bad anxiety with my ibs : so ive had IBS for... - IBS Network

IBS Network

31,045 members10,658 posts

bad anxiety with my ibs


so ive had IBS for about a year now ive got it mostly under control with medication and diet but there is one thing i just cant cope with and thats the anxiety i don't know if other people with ibs suffer with bad anxiety but its getting out of control now to the point of im getting very little sleep because of it i was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to cope with it.

29 Replies

Hello, I'm 23 and I suffer with severe anxiety because of my IBS. I went to the doctors several times and told them it was seriously affecting my life because of the anxiety associated with it. You can ask them to do a referral to see a cognitive behave rial therapist. I've been referred for that and to a stress and worry workshop as its suppose to really get the anxiety under control :) hope this helps x


You can try Yoga, reflexology or counselling


You could try a self-help course of hypnotherapy

That helped me a lot

I have had this problem for 40 years and have put on a post about it. I came across a gem of an over the counter drug which is called Phenergan , it's an antihistamine and can be used long term. This is my third week on it and I have had no ibs-D or anxiety in that time. Helps you to sleep too.

I saw it on a forum which a doctor was talking about it for anxiety.

Two tablets on the first night and one thereafter . It's been a miracle for me as my Ibs-D was anxiety based not food. The first morning you might feel a bit zonked but that goes away, I just stayed in bed that day. I

The things I have been able to do now is amazing and I'm angry with myself that I've wasted forty years not being able to do the things I really wanted to do e.g learning to drive, I loved it but wasn't able to take the test because of the IBS . Just going out for a coffee was horrendous--- that's all gone and hope it stays that way. Give it a try as it might just work for you too.

You will get 20 questions at the pharmacy but just tell them it's for travel sickness. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

calista in reply to Shon48

Glad to see you are still good on it

Would love to try it

Shon48 in reply to calista

Why don't you ?? No harm will come to you ,just feel a wee bit zonked in the morning after the first two. The only pill it interacts with is zimovane the sleeping tablet and I can assure you that the Phenergan will help you if you take it at night.

calista in reply to Shon48

Thinking of it your last post re all especially husbands stroke as mine has memory loss and cognitive problems so I cant really be zonked...

Live in small town too so maybe will get phen out of town .

Shon48 in reply to calista

Worth a try honestly and I do hope it works for you .

calista in reply to Shon48


Will let you know

JAJJV in reply to calista

rippi in reply to Shon48

Hi, Im so glad you found something to help, ive had IBSD for a while but never had anxiety before I broke my ankle now it is terrible, yet the ibs seems better, maybe cause im not eating much just dont have an appitite any more...would like to try that med you use but im on a lot of meds for diabetes, high blood pressure etc. but im going to ask the pharmacy what they think if I can take it, my main concern is the anxiety...

Stress actually dries me up to IBS-C. I get depression when my IBS-d is bad.

ivesy in reply to OrionOrion

Hi Orion. I feel the same way. Feeling really depressed at the moment as my ibs has been particularly bad the past 3 months. Have you spoken to a doctor about the depression?

Shon48 in reply to OrionOrion

Ibs is different for nearly everybody and can certainly bring you down to a depressive state. The last four years have been so traumatic for me that I don't know how I'm still here. I had breast cancer and all that comes with that then my husband had a stroke then I lost my parents within a year of each other. I'm still here and I thought after the cancer my anxiety would go away but no chance . I was doped up for every hospital visit , every chemo visit ,every radiotherapy visit. I couldn't go to my parents funerals either. Thankfully, I don't believe in funerals anyway as I did my loving while they were alive.

Phenergan has changed my life . This is me starting my third week on it ,still waiting for it to let me down. Definitely worth a try whether you have ibs-d or c .

Hi mine ibs is caused by anxiety so completely understand what you are going through. Having a particularly bad time of it at the moment after having a baby 3 months ago . I'm actually going to the doctor tomorrow and hoping to be referred to a cognitive behavioural therapist. Just wanted you to know you are not alone

Shon48 in reply to JanineL

CBT might help you enormously as you are dealing with it fairly quickly. I wish you lots of luck with that.

IBS will require you to change behavior and what you do daily - lets be honest - having to do that sucks, but till you can balance and control it you need to make changes and in turn give up some things you want to do to try to better get control of your current issues.

I have been dealing with IBS for over 20 years, it sucks. But its not as bad as many others have it and its clearly not as good as probably all your friends have it and that is with no gut issues.

Take a stand against it by knowing there is an issue and fighting back the anxiety with understanding of what symptoms you have, what foods are triggers and the fact that sometimes there is just nothing you can do but feel awful.

I have figured out several things that sometimes work for me, because it is just that all things do not work all the time. I am not sure your age, but in my case I drive to work each day. Its an hour each way. Let me tell you - for sufferers of any gut problems and hour is an eternity. I like to call it the bathroom to bathroom issue. Or the will I make it scenario. I have had all kinds of issues when driving and there really is nothing worse other than trying to fly somewhere.

I use many things to try to distract myself from my gut, music, audio books, calming exercises like breathing etc. I have found varying temperature in the vehicle from one extreme to another tends to distract me from anxiety attacks sometimes. Honestly it is whatever works for you, I have tried them all and continue to try them to see what works.

IBS is a battle of mind over body. Finding ways to find yourself and what you need is key to trying to win.

thanks for replys i appreciate it, i managed to sleep ok last night but todays just been really horrible i just guess i need to really exercise and just wear myself out it is getting annoying but im gonna go see my doctor see if she can do anything for me.


Hi, I was having problems with travelling, it was making me anxious worrying that I might need to urgently use the loo, which it turn would make me need to go. it was making driving the 45 miles to work very stressful. I asked my gp to refer me for cbt. I had 4 sessions via the phone and it has really helped! I also used a hypnotherapy cd which has also helped, and i also now regularly do yoga and other exercise such as running.

Shon48: you poor woman. The terrible time you have gone through. You are a true survivor to still be here. I wish you strength. Everyone else, I've appreciated your responses and sympathised with your struggles, appreciated your advice. Just a but low for detailed responses, but thank you all for being there: it really helps :-)

Cheers OrionOrion. I don't class myself as a poor woman as I'm still here to tell my tale of woe . I'm a very lucky woman having ,so far, survived cancer . My husband is doing well after his stroke and now I'm hopefully on the road to beating the Ibs-D caused by anxiety. I wish you all the best of luck and that you get well soon. Many thanks

Its nice to know it's not just me suffering with the IBS-d anxiety stuff. I was prescribed Amitriptyline a few years ago as my IBS was keeping me up at night with the pain and the stress. Ive found it works wonders for helping me get a good nights sleep so I'm more rested to face getting through the day. I'm only on 25mg now which is a therapeutic dose for helping sleep. Do ask your doctor about it, I hope it helps you x.

Hi! new here, but not to the dreaded IBS that I have had 35 years now. Like many I have suffered severe anxiety since age 21. I been on benzodiazapines 40 years now, but on the less drowsy Diazapam, but it doesnt have the same effect Lorazapam did, and that was, that i only suffered periodical flare ups. However Diazapam is 50% less strong, it may not make like a zombie, but it hasnt the same power to calm the intestines. I have taken Colpermin, Meberverine, Buscapam with some working some days , others not, After I had a gastric bleed, in 2010, This was my fault, not related, had issues with a new doctor, bought Diazapam from Arabia, looks like they were contaminated. In hospital on Amporozele drip 72 hours, gradually stools returned normal colour, at first they thought i had an Ulcer, but no, had blood tests every day, anxiety was off the scale of course as very scary, went home after 7 days, couldnt find a real cause, except the contaminated tablets. Since 2010 though, and the problem, the reflux acid got much worse, so have to keep a repeat prescription of Amoprozele in my box, for some nights when i get that awful burning throat.

Today is a bad day, but wife told me off, I want to be normal, but she says you cant eat what others can do, so anyway as I have arthritis , and in a lot of pain i get tired, bought myself a powered Strong Expresso Coffee, and last night had Sweet sour chicken and rice, along with a load of chips and gravy from Bisto, result been 12 times this morning, pain full cramps, mucus, slight runs, pregnant stomach as usual, very depressing, but wife says, if you eat and drink the wrong stuff, You will never learn will you?? After coming out of hospital in 2010 had a further barium meal xray, result nothing, which although is supposed to reassure me, it doesnt, had to on iron tablets for 6 weeks wasnt nice either, constipation, and made my stools go grey again, anxiety got much worse, ended up going to A&E nearly every day until mental health team took me on as patient.

At nearly 65 now, although I dont get it quite so severe, there are times when I have blown the bed clothes up with the amount of darn wind. Does anyone completely go off there food while having one of these, or even the sight of food in a supermarket, turns you off. I dont really know what to eat lately, I do like morning cereal with milk, i like my cheese, but both of these seem to be on most lists to keep away from. Processed food in recent years as in ready meals seem to upset my stomach more than they used to, no idea why. Does anybody else get IBs reactions from Supermarket ready meals? Funnily enough a fresh cooked Chinese from our long standing takeaway, very rarely brings on an attack, but if I buy a M&S chicken Korma , best quality, Im usually on the loo from midnight till 6am :((

Hidden in reply to Anxiousmike

Hi Mike,

For ready meals, you've put your finger on it. The fresh stuff is OK. The ready-meals are designed to keep fresh longer, so they have additives and preservatives in to give them a longer shelf-life, plus extra thickeners in the sauce for cheapness. This rubbish is what is hard to digest and feeds the bad strains of bacteria in your gut. Stick to fresh any time.

Sorry to say this, your wife is right. But we are all human, aren't we. I went to Burger King at lunchtime:)


I know exactly how you feel, I think it is the chicken and egg situation, my IBS started 3 years ago when I was made redundant and for the past 6 months I have had terrible anxiety problems, the IBS settled when I came off a high fibre diet and I was taking Merbeverine which really helped, I am now on Omeprazole which really ease the pain in my gut and ribcage and also helps with the bloating. My IBS is at its peak first thing in the morning, but the anxiety seems to be with me all day, I have stopped driving because I think I am a hinderence on the road, I get very little sleep on average 3-4 hours a night which means by late afternoon I am shattered, I do try to exercise every day and do take my dog for very long walks which helps and I have just started taking Nytol before bed, although it is a daily struggle please try to keep a positive attitude.

Ive just been diagnosed with severe anxiety and mild depression, which I think has been brought on by my IBS/bowel habits. Dr has prescribed Sertraline, which I hope will make me feel better (will take 4 weeks to kick in) and help me get out of the loop of worrying on a daily basis. Ive also spoken with a therapist who has referred me for some CBT, but there is a waiting list, hence the tablets! Back to normal routine in a few days though, which I'm not looking forward to. Hope you get the help you need!

I dont know if mine was from IBSD or not because I never had anxiety before I broke my ankle now the anxiety is terrible wondering how long it lasts and if it ever will go away?

It’s so reassuring to realise that I’m not the only one who suffers with this !! Before my ibs got severe I was a young confident outgoing teen but because of this I became a introverted anxious hermit !! I am slowly dealing with this but it is nice to know that I’m not the only person who has to deal with this 😊

Hi I just wondered if you have tried mindfulness, plus exercise? Headspace is a really good app that I use to give myself time out to relax which also reduces stress and anxiety and helps focus on your breathing. I also go to the gym 5 times a week (classes) I force myself even if I feel bloated/pain or a bit sick and it actually helps. I feel much better afterwards and less cramps. I suffer from the constipation with ibs though and the exercise helps shift things! I think as with all health issues that tablets can only help so much and some lifestyle changes may also really benefit ibs and mental health.

You may also like...