Habitual flare ups?

Just wondered if anyone else suffers from flare ups in certain places/situations? Because my ibs is hugely linked to anxiety I get it a lot.

For example I've had a few flare ups in my local town centre - a familiar place, toilets accessible so no real fear. But because it's happened once I now find that whenever I go to town I get the urge. I almost always have to visit the public loo, the attendant must be sick of the sight of me. Then once I've been im OK again.

So weird but I read somewhere that our brains associate certain experiences with certain places. Happens to me at certain times of the week too, usually when I'm leaving work.

I sound crazy lol. Maybe it's just me.

14 Replies

  • No it's not just you. It happens to me as soon as enter a shop so tend to only go to big stores as they have toilets. It happens as soon as I get in a traffic jam even if only a small one. It makes life extremely difficult. It also happens when I get to an open space with my dog and I have to only take walks in woods or fields.

  • Isn't it odd? Are you able to fight back the urge or do you find that you have to go? That must present a problem in fields/woods. Traffic jams are also one of my triggers. I avoided going anywhere far in the car for a long time but now I seem to be ok providing we don't hit traffic.

  • mine is awful. happens whenever I go out on the roads and hit traffic and also out in shopping centres. I can't fight the urge I have to go straight away otherwise it's too late :(

    I recently got the can't wait card on IBS network.. has helped when I'm walking to work and need the toilet. Also I got the NKS disabled toilet key which helped me the other day when there was no toilets open.

  • Mine flares up at home and at work. I'm now signed off and temporarily living at my parents' house (shitting myself at work is not an experience I wish to repeat!) I do know that my current flare up...7 months and counting...is a mixture of work and ex stress. If only there was a way to live without both 😉

  • If only stress didn't Contribute to the feeling .They say that they don't really know what causes flear ups but alway tell is its stress that contributes why can't they solve the stress and then we would be half way to feeling normal. Temp living with your parents is not helping the anxiety of moving out .good luck and hope you improve

  • Once got caught short in a traffic jam and had to park on verge and dive into the bushes. So now traffic jams can be a problem. It must be mind related , -you had this once in this situation , so in same situation your mind associates this with what happened previously.

    My wife has managed to get me through some difficult times in Jams when I have felt an attack coming on. She starts talking to me about something, news ,football , holidays and asking questions or such like in order to divert my mind from dwelling on the thought of needing to go. It usually works, at least for a while.

    I think a city traffic Jam is the absolute worst scenario. I once thought, I will just abandon the car an dash somewhere ,however, managed to make it to parking space.

    Not great but I suppose it is all about association.


  • I have the same experience. I had an accident walking to work with no toilets nearby. now whenever I walk down the same road again I keep feeling nervous which doesn't help me at all. It's all in the mind :(

  • HI



  • Hi graham. I'm on amitriptyline too. Can I ask how long you've been on it for?

  • I feel EXACTLY the same! Traffic jams, small shops without loos and whilst dog walking in busy areas. DRiving long journeys on busy roads with my husband and children in tow is pretty hideous too. I used to use my children as an excuse in shops/garages etc to find a loo but they're a bit old now!! I def think your mind plays on you tho - as I get reminded of awful situations when I've been desperate to go then obviously I worry again! It's a viscious circle. I try to deep breathe or mentally 'talk myself out of it' but when I'm really stressed i can't even manage that so I get flushed, panic and end up bolting to a loo! I even toyed with the idea of keeping a potty in the car (so I had the security of knowing I COULD - if v pushed - use it) and hoping the fact of just knowing I had it there would calm me - but using that is a pretty appalling thought.

    This site helps a lot knowing I'm not the only one feeling like this.

  • Yes I do. Airports are the worst for me. Start feeling so sick and needing the loo. Almost to the point of wanting to not go ahead with the flight. I'm not even scared of flying! Also it just flares up whenever I do anything out of my usual routine... So frustrating!

  • Can't believe how many other people suffer so similarly to me. The worst thing about ibs is that you feel so alone but really it's just because people don't talk about it.

    There is clearly a gut/brain link here. Today was another shining example. I took my son into town and although I had no urge to go to the loo before setting off (I'd already been once this morning) as soon as we parked the car I had to find a toilet. The only place I feel truly safe is at home.

    I don't take anything for my anxiety because I keep telling myself I can fix it myself without medication but it's all so frustrating and exhausting.

  • There is definitely a link to stress and anxiety with IBS as many others have experienced it on this forum. We all know what others are going through.

  • Okay everyone so this literally just happens to me. I met a neighbour for a dog walk. I have never met her before and we sheduled a time. Always a tough ask with IBS.

    And tummy was playing just before we went out.

    I just got back into the house before all hell breaks loose! Rushing to get upstairs I trip over the baby gate in the hall way as still got wellies on, it jabs me in the leg and I am pinned between it and the corridor. Major bottom panic now as I have to get up, untangle, comfort the hysterical dog and too the loo all before I s*** myself!

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