Anxiety induced IBS? Help: So i have been off... - IBS Network

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Anxiety induced IBS? Help


So i have been off work, on holiday since middle of dec and bowel movements have actually been normal. I semi started the Fodmap but bowel movements were actually normal a few days before it. So my question is could my IBS-D be all stress and anxiety linked?! Good and bad if it is I suppose but just not sure. Any ideas evedyone? And also a very happy new year, may 2017 bring us more IBS relief than 2016 did

20 Replies

My experience is that my IBS is tied to anxiety and depression, although the low FODMAP diet helps when things are bad by helping to remove some of the foodstuffs that exacerbate the symptoms. If you're interested, I actually blogged about my experiences of identifying and tackling my anxiety and how it led to improvements in my symptoms:

Dear patient J

I found your thoughtful blogs so helpful. Thank you so much.

Adele1 in reply to patientj

Have any of you been tested for SIBO? Stress may increase IBS, but they've discovered that IBS is often SIBO(small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). There is a home breath test you take at home, & mail to laboratory. They send UPS for the results in box provided. A gastroenteroligist got the home test for me ($30). This will give you an answer. You don't need a colonoscopy for this.

patientj in reply to Adele1

I've not been tested for SIBO although I believe it could contribute to the symptoms of IBS. However, I think that in many cases SIBO itself could be caused by anxiety and depression, so there's no point in treating one until you understand what caused it.

My answer is yes! I'm naturally an anxious person and have always been a worrier but over the last few months I have noticed that I am constantly worrying and feeling nervous, which has caused a change in my bowel habits - diarrhoea, which has now caused me to worry and feel anxious on a daily basis. In the past I have dismissed these feelings 'oh it's just the way I am' or 'It's just my IBS'. The truth is I am now in a loop where I am worrying about toilet habits, which is naturally making me feel worse and my symptoms worse. I don't even know if IBS is affecting me or not anymore as I no longer feel in touch with the way I feel or what is causing it. I visited the doctor a few days before xmas and have been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder which has caused mild depression. It is clear that some if not all of this is in my head. I have been given Sertraline and referred for Therapy. My hope is that if I can break the loop then I get back in touch with the way I feel on a daily basis whilst trying to get a grip of my anxieties. I hope this helps.

Thank you so much for sharing, my mum got me a book, sort of meditation and breathing thing so going to try that.

The weird thing is i never used to really get anxious. I guess the holidays have proved to me i do afterall. The other thing my mum suggested was cognitive behaviour therapy, probably similar if not the same as what you have got referred for. I hope it helps you

Yes the CBT is what I have been referred for. It very common for people with IBS/Tummy Issues to suffer with anxiety. I didn't realise just how much it has been affecting me. Spent the week before xmas in tears and that's when my hubby insisted on me going to dr, I even felt a bit better after that just knowing that my dr is aware of the situation now. On and off I think Ive been anxious for the best part of my life, I hate going to hairdressers and things like that too but only people who suffer with anxiety really understand what it feels like. I hope the book helps and if I get my appointment for CBT in this lifetime I will let you know how it goes and if it helps

Fingers crossed you get an app soon

Cat33 in reply to Emyloujovi77

I'm exactly the same as you anywhere that I feel "trapped" like hairdressers etc is a complete nightmare

Good luck with the CBT

Emyloujovi77 in reply to Cat33

Thank you! I'll let you know how I get on!

They relate ibs more to stress and anxiety more than anything else, and then food becomes the solution to try and get it back to normal, but unfortunately it doesn't always work. Mine was six years and thenthe only thing that works is prucalopride, which is randomly working at the moment but is atleast working now and then but now having days of extreme pain where I can't walk properly because I can't stand straight from the pain in my stomach. I suffer with very bad anxiety and stress, in short I would say yes ibs is definitely the underlying causes of ibs. Hope this helps, Happy new year to you to. X


To ease anxiety about where toikets might be give yourself some confidence by buying a RADAR key, Google it, which will open any disabled toiket in the UK and from the IBS Society an 'I can't wait' card which I've fiund useful here in the UK and when in holiday in Italy

Hiddenaway in reply to Hidden

Thats great, thank you


Hi yes it can be stress induced and if i get an upset are an unsolvable problem then I just go and go !

richv in reply to Hidden

I feel that the connection between IBS and anxiety is tremendous! As soon as I hear something that causes me stress the stomach bloats on command and I have a bit of nausea added. I am on Amitriptolene 10 mg as well as some Zoloft but not great results.

Hidden in reply to richv

Hi didnt think you could be on SSRIs and Tricylics at same time.

When I took Zoloft which is Certraline I was very poorley and passed out on a grass verge at a busy road; luckily a nighbour saw me.

Recently came off Amitriptline for citalapram and got seratonin syndrome.

It was because I was given SSRIs without a break from tricylic.

Best wishes ps I am on Fluoxetine now and am still not feeling good.

My GP said im so sensetive to meds; thinking of going back onto 10mgs Amitryptiline;I was on 70 mgs before

I am similar- my IBS is bad Monday to Friday and then almost disappears on the weekends

richv in reply to Unhappytummy

Probably your job?

Hi.. I suffer with severe anxiety and ibs ..they are definitely linked and for me are a lethal combination. If my anxiety increases my ibs flares up and vice versa. The reason that I've been able to understand this better is that a while ago I set myself into a routine, I purposefully ate and drank the same foods and fluids for weeks. With no organic causes, when I had episodes I knew it had to be connected with the anxiety.

...not suggesting you do this!! but it has helped me

Hi there is a massive link between stress,anxiety and Ibs.Your body produces stress hormones which in turn irritates your gut,it's a catch 22 situation.I have been taking Manuka honey 5+ and pro biotic yoghurt for the last 2 months and it has really helped.At the moment when i am out and about,instead of constantly thinking if i will make it without needing the toilet or a near by bush ,i am trying to train my brain to think of anything that's not related to my Ibs. It's early days,but i need it to work .I am going travelling in 9 weeks to Singapore,Australia and Hong Kong.It's all worth a try,hope this might help.Take Care

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