IBS Network


I wonder if other fellow sufferers notice an increase in anxiety with there symptoms when they have an appointment to keep.

Even if it is just someone coming to the house, a tradesman or suchlike. I always notice that I immediately start to think that I will be in the Loo when the door bell goes and I will not be able to answer the door , or an urgent dose of D will suddenly occur when the person is there.

I often find it difficult to accept that my symptoms are stress related although this suggests stress increases the problem. On the other hand ,it could be argued that perhaps because you have IBS this makes you stressed. --Chicken or the Egg situation.

Just a subject for comment. To-day we had someone coming to measure/price a new kitchen and I became very aware of symptoms approx. 15 mins before the appointment.

Fortunately , on this occasion I was in and out of the Loo prior to the appointment but it did make me think about how having to be available at a certain specific time resulted in a reaction.

Interested on anyone's thoughts.


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Oh yes all the time, drs appointments, hospital appointments oh my word, going to someone's house , often avoided, shopping and people coming to the house

It's definitely related and most of my problem I think

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With doctors it white coat syndrome and blood pressure also rockets


Hi Will.

That is me to tee(pardon the pun).

I am exactly the same.

This week I had golf Sunday...immodium for that....meeting Monday...tai chi class Tuesday morning...golf Wenesday...meeting last night...immodium for all of those so no "free" day. Girl coming to clean today...dont think I should have any more !!! Cleans the bathrooms but at least there are 3 so no immodium for that . And so on .

I thought I was the only one like that .

So its anxiety led.

Hope you getting out to golf.

Getting work done on the house is a stress too...but worth it.

Best wishes.


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Hi Calista,

Maybe anxiety just increases the problem. Probably because we fear a sudden attack at an awkward moment. ( First tee nerves gone mad! )..

Still getting out to golf, winter league on Monday's Wednesday's and Saturdays. Handicap down to 6 on shorter course , bur scores now drying up . Too difficult at 70 to play to 6. I just don't hit it far enough now.

New problem also causing difficulty. Cannot see the ball up in the sky. Cataract needing attention. I got one done in 2013 and things were fine ,but now other eye needs done and I am told that my problem is due to the large difference between the two eyes. Maybe I need to claim a special handicap for impaired sight .

It is just great getting old and everything falling off !

Could be worse , I suppose , some of us are a lot worse and cannot leave the building. .

Do you still play in winter / My wife gives up around end of September. She suffers a bit with arthritis and not good when it gets colder.

We are going abroad to Canaries in a few weeks until near end of March, so hope to play when away, although prices are getting ridiculous.

Hope your well and husband getting by.

Best Wishes



Hi will .

Thank you for reply .

Isn't it amazing how many replied who have the same problems and we all think we are the only weird people !

I must say I kind of hate admitting to it all ,and people do not understand .although I admitted to one of the golfing friends that I really need to know about an hour before T time to let immodium to take effect .She laughs . Husband doesnt take any notice of these things ....never did . I hope /I'm sure your wife understand ...women are more understanding !!

It is definitely a combo .food related and anxiety ,although mine started with food poisoning years ago ,but then maybe had issues before that .

Yes you will need to get the eye done ...what a nuisance .

Yes I play golf in the winter and we have a Spring League going ...it started this month and I played third round on Wednesday ....weather so wet and windy that only five people played the course that day ...five of us women ....Hardy !! It is my time out /release and thankfully I can still go out ,and don't have to get anyone in to watch ...yet .

6 is a great handicap ....and yes it must be very hard to score . Huband still plays with a loyal fourball bu think he has gone out to 21 and soesnt play in competitions anymore .

Great that you can get to the Canaries and get some good weather and golf ,,,keep going when you can .

Best wishes and thanks for sharing ,

Callista .


Hi calista,

Thanks for reply. Good to hear how things are going.

My wife never used to understand my IBS but I think she does now.

It seemed to start after a bout of Gastroenteritis when I was 2o. However, other things were stressful at that time ,so maybe a combination. When I was younger ,we would sometimes be going out somewhere , even having set off in the car and suddenly I would get the feeling of an acute attack and have to abandon the outing--my other half was not always too happy !!

As I said ,after years of seeing this, she now handles it well. She always wondered how I managed to make the golf !- To be honest , I usually took kaolin and Morphine mixture ,( before Immodium available ), also, I honestly think golf distracted me from thinking about it, which usually helped. It was also much easier than coping with it daily in a very stressful job. Occasionally I did have to leave the course and dash for home but not too often ,however, quite often I did not feel great. -Maybe that was during bad rounds !!

Glad your still getting out to golf , it is a release and it makes you control it and stops it controlling you.

Look forward to hearing from you and how things are going.

Best wishes




Yes I too am exactly the same as you - I am sure MY IBS is stress related and not so much to do with food, tho' I do avoid spicy food!! Take one tablet of Phenergan before sleep or first thing in morning, will keep you calmer thro' the day - I find this helps me a lot!!

Its a harmless medication if taken as prescribed, even o.k for children, its a mild sedative but bought also for Hayfever and travel sickness!! The Pharmascist may ask you if you have had it before - just say yes, and they usually give it to you, no bother.

Check tho' if you are on any other medication as they may have some interaction.


Thank you all for your replies. I thought this might be interesting as a topic.

Still not entirely sure if having IBS brings on the nerves when we have an appointment or something we have to do, or if getting nervous brings on the IBS. I suspect that we get like this because we fear an ibs attack.

My view is probably that we are generally people who are a bit nervy, or easily stressed but that in itself does not cause the IBS . However, because we suffer IBS ,having to be somewhere etc ., causes thought patterns that make us uptight and bring on an attack. It is not clear though .

I sometimes notice that if I feel that an attack is on it's way and then I get distracted and involved in something demanding my attention the feelings of the attack go away . Certainly there is a mental element in all of this. It does seem understandable that if your are under some sort of pressure and fear an attack, often due to the inconvenience and embarrassment , then you will be nervous and an attack becomes more likely.

I tried cognitive therapy some years ago because this type of situation was making me depressed.

For example , I used to worry that I would have to call off things , like my golf tee time and my Golf Pals /partners would think bad of me. --" he's called off again with his problem guts " --or such like.

They teach you to look at the situation with an alternative thought. For example you might try to think your friends might actually say --" that's a pity Will has had to call off, we know it must be bad because he loves his golf and would not let us down unless it was necessary"

To some degree , with various situations this did work for a while . I probably stopped trying the various techniques as I began to feel better. Cognitive therapy is however a worthwhile tool and if anyone has the opportunity to try it , I would recommend giving it a try.

Hope everyone well to-day .

Best wishes to everyone.


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I am exactly the same.I was beginning to wonder if I had written this.Even your comment about the distraction is what happens to me.It is a mental battle.


I also thought this had been written by me, trying to explain to my husband who dos nt understand how it feels, going shopping , going out anywhere etc used to play bowls but had to shoot off the green to the toilet only just making it has put me off going. So I ve given it up.

I think the problem is we get so worried by the thought of not making the toilet it takes over our life, and if you have nt made it to the toilet it escalates the problem even more.

I also get this when people come to the house to visit. CBT did nt really work for me the only thing out of it breathing deeply through the nose and out through the mouth.


Hi Sosampop,

I know the feeling !

It seems that this is a very common thread. I am sorry to hear that you gave up on going to the bowls.

As we probably all suffer different levels of severity with our IBS symptoms it is not correct to generalise. My symptoms varied in intensity but were often bad first thing in the morning back when I worked. Also often after a main evening meal. I tried to learn when to risk eating and matching it with where and when I was going out. Did not always work out though.

Often, now I just take Immodium as a safeguard and push myself to go out to Golf or wherever. I try not let it control my life but as I said this might be different if the symptoms were more sever. If Immodium did not work then things might be different --especially travelling ,- public transport is another big worry .

Thanks for your input.



Always get panic stricken if going anywhere although at home I now have no problems whatsoever. It is very hard to shake off the feeling that I need to look for toilets constantly!

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I am not too bad at going out places ( most of the time ) but if in doubt I take Immodium Caps. and usually get by. Are you ok if you are familiar with where you are going and are aware of where the toilets are etc.

If you are ok when you are in familiar surroundings, that would suggest the problem is partly mental or heightened by a mental reaction. If the latter , which I think is more likely, then it would tend to confirm that the IBS is not based on a mind issue ,it just becomes worse because we are in fear of an urgent attack or suchlike. Knowing this unfortunately does not stop the feelings or fear.

Perhaps if regular outings to places that are comfortable take place and no reaction is felt ,then maybe that is a basis for expanding to other places.

Not easy !




I'm just like you. I get such bad anxiety before having to go anywhere, that I cancel so many Dr. appointments that it's embarrassing. I'm feeling anxious right now just thinking about having to go out. But, I also have never ending pain and feeling of full bowels. HATE IT!!!!!!


Yep! That is me. It's so frustrating and spoils the enjoyment in life. It happens even when going to visit family. So stupid! I try giving myself a good talking to but that doesn't seem to help much! On my way out now but I feel a toilet trip coming on just thinking about it.


My dr said having IBS and anxiety is very common. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression just before xmas, I noticed a change in my bowel habits a few months back and the worry of running the loo etc made my anxiety worse and realised that if I didn't do anything about it that I would eventually not want to go out of the door. I was ill the week before my son started at school because of the worry. I dont like change and I hate any appointment including hairdressers! I think people with Ibs are definitely more prone to worries affecting their bowel habits and stomach but I also know people without ibs who also suffer. I am now on sertraline to break the cycle of worrying i was in and feel so much better. My ibs has settled again and I am on a list for CBT but my worry is when I come off the sertraline my worrying habits will return!


Your story all seems to reflect the norm. I can't comment on what will happen when you come off the anti depressants. I could not ditch them completely and have continued to take a reduced dose. My doctor says that the amount I take is not a medical dose. When I stop the ( Venlafaxine), completely the symptoms are awful . not IBS , but horrible. Dizzy , a whooshing in the ears and generally feel awful.

My Doc., thinks it best to just stay on venlafaxine ,so I just continue with a very small dose.

I doubt if this does anything for Ibs, I think it just stops withdrawal symptoms..

Not really sure if Anti depressants help IBS. They did ,however, help the depression which was obviously connected.

Sorry, not a lot of help .



I am an anxious person and worrying and stressing is second nature, which is why I think I have ibs in the first place. It's definitely linked to stress. Ill see how I go on Sertraline and if I go down hill when I finish I'm happy to go back on them.


I am exactly the same and sometimes even going to the local shop 5 minutes away is enough. I got my bus pass 3 years ago and have only managed to use it twice as cannot wait for a bus. Sometimes just being at home I have bad days and cannot get out.

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