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Panic attacks and other symptoms before bowel movements

I have had a strange thing happen since April of this year. A little bit before a bowel movement, I get a weird adrenaline rush, my heart rate elevates, and I get dizzy and sometimes have a panic attack. Once I have the bowel movement, my heart rate almost immediately returns to normal and I feel cooler and more relaxed. The adrenaline still floats around in my body for a while, but after is so much calmer than before. This doesn't happen with every bowel movement, only some, and usually in the middle of the night. It's not caused by anxiety, but seems to be the other way around. My impending bowel movement causes anxiety and panic. Does anyone else have this happen? If so, do you know the science behind it?

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I was like this a month ago i think it came from my fear of getting constipated ik sound gross but anyway as soon as i sit down my heart would start beating fast i get really nervous & my leg starts to shake & i cant use it my stomach muscle tighten up i told my dr about it & she said it was bathroom anxiety for me gave me some stuff to mix in my water & it regulated my bowels & everysince it dont happen when i go thats why i said for me it was fear of being constipated hope u find a solution for yourself mention it to your GP

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what did your doctor give you?

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Its called polyethylene. glycol 3350 solution

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I have had the same symptoms from time to time just like you described. I don't know what the science is behind it. I do know that anxiety will trigger stomach issues. My anxiety will last longer but I will feel somewhat better after a bm. Evil anxiety will manafest itself in many ways

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Yep agree with Gloria, I can be sitting feeling perfectly normal and from no where I am drenched in sweat, and this is way before I feel any movements inside or pain.

I in the past have had some very scary nasty experiences in the toilet area of life so my anxiety is probably enhanced.

I won't go in to detail cos I don't want to scare you further, but I hope it passes and you gain freedom from it soon.

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I wish I had found this months and months ago when I was searching. I have had this for quite a while. It’s like a full bowel, mostly at night so maybe it’s the position of the pressure, brings on feelings of anxiety. Even panic. It has taken years to realize that it is a Full bowel or pending BM that triggers it. Not that panic is just relieved by a BM, nor that panic causes the BM, but perhaps the physical pressure brings on the anxiety attack. I hope if you are reading this and you share this ... sensation or reaction ... that you post and tell about your perspective. What other issues do you have that may help connect what is going on? I have read a little about the vagus nerve and wonder if that is what is causing this. Then I worry about my colon, etc. Your answer will be appreciated, friends, Thanks.

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I get this, had a bad episode last night after being ok for a few months. I've had to go on a diet but still get some symptoms. I ate food I shouldn't of yesterday though which caused an extreme burning stomach at 3am then I went freezing cold, all the blood in my body seemed to be redirected to my stomach, my arms went dead and I couldn't close my hands they were that stiff. I rang an ambulance as I started wheezing and felt like my brain was starved of oxygen and I collapsed to the floor. (I have fainted with it in the past and had diarrhea at the same time) It's an horrific experience when it happens and my body is left in a stressed state and I feel sick and shaky for the rest of the day and have diarrhea about 3 or 4 times afterwards. I've had a stool test done which shows a yeast overgrowth and other bad bacteria overgrowths. I'm intolerant to cornflour and food with yeast in because of it. My immune system sees it as a foreign object and tries to flush it out my system as quickly as possible. It seems to happen when the food reaches a certain point in my digestive tract. I think it's similar to someone with celiac-disease who has a servere reaction to gluten.

I do have a couple diverticulitis pockets (not sure if the burning stomach aches caused them or constipation / gas)

That might be where the food causes the problems as the feeling always calms down then comes back a second time then calms again,not sure though.

The vagus nerve is definitely involed as well and the amount of food eaten affects how bad the reaction is, I do think gas and bloating presses on the nerve, or pushes toxins into my bloodstream causing the immune reaction.

Definitely causes the anxiety symptoms and nothing to do with what I'm thinking.

In the day if I eat something wrong my face goes red hot and can have flu symptoms afterwards.

Had muscle twitching, restless legs, heart palpitations, rosacia, and rashes on neck a year before stomach problems started and hangovers became 10 times worse.

Had scarring Alopecia for 15 years as well.

Taking natural antifungals to kill the overgrowths and going try saccharomyces boulardii as its a good yeast that's supposed to help.

Keep slowly feeling better and better but then have an episode that sets me back.

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This sounds exactly like me. How are things going? Today i drank a sugary alcoholic beverage, couldn't swallow. Felt like i was gasping, felt pressure inside Sweaty, extremely anxiety that lasted 10 hours until i had a bowel movement. This happens all the time and it has to have something to do with candida or fungus or something. Probiotics sometimes help dramatically. Diarrhea oddly enough make me feel like a million bucks soon after. Doctors have and insight with you? They are clueless with me

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Have you been able to pin point what is really happening. I get the same thing. Panic then bowel movements all day long...

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Someone mentioned the Vasovagal or Vagus nerve. I am a panic/anxiety sufferer, on medication so mostly under control. This I believe makes me more sensitive to body changes, however small. Its all part of the flight/fight that humans have inbuilt so to speak. Anxiety and panic sufferers are so hyper vigilent and self aware of if something changes in the body (normal things like an impending bowel movement (yikes) it can stimulate the vagus nerve, it can cause Dizziness, feeling faint, lightheaded, warm, clammy , sweaty, nauseous, ringing in the ears ...oh the joy. It happens in nano seconds and can cause such a rush because as in my case I feel like it might be a panic attack. My husband got a bad flu last year and collapsed on the floor while trying to vomit over the toilet. I called an ambulance, and they were not in the slightest concerned about the fainting, more that he was lucky to have not hurt himself. The doctors believed he fainted because of the Vagus nerve being stimulated. The body tries to get us to get down as close to the floor in case we faint so we don't hurt ourselves. What the doctor told my husband was that the way to relieve the nerve is to lie on the bed sitting up and to cross his legs and squeeze them together. Squeeze and tighten your arms and fingers. This feeling still gives me the creeps but when the little twinges in my belly start it reminds me to be near a toilet it pretty much IMMEDIATELY goes away and it always ends up with a bowel movement, maybe in a few minutes, maybe in half an hour.... (TMI)...? but reassured it's nothing serious, just not pleasant. Not the nicest of topics, but it's so good to know there are explanations!

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I have this and there is absolutely nothing psychological behind mine - I start to feel weak, dizzy, sick, light headed, and sometimes agitated or panicky and then a while later start to get the urge to 'go' 😁 it's been happening for about 2 or more years now and I still don't always make the connection until I start to need the loo!! I do have IBS and a lot of foods that I just can't tolerate, as well as immuno issues that still have no firm diagnosis so there are other things going on. When this happens I also get symptoms that mimic heart problems but nothing showed up on ecg. It's one of the many mysteries of my weird body that I WILL get to the bottom of one day.

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Please read up on the Vagus Nerve you might find some answers. It is basically a nerve that is close to diaphragm and it also near major organs in our gut. If the Vagus is stimulated it can create these feelings of dizziness lightheaded ness etc.

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So I’m currently reading This because I was in the middle of a panic attack and wanted to see what others thoughts were. I get anxiety bad always and I do have medicine for it but it constipate the crap out of me (literally). A long time ago I had a seizure like thing happen to me while trying to poop in the middle of the night my doctor said it was due to my fever (I had the flu) but ever sense then when I feel stomach pain like I’m going to have a bm I get bad anxiety worse if I’m not home. The bm that hurt tend to be the ones that give me bad anxiety... I found that reading things or playing games while in the middle help because you’re not to focused on it and this may be gross but it helps me to poop a lot then stop when I’m comfortable for maybe like 30 mins and go again just to calm me down and relieve some pain.

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I've been trying CBD oil and propranolol and found that has helped tremendously.

CBD has helped weird forms of epilepsy in others and inflammation somehow it really helps the panic attacks.

As for the causes I've seen vagus nerve and a condition called pots syndrome.

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So glad to know I'm not the only one with these symptoms. Ot let's me know I'm not crazy. I pray the best for us all

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I have been experiencing something very similar. About 2 years ago I started having intense episodes of feeling like I was going to pass out. I would get this rushing feeling all over my body and be certain that I would pass out. I have had a history of what we assume is anxiety and panic attacks and have been on medication for it. The medication helped for about a year with non sign of any issues but recently it came back with a vengence. I am having trouble getting my work done and spend my days in constant fear that I will actually pass out.

Recently I started noticing that it seems to be connected to when I need to have a bowel movement. I will out of the middle of nowhere start feeling this rushing sensation and like I am about to pass out at any moment. Sometimes my arms and legs will feel shaky and warm and like I have no strength in my limbs. I will then notice that I need to use the restroom. Sometimes it is just a regular, normal bowel movement. Other times it is more urgent and loose (I also have a history of stress induced IBS so the consistency or nature of my bowel movements is not a concern of mine). This feeling will come in waves for a while and sometimes disipate after I use the bathroom but sometimes I am left feeling lightheaded and weak long after I go to the bathroom. This feeling doesn't happen everytime I need to have a bowel movement, but often enough that I notice a pattern. I will also get this feeling sometimes if I don't need to use the restroom.

Anyone have any similar experiences? I'm so frustrated and I'm not convinced its just anxiety or panic like my doctor thinks. I am totally fine if that truly is the problem, but I would like some more definitive proof.

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I have had exactly the same thing happen! I’ve literally only had it about 8 times my whole life but when it happens it’s really bad! I’ve always wondered what it was...

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I know this is 4 months later but I was looking around online because this has been happening to me, almost exactly as you've described. It doesn't happen every day or every time I have a BM, it's pretty sporadic. I have a history of bowel issues such as IBS and have developed some anxiety issues because of it but this is a different sensation. I don't always have a BM when it happens but I do notice I have gas, it's definitely gastrointestinal.

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Hi,

I've had very similar experiences on and off for a few years. I don't really suffer from anxiety but my body seems to go into a state of panic with my heart rate increasing to 180bpm and I feel truly dreadful until passing a few bowel movements. I also suffered daily with extreme palpitations. I saw doctors who told me they couldn't find anything. I was at the end of my tether so decided to investigate myself.

ive done extensive research and found that a lot can stimulate the vagas nerve to produce these symptoms. One being sugar, I mean all sugars, the ones in fruit, honey, maple etc....

I gave up all sugar and my palpitations are infrequent and these episodes are now rare, although had one last night and that's why I'm here now! But they are not as strong as they used to be and more manageable.

Just thought I'd share this to everyone as it's helped me so much and I wouldn't wish my worst enermy to go through what I do. I know how scary and lonely it can feel.

If you have any more questions please ask but hope this helps you all.

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I completely agree! It’s funny I just finished a post saying I think it’s a combination of sugar and hormone related. I had not read your post yet. Maybe a doctor can post something for us to let us know we’re on the right track.

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So glad I came across your post. This happens to me! I have anxiety/panic attacks but they are mostly under control. However I’ve noticed that I start to feel real anxious/panicky then a few minutes later I have to go to the bathroom! My counselor thinks it’s the anxiety causing the bm But I think it’s the other way around! I think my body is about to make a bm but before I feel the urge to go. I start feeling real anxious. Then I freak out thinking I’m having an attack. After I go I feel much better. What is up???

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I have had the exact same thing since 2012 - had too much tea and cake then had a panic attack - went to hospital and the doc kept asking me if i was stressed (which i definitely wasn't). Soon after I had a bowel movement and all was fine. However, because of that I now get feeling of panic and bad thoughts beforehand. I definitely agree that the BM is causing the symptoms and NOT the other way round! So glad to have found your comment :)

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I started experiencing these same symptoms when one night two years ago I was woken from my sleep by a panic attack. Just yesterday I was woken abruptly by some noise in the house and couldn't go to sleep again and then that's when it struck again with me shivering so violently I shook my bed. After the bowel movement, and mind you this means symptoms stay until every drop of poop exist my rectum, all symptoms stopped.

My symptoms were much worse at the start of the month since the weather got drier, I live in the tropics, and warmer. I had panic attacks when performing normal activities that didn't induce any panic before hand, with shivers, a high blood pressure and heart rate, feelings of an impending faint. Everything vanishes after bowel movement. My blood and urine test came clean, no surprises there, but was prescribed Amoxicillin Clavunate to clear up any underlying infection. And it worked in making the symptoms feel less of an illness. Let me explain. Before I took the amoxicilin I felt ill with fever and aches when the symptoms struck but after it became a bit funny actually because I would feel strong as hell, no fevers or aches or dizzy spells but would be shivering on the toilet. I one time laughed my head off after I cleaned up.

I have also done some more research I am going back on omeprazole I was prescribed years ago for an ulcer since I strongly suspect it's an inflammation issue within the anus and rectum. Inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis. I'm trying that with drinking a lot of water to address a possible dehydration angle as well. This thing is not going to ruin my life. I will not lose.

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You Can Get ANXIETY By "Stressing Your" Urge & Your Stomach By Holding A Bowl Movement. I've Done It ! Why ? I Don't Know ? Go Figure ? I'm Like, " I Did It !" I Stressed My Urge & Stomach & Can't Pin Point Why I Would Cause Myself Unnecessary Anxiety ?.....

I Read This & I Was Like. "WOW !" Been There & Here It Is.....

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I have been having something very similar, it used to happen to me once a year or less,now to some extent it happens almost every time I have a bm, but today it was just brutal.

I was just going about my business doing some errands when I felt a surge of adrenaline in my stomach and like fear. I just ignored it and got in the car to go to work, suddenly in the car I felt like a pressure in my lower intestines/rectum and it was like a switch had been flipped, my heartbeat just went off the scale, I started to shake and sweat my arms and legs went numb I pulled over to call for an ambulance, opened all the windows in the car, decided to deep breathe and try to get to work as I was only minutes away. When I got there I went to the loo, did a big bm and then felt fine, just scared from the whole experience. I know it's the bm causing the synptoms and not the other way round. It's very very scary. Will see what the gastro has to say

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I have had panic attacks for years - pounding heart, dizziness, elevated blood pressure - that subside after I have a bowel movement. Sometimes they go away on their own. I was recently diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, so for the last month I have been eating very small meals with more fiber. As a result my BM's are smaller and somewhat looser. I had no panic attacks for 2 months, until last night. I had been taking codeine for pain after surgery, and without realizing it, I had gotten constipated. After a few hours I had a large BM and the panic attack subsided.

My doctor poo-poos it, but I know they are related.

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This started happening to me and it was absolutely diet-related. If I eat junk food, something spicy, or too salty...just something I’m not used to eating. I lay down for bed and then feel a huge gas bubble in my stomach, cramping, etc. Then when I stand up I start having the panic attack, same symptoms you described. Then I poop and the panic feeling: tingly, dizzy, etc. goes away when I finish. It doesn’t happen when I stick to my usual, healthy diet.

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As long as people like me keep researching this weird experience, this thread will continue. Literally have been going through this tonight, and on and off for the last 6 months or so.

So frustrating. The panic attack leaves me so tired after. Initially, I get a little disoriented and start shivering, feel woozy then have to use the bathroom. The panic continues, until a bit later when I lay down and do breathing exercises. If it's a bad attack, my body will shiver so much that my muscles begin to ache. And I'll have to use the bathroom several times. Awkward at best... :/

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Just as a follow up to my previous thread, I went to my gastro doc and he said that never in all his years of career had he heard such a thing. The only thing he could come up with was a vasovagal response to pain when pooping but when I told him that I dont3havw any pain at all he then said that it was extreme unlikely, when I continued to explain with more detail and I told him it felt like it pressed somewhere that caused the symptoms he said it could maybe be from trying to hold it a bit before going...uummm...don't know, so basically he had no idea.

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Same happens to me. I have anxiety disorder and when I am mostly stressed out this happens. Can anyone say what you use to treat your anxiety?

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Hello, I take 32 mgs of Effexor (venlafaxine). I have to open the capsule and count the pellets. The 37.5 dose is too much and they do not make a smaller dose. Originally the doctor put me on a 75 mg dose and I had a severe reaction. Since I am a chemist I just emptied the capsule and weighed the pellets and started with 5 mgs and worked my way up. This is a tremendous help in controlling the severe anxiety I have encountered when menopause hit. I pass out before and after urination and the bowel movements. I used to have heart palpitations before I passed out until i upped my salt intake. Now I only feel hot, clammy and sick before I pass out. Isn't life wonderful!!!

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I have this happening to me. I didn’t make the connection until recently. Everytime I need to have a BM my heart rate shots up and I have a panic attack

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Yes I have been experiencing this, it started a while back mostly when I had over indulged too many beers and unagreeable foods - generally middle of the night and after bowel movement, felt better.

It has now become a more regular stay and I seem to be experiencing it during the day also. Thought it was a metabolic issue pre-diabetes but tests came back ok, want my doctor to test for insulin issues - but having read this thread it sounds like a lot of what your posts are all saying palpitations, adrenaline, heart racing, anxiety and sometimes I don’t get a feeling like my bowel needs to go but if I go to the toilet and relax it comes. Can be happening 4-5 times a day. I am also experiencing bad tinnitus which lingers afterwards.

Sorry for the graphic detail but I just hope someone else gets some comfort as I have tonight from knowing others are suffering from this too.

The anxiety bouts during the day now are killing my work as I present almost constantly and finding it hard any suggestions?

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