IBS/OCD/STRESS & ANXIETY!!!!

I would say that i've been an ibs sufferer since my mid-twenties, now 32, and just being able to read about other people's similar problems is a big help to me knowing that i'm not alone. Just over a year ago my symptoms were becoming so debilitating (had to leave my job) that i went to my GP saying that i feared it could be something very serious. Over the following 3-4 months i had 3 separate blood tests done, ruling out cancer, celiacs, Crohns and anaemia i think! I then just came to my own conclusion that i had IBS and had to just live with it. I generally get my flare ups (bloating/stomach cramping) on a regular basis, a couple of times a week. Over the years i've tried a whole variety of medications from Movicol, Buscopan, Gaviscon with out much real improvement. I never really have an appetite and just feel that nobody outside this community really understands! Don't wish to ramble on but the shear stress and anxiety levels i have mean that i now have no social life or job, spend 99% of my time housebound where i feel most at ease. Have only spent one night away from home in about 6 years. On top of this i have been an OCD sufferer since 13 which brings its own set of major stress and anxiety, medication for that and CBT were not successful in recent years. I feel that i'm now just trapped in this never-ending vicious circle of despair!

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  • You have my sympathies. A few years ago I started shutting myself off from others because of my IBS, although I'm glad to say I managed to turn it around and am in a much better place now.

    I was wondering what wasn't working with the CBT and if you'd tried other forms of therapy instead. If you've had problems since childhood I imagine there's a strong chance that there are some much deeper issues that other types of therapy may be able to unearth. I speak from personal experience and know how hard it is to push through some uncomfortable barriers. Some of my therapy really forced me to change my perspectives on who/what I thought I was.

    Have you also considered any dietary interventions like the low FODMAP diet?

  • Hello Robinson 32. Your post jumped out at me - I am a lot older than you, but have eternal probs with IBS D, intertwined with acute anxiety, worst early hours. Have diverticula disease + hiatus hernia and have been feeling sick as well. Took myself off Lansoprazole as I thought I was OK Not so and went back on it, better than I was now, but even better than that, it seems, is that for a few days I have, for the first time been taking a herb called Slippery Elm which has good reports. It is a very soothing herb. You can get it in caps or powder. My thinking is if it can line the stomach and soothe it, then not only is the digestive tract improved but the anxiety calms down. Only thing is I have probably not been on it long enough to know if it is this helping or just a better episode after a truly bad one for about 3 weeks. I try to stick to Fodmap diet but sometimes even with that it is not consistent. ie fine with apples one day and not the next. I'm afraid that Slippery Elm is expensive - obtainable at Health Food Shops. Hope this might be of help.

  • Thank you for your advice, much appreciated. It is something I can bear in mind which may help. Reading some of the posts on here my ibs seems in no way as bad as many others, although mine is a disruption to living a normal life it is very manageable. this herb is another option so thank you. I do feel that the anxiety/stress factor is my predominant cause of it.

  • I suffer from colitis and find that wheat and corn cause me problems, have you tried keeping a food diary to find out what foods trigger a attack. It sounds as if stress could also be a contributing factor. I also take a probiotics tablet as well. Best of luck

  • The fodmap diet is the best thing I have done. Ask your gp for a referral to a fodmap dietrician. It is hard to start with and you will have a cook all meals from scratch, but my symptoms have improved

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