Hi I'm new need help and a listening ear please?:)

I'm a female 18 and have been putting up with IBS for a few years now. Nobody seems to understand it and trivialises it and basically thinks I have mental issues which is really unfair. It all began before my exams and every time a bad event happens it gets worse to the point the pain is so bad I am sick and hospitilized with potential appendicitis but no it's just the ibs. It has gotten worse since a family member passed. It seems whenever I am anxious or worried, (which is alot aged 18 with college , uni etc) I get the worst pain and the rest . How can i break the cycle of stress, pai, needing the toilet, more stress and more pain? I am at my wits end with feeling alone:(

I hope you're all well as you can be x

8 Replies

  • Hi, my ibs is also made worse by anxiety. I have had it for 15 years. Has your doctor given you any medication to help.? If I'm going out , particularly on a long car journey, I take immodium instants. They help a little. Coming on here you will find people who all understand what you are going through and that you are not alone. I also have a radar key for disabled toilets, which are locked which is also helpful when you are out. I hope you feel better soon. K

  • I think we can all relate to the frustration of being told "it's just ibs". It makes me very cross these days - after suffering on and off for 20+ years. Anxiety definitely makes it worse and the vicious cycle goes on. I truly believe anyone who does not suffer has no idea what ibs is like, and that includes GP's, gastro consultants (not all), family and friends - not to mention work colleagues. One day they will find out what goes on in our gut to cause the symptoms!!

  • Hey. I'm 20 now and I've had IBS for 13 years. I don't know how to break the cycle of it getting worse with stress other than managing how you deal with stress (which in the long run is good anyway). Like Kar4 said, a radar key is really helpful especially as on occasion when I have been really stressed, I've had spontaneous panic attacks which cause me diarrhea so I feel safe having that and knowing I can hop into a disabled toilet if I need to.

    I also have a very strict diet for exams which is very different to my normal eating habits. The jist of it is that I don't eat within 2 hours before an exam. I meditate before I go in, I eat very plain simple foods. To be honest, since coming to university it's gotten better because we pretty much have a test and multiple deadlines per week so I've gotten used to the stress. If you want to talk about anything, like I dunno.. how to deal with non-understanding friends, school/college, the bereavement (I swear to god every time someone dies it's the worst trigger) or anything, just PM me. Maybe having someone of a similar age who understands will help :) xx

  • Acupuncture is great for anxiety/stress. After the usual treatment My acupuncturist gave me tiny plasters with tiny tiny needles on that stick on the ear (stay in place for about a week or more) and when you're anxious etc you gently press it. Now I don't need them:-)

  • I have found that dairy affects me so I'm now completely dairy free.

    I have also had counselling and reflexology which has helped me

  • Hi Dozyrosie,

    I have been a sufferer for about 4yrs now after a viral infection and gastro enteritis which nocked me for six , I to have had the lot everything related to IBS you can think of and had all the tests with no joy . I have just started a hypnotherapy course through professor Whorwell and it is helping with the stress side of IBS and I am now able to relax and deal with the stress although it only lasts till the next thing winds you up , I still have a few weeks of the course left but it is looking promising , will not get rid of the IBS though . Good luck , your not alone .

  • Hiya Rosie. Please don't ever feel alone and I know that's easier said than done. Ibs is such a vicious circle, the Ibs gives you anxiety which in turn makes the Ibs worse. I'm going through cognitive therapy at the moment for the anxiety caused from Ibs. I feel like I walk round everyday with a huge weight on my shoulders and to be honest it's thouroughly exhausting. The only thing sometimes I can take comfort from is the fact that I know a lot of people who moan and I mean moan when they've got a sore throat for a day, this in turn just makes me realise how strong I am to live with this day in and day out. We are all strong because we live with this and although it might not feel like it sometimes we are all coping. There are medications that can work for people and things such as fodmap diet which can maybe help to ease your suffering. Try different things and hopefully you'll find what's right for you. Be strong and keep the faith and always remember your not on your own. Sending you a big hug xxxx

  • Hello. I'm 16 and contracted IBS last year. Don't worry about it, honestly. The people on this forum have great advice and I know that it can be difficult to deal with stress. I contracted my IBS before an exam as well so naturally everyone thoiugfht it was stress. However we realised that once it styarted opccuring in the holidsyas (in particualr summer) we realised that it wasn;t due to exams at all. It you get into a mindset that it will reoccur towards your exams then it tends to occur. I've been through about 17 exams with it now, no problems. My adbvice to you is take immodium if you really feel bad towa\rds the time of an exam but also try to require am 'exit card', I have one of these at schoo, and they basically just let you leave class for whatever reason for 5-10 miniutes and they're applicable to exam situations

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