IBS and Anxiety - Please help!: Hi all, I hope... - IBS Network

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IBS and Anxiety - Please help!


Hi all,

I hope you may be able to share some of your experiences with me.

I have always been an anxious person and about 2 years ago I was diagnosed with suspected IBS.

What doesn't help for me is the fact that I also have a fear of sickness and diarrhoea (oh the irony but I am generally IBS-C with urgency).

Yesterday, I was about to leave work when suddenly I came down with the runs (as I live an hour from the office, I really needed to wait it out to feel comfortable with leaving a place with facilities).

Luckily I had Imodium with me and following the instructions on the back I ended up taking 5 tablets (2 to start and 1 for each motion afterwards).

I am due to go away on holiday next week and I am terrified that this will all kick off again and ruin my holiday and of course the anxiety and fear is making my symptoms worse.

I'm not sure if this was a bug, or something I ate or just that my IBS just wanted to kick things up a notch!

I am going away to Berlin and I was really looking forward to it.

Anyone else get this horrible anxiety whenever they get a flare up and does anyone have some advice?

Thank you so much for your help.

7 Replies

Hi ktp, anxiety/ ibs are very common. A flare up can cause you to feel anxious, so you are not alone there. I cant say whether it was a bug, food u ate or ibs. Did this happen to you before? I find if i get very constipated, which is my main ibs problem, sometimes it can cause diahorrea as well, as it all backs up over time and this is the result. Perhaps you could try CBT therapy for your fear of sickness, it is certainly worth a try and before you travel see your gp who will advise you of a medication that may be able to help in the event of you getting a similar upset. Sorry i cant be of more help. Nanabud


You could try self hypnosis for the anxiety. CD's available from


I used to have IBSC and D alternating. I went Fodmaps which has worked wonders.

I would certainly try fodmaps, I also take amitriptyline just 10mg.

I use Imodium plus sparingly basically as and when. I use biscopan for cramps too.

I could have written your post, I know that my IBS is anxiety related.

I have already had to visit the bathroom several times this morning, I have taken 2 Imodium and waiting for them to kick in.

And I know this flare up is because I am taking my grandchildren and daughter in law out for the day.

I got up a hour early so I am hoping that I will be comfortable enough to go.

Shvuntz in reply to Mhl1

You and I are twins !! If I’m home I’m fine . The minute I have an appointment or have to meet someone out my tummy is my worst enemy ..

anxiety is what it’s all about for me too x

Hi, sorry to hear about your symptoms, it's terrible to feel so anxious about where the nearest toilet is. My I.b.s. Is caused through anxiety. I take mebeverine, and more recently an antidepressant that works on the bowel,it's called Amitriptyline, it's been like a wonder drug to me. I also cut out dairy and gluten. Ask your G.P to prescribe it. Hope you get to enjoy your trip, I like to travel too, and it does spoil it . I toured the west coast of U.SA, on my own a few years back, so I was anxious, my symptoms really were bad, and I didn't enjoy as much. Try this medication, I find it marvellous. Good luck.

Hi yes anxiety certainly could be the cause. I find it a bit of a vicious cycle, you feel unwell which makes you anxious which in turn makes you feel worse which makes you more anxious. Its very difficult to break out of that cycle. I too take amitriptyline which has helped, however i have recently read an american study which links the long term use of drugs such as amitryptiline to a much greater chance of developing dementia in the future. Therefore i will be speaking to my GI this afternoon to understand alternatives a si have been on it for almost 4 years.

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