Painful spasms

Hi everyone. I suffer from anxiety have been told by many doctors this affects my IBS. I keeping getting pain after going to the toilet. Yesterday after bbq I had a bad attack with wind and pain rumbling round my gut and bowels. Went to a&e couple months ago she I had bad attack they checked me out couldn't find anything wrong and gave me buscopan. Buscopan relieves spasms but makes my heart beat fast so dint take it. Dr prescribed mebrevine for me and take that when I have attack but don't take three times a day normally twice. I was diagnosed IBS a while ago I fo have to watch what I eat but since being anxious its getting that I have symptoms most days. Dies ibs ever go away or do you have to learn to live with it. Thanks for any advice always find this forum helpful

11 Replies

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  • Sorry to hear that you're struggling. How are you managing your diet and what you doing to tackle the anxiety?

  • I'm on beta blockers fir anxiety only been taking them for a fortnight. I try and follow fodmap diet but had a pork sausage at bbq think that has started it off again. I don't know whether mebrevine is helping or not cos it seems to give me wind.

  • I found that mebeverine made my gas worse as well and a touch more constipated. It may help with the spasms but there are other treatments out there which might work better for you. Stick with them a bit longer but if you're still struggling go back to your doctor and see if you can try something else. The NICE clinical guidelines - nice.org.uk/guidance/cg61/c... - outline a number of medications that are suitable to treat IBS and often it's a case of trial and error working out which ones are best for you. For instance, I found the peppermint (as suggested below) made my symptoms worse, but camomile helps to settle my stomach instead.

    Beta-blockers will help manage the symptoms of anxiety but they don't actually treat the cause (i.e. they are not a psychiatric medication). From reading the NHS website, diarrhoea can be a side effect of beta blockers so your current cocktail of treatments might not be helping. Having said that, many antidepressants also have side effects involving the gut because they are designed to target nerve signalling pathways.

    You asked if IBS ever gets better. For some patients, yes it does, but for many it's a question of managing your symptoms to live as normal a life as possible. Interventions like the low FODMAP diet can be helpful but there are also other dietary approaches that may help and you're best off visiting a dietician to explore these. Personally, I have found that following a modified low FODMAP diet as well as taking citalopram (an antidepressant/anti-anxiety med) along with counselling has helped enormously. I knew I was anxious some of the time but it wasn't until I started therapy, plus doing a bit of CBT and mindfulness, that I realised that I was actually anxious all the time. Getting on top of this anxiety has been exhausting at times but I feel a lot better for it, and a lot more in control of my life, and my IBS has improved as a result. Part of me thinks that my IBS might have been the product of years trying to cope with the anxiety.

  • This sounds just like me. It feels like a vicious circle: anxiety-ibs-more anxiety-more ibs; and so it goes on. I was interested to hear that counselling and CBT have helped. This is the path I am thinking of taking next. I have also already been trying to do some mindfulness. But it is early days with that.

  • Try it out. Hopefully it will help. I found that I needed CBT to get on top of my anxiety when I experience it, but mindfulness helped me realise how anxious I was all the time and I now use some of the mindfulness exercises when I'm anxious instead of CBT exercises: to be honest, some of them are very similar and I've found it's a question of having a number of different tools in your toolbox so you can pick and choose one that works at different moments. Bear in mind that the counselling may take months or longer. I reckon it probably took me at least four months to start seeing the benefit, but it's the best thing I've done, not just for my IBS but also for my life in general.

  • That's very encouraging. Thank you. Now I just need to find a decent counsellor. Where did you find yours?

  • I used counselling-directory.org.uk/ - everyone is registered, has a profile and ways to contact them either via email or through the website. It's recommended that you make initial appointments with two or three different therapists to see which one you work better with and don't get fixated on price: I saw one therapist for a couple of months but we weren't getting anywhere - he was highly experienced and helped train other therapists - so I switched to another therapist who I've been with for six months now. She was cheaper as well. Best of luck :)

  • Thank you. I'll give that a go.

  • thank you you have been so helpful. I was put on anti depressants trazodone before the beta blockers but side effects from them was terrible. Its a vicious circle anxiety ibs anxiety and I cant seem to break it.. Had hynotherapy which helped but feel as though I cant go on not sleeping either.

  • Hi I'm sorry to hear that you are suffering and will try help as I have similar problems. If you had a bun at the bbq then this may certainly have been the cause of your discomfort. I can rarely eat white bread and try not to eat bread at all if unwell. Peppermint is very good for wind and bloating. You can get as teabags or capsules. Should have no side effects. I wouldn't worry about your diagnosis as many people have sensitivity. I have flare ups mainly when there is change or uncertainty. Keeping a diary can be very useful for you and your GP. Also some food are triggers for symptoms esp. Bloating like bread, beans also. A very natural diet, like gran used to do it in the old days. Good luck!

  • Try one of the over the counter anxiety solutions, they have had good results with friends.

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