I'm 28 - have had IBS non-stop for 12yrs and severe anxiety for 20yrs. Feeling very low and looking for some support. Thanks in advance :)

My IBS is mainly bad constipation but sometimes alternates with softer stool too (never actual diarrhoea, just more frequent and loose with sense of urgency and more pain). I get very bloated and have a lot of trapped wind and burping. Eating (anything) makes my symptoms worse, as does being tired or feeling stressed. I haven't eaten wheat in 12 years. I eat quite a healthy diet. I don't do enough exercise but that is mainly because I have pain and feel nauseous all the time. I have no energy and feel very down.

I've tried antispasmodics, laxatives, stool softeners, anti-nausea meds, probiotics, cutting out dairy/coffee, increasing exercise, relaxation (yoga etc), I see a therapist and have just started having acupuncture/chinese herbal medicine (at a very well respected TCM clinic).

Nothing seems to make much difference and I am feeling quite depressed. The IBS triggers all my anxieties and feeling nauseous all the time is particularly stressful for me as I have a serious phobia of being sick. I don't know what to do anymore. I saw a gastro consultant when I was first diagnosed 12 years ago, and since then have had numerous visits to my GP, just leaving with laxatives or drugs that don't do much. I have found an IBS specialist and have been waiting for an appointment for a month now.

I know that others have some more acute symptoms than me, and I'm lucky to be able to go to work, have a relationship etc, but now is a really bad time and I'm just looking for a bit of support from someone who understands how much this can ruin your life. I am going through a divorce so my IBS is worse than ever.I feel as though I can't enjoy anything because I am either suffering from symptoms, or worrying about it. Is there anyone out there?

19 Replies

  • Have you tried the low FODMAP diet, this works for a lot of people on here including me?

  • I haven't tried it but would definitely give it a go! I just looked it up online but there are so many resources - can you recommend a good site where it lists what you can/can't eat on the diet? Thanks very much!

  • The best thing to do is to ask your GP for a referral to a dietitian trained in FODMAPs , but if you want to start it straightaway (I did this before the NHS got behind it), you can find the best information at the Monash University website - just put FODMAP into its homepage search box. The diet was created here so the info is absolutely correct. If you have an iPhone there’s also an app you can download from there.

    An American dietitian called Patsy Catsos has written a very good book about FODMAPs called 'IBS - Free At Last' which contains all the info you need to get going and is available from Amazon.

    It's well worth a go and results can be quite quick.


  • Thanks so much! Getting started right now!

  • Good for you!

    The baseline FODMAPs diet gave me a result in under a week, although it can take anything up to 6 weeks for some people, so be prepared to stay the course. I've also had to make several adjustments to the diet as time's gone on.

    Try and stay well away from all processed foods (the rubbish that gets put into them is just amazing) and read all ingredients' lists thoroughly.

    I wish you well with this, keep posting and let us know how it goes


  • I downloaded the app and just had my first FODMAP-free lunch! Will keep you posted!

  • Sorry to hear how you are feeling Clop159, it is not surprising that your symptoms are flaring up as you are going through a major life event at the moment and we all know this can have a detrimental effect on our already sensitive gut :-(

    You have come to the right place, we are all here to help each other :-) I hope that the therapy helps you, I found CBT quite useful for my depression which I came to realise was a direct consequence of my IBS as it affected so many aspects of my life that I became withdrawn. You are doing all the right things to try and address your symptoms, I hope you find something that works for you. Sorry I have no helpful suggestions, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone :-)

  • Hi I also have the same problems . I'm living in laxatives and painkillers and get very bloated every evening so much so that I go up a dress size .

    Unfortunately I have bladder problems too and together is hard to bear. I'm on anti depressants and waiting for CBT

    Just started dairy free diet then onto wheat free b4 doing FODMAP.

    I don't seem to be getting anywhere at and it makes me so low .

  • Hi Bettypie,

    Many people with IBS seem to end up on anti-depressants. I too am taking them currently but I would like to come off them as I don't like to feel dependant on medication.

    I often feel the need to urinate frequently which can be annoying when both the bladder and bowel are acting up!

    I have tried a dairy free diet but did not find that it worked that well for me, I am now trying to limit my wheat intake to see if this will have any effect.

    This condition is so frustrating but I am trying to not let it get me down anymore, I've already let it practically control my life but I am beginning to try and reclaim it back! ;-)

    Hold out for the CBT, I hope that it works for you :-)

  • Thank you Chocobella. It really helps to know that you aren't on your own :)

  • You're very welcome :-)

  • hi clop159. I too have been feeling really down about my symptoms recently as i just carnt get them under control. I agree with the others the low foodmap diet does seem to have an effect. I started to try it a couple of weeks ago and although i still have symptoms they do seem to be a lot less servere now so heres hoping it is starting to pay off because it wasn't easy to stop eating a lot of foods that i liked.

  • I also suffer with severe anxiety and this makes my ibs worse, be careful of the laxatives prescribed by doctors as they often contain things that trigger ibs. I have started taking aloe vera juice for the constipation and this seems to work really well, be patient though it took a couple of weeks to get into my system, you also need to buy a good quality one. Good luck

  • I have had various laxatives prescribed and each had bad side effects. Flax seed was suggested by some one on this site and I now take 1T on cereal in the morning and 1 at night. If the night one doesn't mix with my meal I take it with a little yogurt and honey. My C was constantly in my thoughts, now it's gone. I increased my liquid intake. I built in a tiny bit of exercise. Used the stair as a stepper. Did a few step ups, 2 or 3 times a day and it changed me. Good luck.

  • Flax seed or linseed really helps with constipation

  • small changes over time will make a big difference. don't give up. you will find a new life and answers. no more pain--move freely -- that's my determination.

  • I'm on my 7 th week of fodmap. The first week of challenge. I've discovered that onions and garlic definitely don't suit!

  • Hi Clop159. Agree wholeheartedly with chocobella, you are not alone on this site and you learn so much by what people have tried and what does and doesn't work for some. Luckily for me my IBS C goes through periods of being okay to bad and at the moment it seems reasonably okay. I tend to be 80/20 rule with my diet in that I eat very well/healthily most of the time but have my moments where I'm not so good. I saw a dietician in December and will be seeing her again soon about embarking on the FODMAPs diet (she is being trained on what the diet is before she can help patients).

    I too have a fear of sickness (Emetaphopia) but nothing like as bad as it used to be. I had around 6 sessions with a Hypnotist for my symptons and although not completely cured I am nothing like I used to be as I couldn't even look at anyone if they were sick on TV. Last year I did the Moonwalk in London (26.3 mile powerwalk) for breast cancer and there was vomit on the pavement and someone layed in their own vomit and I handled it really well. Worth giving it a try. Once your nausea is under control you will find you will be able to do alot more exercise as exercise certainly makes me feel alot better.

    Best of luck to you and I really hope the FODMAPs works for you.

  • I paid £150 for a consultation with a medical nutritionist and it was the best money I ever spent! That was 9 years ago and I have avoided wheat ever since.

    Exercise is the best stress reliever. Walk, jog, swim, they all help u forget your troubles for a while.

    I've also turned into an exercise addict. Swimming before work has helped loads and I've hardly suffered with IBS in the last year. My top tip would be loads of exercise, it helps loads.

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