Pure Anxiety based IBS help!

Hello folks, 34 year old ibs sufferer here! Ive had it since my late teens and know exactly what my main trigger is..... Stress! I suffer from the diarhea kind. Traveling is my biggest fear. Car journeys can be ok but as soon as i see a build up of traffic and the possibility of a jam! I free out and my body just goes in to fight or flight mode. I also could be sitting on a plane calm as you like until the seat belt lights come on and all of a sudden i need to go! Ive had hypnotherapy before but it was a fancy fast track one held in a hotel were i couldnt really relax as i could hear noises outside the door, hardly relaxing! Thinking of giving some one else a go but would like to know of other peoples experienced. Thanks in advance. Ps im from Northern Ireland if you know any good hypnotherapists in area

26 Replies

  • I don't think IBS is any single thing, not once you have it anyway. A whole life change is needed. Diet still helps as what you eat will make you relaxed or not. You are right about the stress as well as it becomes this never ending circle of stress, worst conditions, stress etc. It's finding what breaks that cycle. For me it's the thought that I won't be beaten by this thing and 2 Imodium before travel gives me that confidence. Good luck. 😊

  • I used to be the same. I never let it beat me up until recently. To be honest i never really gave a good diet a try just out of pure lazyness i suppose. I know spices, peppers and beer set me off. I'll never eat/drink them the night before anything important. I try to limit my imodium as the days after can nearly be worse for me

  • Hello there. I've used hypnotherapy to help people with this plenty of times. It does work. However, it really isn't a one hit wonder. You are suffering from stress because of the IBS but stress is also a factor in the aetiology of IBS (unless the medics have identified other causes). So, you'll need to resolve those stressors to deal with both cause and symptom - they've probably become a self-feeding loop by now anyway.

    I'm sorry but I don't know anybody in N.I well enough to recommend them.

    Best wishes


  • Could you tell me what key qualifications to look out for Paull when going to one? Dont want a cowboy lol Thanks

  • I use a self help hypnosis set of CDs which I obtained from

    Ibsaudioprogram100 which is produced by Michael Mahoney who is the founder of theUK register of IBS therapists amongst other things.

    The course consists of 3 cd's with a number of parts which are listened to in a certain order for 100 days.

    I listened to them every night just before bed. I found this course helped a lot and I still use them intermittently when I feel the need.

    I also did FODMAPS exclusion diet to find out what the worst food triggers for me. I have now almost eliminated diarrhoea although I still have a 'must find toilet quickly' problem from time to time particularly with traffic jams etc. I use Imodium instants occasionally but half of one tablet usually does the trick!!

  • Have you tried music? Using headphones and songs of your choice will block out unwanted noise from certain situations or having radio on in the car. Distraction technique.

    Or perhaps go to gp for low dose beta blocker for stress/anxiety- which is what mine gave me. supposedly many people use them prior to talking at conferences etc.

  • This could have been written by me,I know my IBS is mainly stress related.

    I will not travel now because of the fear of having a accident.

    Even when I travel with my husband I sit in the back seat with a emergency kit , just in case. It rules my life ,I can never go on impromptu trips with my sons and their families, because I would have bowel problems straight away.

    I have seen three different hypnotherapists, and had several sessions with the last two, even though I found them creepy,but no luck.

  • Hi

    I think I'd find hypnotherapy a bit off-putting too. I feel much more comfortable with this type of communication with fellow sufferers rather than confronting a stranger but everyone's different.

    I can't say I'm comfortable travelling by car. The way some people drive can be very scary. Now I'm older I'm able to prioritise fears and this one is way down the list.

    Best wishes

  • Can I suggest you try Phenergan, an antihistamine which can be bought over the counter or Internet. It has been my personal cure having suffered from ibsD for 41 years. Although you do a lot of driving I would suggest trying it when you have a day off or take it at night and it gives you a good sleep too. After a few months of using Phenergan I only have to take one occasionally when the bowels start acting up again.

    My g.p was all for it as anything is worth a try. Doesn't work for everybody though and I had to stop taking it at night because of restless legs which this pill made it worse . I just tweeked it to suit me. Again, it doesn't work for everybody but it certainly was a miracle for me . To be able to eat out and meet friends without doping myself up is just wonderful . Have a look on the Internet and read up on it . It's usually given for travel sickness , an old remedy but blooming well works for me . Good luck


  • Hello Shona, i seen your post on another page about this too. Im so glad to hear your are doing well too.

    Shona how dopey do they make you feel? Can you def not drive on them do you think? So you dont take them every day? Im stressing about a journey coming up in a limo now soon lol. Im groomsman at my mates wedding and have an hour journey in a limo in the morning to do. I should be excited but im so nervous that i'll freak out and make a show of myself and ruin a bit of his day! Would you recommend i take it in morning, hour before? Ps can you drink alcohol with them? Thanks and sorry for q's!!

  • Morning , I would take the Phenergan at night and you should be okay . What a day you are going to have and personally that would be a nightmare . If it was me I would have a Phenergan at night and two Imodium in the morning . If you have already tried Phenergan and I hope you have you should be able to take one that day too . Please don't wait until the wedding to try them . I don't drink so that hasn't been an issue. I take the 25mg tablets but you can get lower doses plus it comes in liquid form. You can drink alcohol but it might affect their effectiveness .

    I hope you have a great day and these wee miracles give you the help you need to get you through. Even going to the g.p for diazapam for that day but if you suffer from ibsD I would carry Imodium with me ( still do) . I now just top the Phenergan up maybe once a week and my life has changed totally .

    If I can be of anymore help don't hesitate to ask .

    My best wishes


  • Thanks Shona. I have diazepam too but its a drug i really want to only use as a last resort. Will get some phenegran today and maybe try them tonight or tomorrow. I have a hectic few days ahead, might be a good tester for the wedding next weekend!

  • Stress! Such a small word. BUT the biggest pain of my life, intestine pain, and diarrhoea vomiting too. Pepermint capsules help but every day you have the pain. It drives me crazy. I'm just going to start symprove.

  • Phenergan !!!!! Brilliant tablet

  • I understand exactly how you feel. I can not leave the house until I go. I fly a lot so I have to get a seat close to the front bathroom not the back because I have OCD, and watching people go in and out triggers my germ phobia. I do know that stress is my biggest problem so I practice the I am okay, it will be okay routine. As, one of our fellow suffers suggested music. I do this and it calms me down. I also suck on ginger candy while flying. This could be a mind thing but it helps. What we all need to know is that we need to manage our stress level, know our triggers, and reprogram our brains. Behavior therapy is good for this. Somethings might work for a little while, and then our intestines will laugh and knock that out of the park so now we have to get up and pitch again. Believe it or not focusing on it too much is adding stress. This thing is a bomber, and I am truly sooty that we have to go through this.

  • Phenergan !!!!

  • Hi,

    I can back up the comments by Shon48 about Phenergan I tried it when she first posted on here about it a few months ago and it definitely worked for me. It's cheap to try out - about £7 for 56 tabs although I now get mine on prescription. My GP thinks that it probably calms the nerves in the bowel as well as in the head!


  • Yay , result!!!! Good for you Rosie and wish you continued good health . It's amazing how this wee pill has worked . Some people have tried them but if it hasn't had any results after a couple of days , it doesn't work . Sheesh , really annoys me. Lol


  • Thanks folks. Im going to give hypnotherapy another shot, cant hurt as long as its in the right enviroment this time. I think my ibs is more of a control issue with me. I could sit in the house all day but if somebody said quick lets go! Id be straight to the toilet.

    One thing that does work for me is alcohol. I seem to not care when i have a few drinks. Just need to get that feeling naturally without going down that route!!!

  • Reading your post was like reading my own story. I have suffered this problem for years and have tried all sorts. Such as immodium which then bungs me up so then I have to take laxatives which turns into a vicious circle. I have tried hypnotherapy too and that helped a bit but you need to keep up practising. Like you, seeing a red traffic light or a queue of traffic would put me in a tailspin. If I stay at home I am fine but who wants to stay in all the time? Finally I got so fed up I thought to myself I am not going to do this anymore. I bought a book called 'Rewire your anxious brain' it has made a lot of sense to me and just realising that this is a common problem and not 'just me' made me feel better. Since reading the book and trying some of the techniques I have been able to go to aqua aerobics (definitely a no no before). Finally I feel I am able to take back some control over my life, it isn't easy but nothing worthwhile ever is. Good luck with your quest in finding a cure xxx The book only cost £7 on kindle.

  • Hey, I am new here and I am also new to IBS. I have had it only for one year but I guess it is one of those conditions where you are forever learning how to deal with it. I can empathise with your situation of stress, however, mine is more nerves. Doctors have stated that IBS is increasingly aligned with your mind than with your physical body (obviously, you already know this!) It sounds like you are doing all the right things and obviously have far more experience under your belt than myself however if I could offer any advice from what I have learnt so far, it would have to be the following. Just go with it. Alike life, IBS will occur spontaneously and sporadically sometimes without reason. You will get caught up in situations that you will find uncomfortable, sometimes even unbearable. I work in an office 9-5 and attend meetings pretty much everyday, sometimes I could be called to attend a meeting I didn't even know would be happening, so it definitely catches me off guard and makes me feel stressed - I am sure everybody can relate in some way!. However, in a fight or flight situation, we need to learn we cant always fly and that the worst outcome in our heads, really isn't the end all!

    I suppose what I am trying to communicate is, everything will be okay. it isn't a nice condition, it definitely doesn't get enough sympathy, we just laugh it off. When you feel stressed though, remember that traffic wont last forever and you are in YOUR car. You are not on public transport surrounded by onlookers.

    Please do take this on board, I hope it helps in some way!

  • Phenergan !!!!

  • hi

    have you tried amytripline. slows down brain messages to the gut thus reducing anxiety. low dosage not addictive. may make all the difference.iv cut down/out tea mushrooms, onions, wheat bread/biscuits and green veg.has helped also wary of sorbitol which is often added to cakes sweets as cheaper than sugar!



  • Initially, try eating almond butter on plain oatcakes. Really dull lunch but it completely sorted out my digestive system for a few weeks so it could heal itself. Next step, see a nutritionist to get decent pre- and pro-biotics into your system, which will also help heal itself. Then, as for the stress triggers, if you are going on a long journey, take half an Imodium instant as that will stop anything happening. I tend to find knowing where my toilet stops are for ANY journey helps alleviate the stress. Hope this helps!

  • Hello saraht. Thanks for advice. Nutrition is top of my list to get sorted. Def agree with the toilet stop thing. I know most my routes of by heart toilet wise lol. That def calms me down. Its when im in places where i dont know the anxiety can be at its worst. I try to stay away from immodium as it sometimes has no affect and other times the constipation i suffer after it can be worse.

  • I find with Imodium it is about dosing it right, hence why I take the half dose. As a female sufferer, I also sometimes wear an extra long sani pad for extra reassurance but I think I saw that you are male? When you feel the urge to go, is it just the urge or is it also loose stools? If you are finding it is just the urge, it can be a mind of matter thing and I do breathing exercises and sing along to music in the car to take my mind off it if I can as I 'know' it isn't something that requires a toilet break, it is just my body trying to trick me. This has only backfired once (literally!)

You may also like...