disorder so be careful with your diet and try to maintain a healthy  eating plan.

Keep posting.................it is good to have you with us.



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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 9/30/2008 4:28 PM (GMT -6)   

Have you had a workup for parasites also? That's good not to overlook. A friend of mine came down with giardiasis from untreated water some years ago, and it took a little while to figure out the problem, as it's not very typical.

That said, digestive upsets seem to be common with anxiety, and you've had a lot of stressors recently.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 9/30/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
it could ibs i have it and when i get nervous it gets worse, and certain foods can trigger it to

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 9/30/2008 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi and welcome to HW! :

Yes, yes, yes, it certainly can.

I have IBS and I can go from D to constipation to vomiting all in one day and even my doctor knows it's anxiety. I keep a food journal so I can figure out what foods are the very worst for me. I also take bulking agents like metamucil to, well, "bulk me out!"

The insomnia is probably related as well to the anxiety. have you considered getting some help for your anxiety? It may reduce your problems (physical and mental) if you can talk all of this out. Plus you can chat to us anytime you want! Again, welcome :-)


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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/3/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you all for your help. I have gone from being a pretty normal guy to a basket case one year. I'm working on it; it's going to take some time but I'm sure all of my symptoms are related to aniety. I thought, "anybody but me!" and yet here I am. I'm trying to take everything one day at a time, take a step forward every now and then and hope in time I will be back to my old self. I thank all of you that had had input; it's nice to have someone on your side. Most of my close "people" think I've gone about batty!
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