Post infectious IBS?

Hi all!

I had a stomach flu in august with vomiting, the runs, fever.. all the fun stuff. That lasted 2 days but the nausea has stayed with me!

I've had everything tested. Endoscopy, colonoscopy, blood and stool tests, h pylori negative.

I am constipated but I am barely eating or drinking anything due to the nausea. I don't have the typical IBS symptoms yet my doctor seems to think I have post infectious IBS.

I might add I have quite bad anxiety and since the stomach flu/GI virus it has gotten way worse and I've had to quit my job as the anxiety and nausea together are just too much.

Has anyone else had experience with the post infectious IBS with nausea as the only main symptom? I mean I am constipated but that always happens when my anxiety flares up. I also do have a fear of vomiting.

If anyone has any ideas or experiences, please do share :)


26 Replies

  • You should ask for medication for the nausea as that will then make you be able to eat which in turn may help your stomach sort itself out a little bit

  • Hi dita. 2 years ago i got food poisoning and the nausia stayed with me. I to have had to quit work and at 29 had to move back with my parent's. Now im 31 and Although im a bit better im still struggling greatly. My rear end movements are mostly normal. But the main symptom i get is nausia. I lost a ton of weight due to it. Had all the major tests, and i too have developed a terrible anxiety about food and im terrified of eating out or anything i havent cooked myself. A year ago i cut out gluten. Dairy. Caffeen. Alcohol ofc and that made a big diffetence but was no cure. try peppermint oil capsules they offer a little relief but again no cure. I wrote a big post on this site about how all mine started and my symptoms. Check my account to find it or search for pi ibs my story a living nightmare 😉

    Sorry i cant offer much of a cure, just dont give up, try everything. Get secon opinions and give it lots of time.

    Hope you get well soon, your not alone.

  • Oh my goodness. My doctor seems to think my symptoms may be anxiety related now but I have a feeling it isn't. I can't even imagine what 2 year of this would look like as I'm 4 months in exactly and struggling everyday with severe nausea.

    Have you been on anxiety medication to see if that helps?

  • Doctors latch on to key words when you talk to them. If you said you feel anxiety then they presume thats the cause of all your problems. I have had some real bad experiences with some doctors and even some specialest doctors. Just getting up and walking out the room, and others just being totally dismissive. talking to a doctor about ibs is a lot like a job interview, where you have to sell yourself.

    yes ive tryed some anti anxiaty meds but not a huge fan. But a gastro doctor proscribed me Amitriptyline he sais it will slow my gut activity down. And that has helped slightly.

    From the reading ive done online and for what the good doctors have told me. Pi ibs has the best chance of getting better but can still last upwards of 5 years. But some as little as 1

  • I have done lots of research on Pi IBS.. the thing that confuses me is that nausea is my only symptom so maybe that's why I wasn't convinced and came here to ask.

    I've had some seriously terrible experiences with doctors as I've seen quite a few. A lot of them are ignorant and genuinely don't care :(

  • Yes its amazing how many times you hear about people who suffer with ibs and have had bad experiences with doctors. ibs is such a general term and maybe as times goes by and medicine advances people with different types of ibs will get a better more functional diagnosis.

    I was in the same mind set as you when i first got it, and with my symptoms being mostly nausea your the first person ive heard of who has the same, but a gastroenterologist told me hes had a few. Although he was extremely unhelpful and offered no follow up.

    Trying to explain to a doctor that anxiety is a symptom and not a cause is a nightmare in its own.

    Hear are a few things that i take that may help you, Omeprazol, the PPI, they say it in the morning but i find it better in the evening after i eat. Mebeverine i take 3 times a day 20 mins before a meal, this works by relaxing the muscles in and around the gut. Peppermint oil, an hour before meals. and at nighttime ill take a Buscopan because often my sleep is disturbed.

    My symptoms can change a lot but nausea remains constant, i get really bad hot fevers even when its freezing cold, i get hot sweaty palms and hot cheeks and although ive never been sick since my food poisoning, im often extremely close,

    It is a truly horrific illness and without being totally dismissive of other illnesses, i know a person with Chrons who has had surgery and now has a better quality of life than mine. Just highlights the fact that ibs has a very broad spectrum, some people are able to live normal lives, others suffer through every hour of everyday.

    its not all doom and gloom though, i hope you are in a place where you are stress free and are able to take ample time off work and focus 100% on getting better, for me i have improved greatly from how i was last year, 6 months ago i even brought an electric mountain bike to try and get out and do more, some days ive been to ill to ride but im getting more active, the nausea is still here but the gut takes a long time to heal. :(

    Good luck on your journey to recovery. x

  • Thanks for your replies! I'm due to see another gastro who apparently "specialises" in these types of cases.(we'll see about that) lol. I see him on the 19th so I'll let you know what he says.

    I'm due to start taking lexapro today but I'm just feeling so ill that I'm avoiding it. Have you been on any other antidepressants other than the amtiptrytaline?

    I quit my job 3 months ago due to all of this and now looking for a work from home job.. however not sure how I'll cope as I have major anxiety and having multiple panic attacks everyday. Do you get anything like this as well?

    I've had so many different anti-nausea pills with no relief at all.. not even zofran which is given to oncology patients with cancer who have nausea as a side effect of their medication. I've seen 16 doctors and one I saw yesterday thinks this may be a reaction to vomiting when I had the stomach bug and now the gut/brain connection is off.. hence the antidepressants. I must admit I'm terrified to vomit and carry a vomit bag with me to my doctors appointments and am constantly looking to make sure I know where the toilets are incase I am sick.

    It's just all so confusing and depressing. I'm supposed to be on my overseas holiday right now and staying in bed all day being sad probably isn't helping but I don't feel like I can do much else!

  • i haven't been on anything other than that amtiptrytaline so im not good for that kind of advise but every body is different. i personally have a fear of taking pills that effect your brain. a doctor gave me something once i forget the name and it made me ill as a dog, so i try to just have a clear head now, well to the best i can.

    You've had all the major tests, you can take comfort knowing its not anything killer or life threatening, best thing for you now is plant yourself somwhere relaxed with no worries, ask the doctor about getting some financial help. i live in UK, idk maybe they will help you over seas, here you get nothing.

    You should start keeping a food diary to, (some decent apps on android) it will keep your mind busy and help you monitor your symptoms. try to get referred to a dietitian to and they can help you tailor a diet that may give you some relief. you can start by cutting out gluten and dairy, but keep in mind gluten takes a month or something to leave the body. then do some research into the FODMAP diet. this is all about what foods digest in what parts of the gut and locating troubled sources. doing this helped my nausea considerably.

    and yes please stay in touch :)

  • Hi anxiety makes me feel sick or i am sick and its happened that much that i have that same phobia now.

    Are you having help with the anxiety ?

    Best wishes s x

  • I really feel for you :( it is such a debilitating symptom!

    Are you nauseous 24/7 with your anxiety?

    I'm starting lexapro today and am quite nervous about it xx

  • Hi Yes and am on prozac and diazapam. I had to come off amitrityline ( they were sooo good ) but I had been on them for decades and they just stopedworking ! The mental health team are helping me with CBT.I have panic attaks and night terrors. The dentist has had a acclusal splint made for me cos I bit the inside of my mouth, whilst having night terrors.

    I have to wear it when doing housework too has i klench my jaw very tight, when consentrating.

    I am always funny about taking new drugs but they always turn out to be ok and its a releif when they start to work

    Thinking of you S .do let me know how things pan-out

  • Hi Guys, Just been reading all your comments and cant help but see many similarities between what you are going through and what I feel every day. I had Campylobacter about 6 years ago and developed post infectious IBS. I have experienced many different symptoms varying from Diarrhea to Nausea. However over the past 6 months Nausea has been by far my worst symptom, every day to one degree or another. I have had a couple of holidays this past 6 months and I have been far worse when on holiday, it starts a few days before and just gets worse. Im never actually sick but the nausea is unbearable. I hate to say it but stress/anxiety plays a big role in the nausea. I just find it very difficult to control especially if I am doing something outside of my routine/comfort zone. I have tried lots of different approaches including cutting out dairy and gluten but it hasn't helped. I am on amitriptyline each night before bed.

    I went to the doctors yesterday to request more tests and explain how this is impacting my quality of life and all I got was a prescription for Ranitidine with is some king of anti acid medication which I really doubt will help. Im sorry I don't really have any answers but its comforting in a way to know you are not the only one going through this.

    Im going to Wembley to watch football this evening so im hoping I can keep the nausea under control so it doesn't ruin my night. Its horrible that we have to think and feel this way.

  • Thanks so much for your reply! It pains me that other people go through this but I'm glad I don't feel alone.

    Nausea is basically my only symptom and that's what make sure it all so confusing, I also have terrible anxiety everyday so I know it's paying a part but can't imagine it being the sole cause of the nausea. Or maybe it is?

    Is the anxiety nausea you get really bad?

    Hope all went well at the football! My fiancé plays football here in Australia and I hate that I have to miss so many of his games :( xx

  • I had this year's ago I was put on domperidone that sorted out the nausea I to had all the investigations you had please ask your doctor for domperidone it helped me I'm also scared of being sick so you are not alone

  • Thank you!

    I've tried domperidone, zofran, maxalon and plenty more but none seem to take away the nausea :(

  • There are many different ones hun I'm not on any anti sickness Meds but I'm fed up with constant stomach pain and acid reflux

  • Aww I feel your pain :(

    Do you have anxiety as well? X

  • So so it's not that bad

  • The anxiety Yes it's not that bad it's controlled

  • Hi Dita,

    So sorry to hear what you're going through. I quit my job last year due to extreme anxiety, panic attacks and constant stomach pain/ibs symptoms. I also have a fear of being sick, so our situations are very alike. I got through it with 6 months of citalopram antidepressants and CBT therapy. I still have the phobia and have bad days, today being one of them. But I do think that anxiety can make you more ill than you realise. It certainly did with me. I hope you start feeling better soon.

  • Thanks so much for your reply. I really feel for you. No one should have to go through this. I'm glad you've found ways to help. Did you also get the nausea?

    I'm on day 1 of lexapro and only side effect so far is it's made me sleepy but restless at the same time xx

  • I get nausea during panic attacks and usually make myself feel ill by panicking. Nausea is my worst fear so I suffer a lot with it. Having said that, I have managed to go back to work and go on 3 holidays whilst recovering from anxiety. How are you feeling now? Xxx

  • Thanks for your reply! My nausea gets worse during a panic attack but it's still there all day when I'm not panicking and that's what's confusing. I still haven't started my medication, I'm too scared. God to hear you've recovered! I also did a few years ago but seems I have relapsed. How did you recover? Xx

  • Maybe you have generalised anxiety? It can be so strong that it'll do funny things to you, especially if you're scared of being sick. I was scared to start medication too, I don't blame you. Have you been referred for any therapy? I wouldn't say I'm recovered to be honest, I still have anxiety every day and the occasional panic attack, I just have learnt how to control it through the therapy. For example trying to understand how anxiety affects the body instead of panicking about symptoms. I'm happy to chat as much as you like about this, nice to not be alone xxx

  • Thank you! That's so kind of you. I do feel so alone in all of this.. it's strange.. today, I went out with my partner for the first time in a long time and I was fine.. but now after dinner I feel horrible. Nausea really bad. I do have generalised anxiety as well as a panic disorder! It's been something I've lived with since I was 8. A few years ago, it got to a stage where I didn't leave my house for 2 years, the anxiety was just that bad. I've been in therapy for 4 years.. sometimes I feel like it helps but other times I'm doubtful. I'm in the process of getting a work from home job now because being out anywhere makes me feel really ill. I'm sure it's anxiety but I just can't handle that vomit feeling all day everyday. It's been tough. So glad you're able to live and do things, even though it's still uncomfortable. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone! Xx

  • I totally know what you mean. I work part time but all I think about all day is going home so I don't have to feel anxious. I'm finding it hard to eat at the moment too, last night I had a meal with my family at home but ended up having a panic attack over nothing! :( So frustrating. I was working from home until recently, it was great for my anxiety but not financially. What kind of work from home job are you looking for? Well done for going out, it's a big achievement when you feel so terrible. Maybe the sick feeling is directly linked to your anxiety rather than ibs? I think my ibs has come from the vomit phobia because I'm always anxious about eating, will I feel sick etc. Therapy is a funny one, CBT helped me for a few months but now it's worn off again xxx

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