IBS Network

Does anyone think their IBS is caused by stress/anxiety?

Just that really!

I’ve been an anxious person most of my life and have had IBS symptoms for almost 18 years.

Although I am really careful with my diet (doing low fodmap), careful not to eat my trigger foods, exercise, don’t smoke, don’t drink (boring old sod!), try to relax and listen to a hypnotherapy vid on YouTube regularly p, I can’t get to the bottom (pardon the pun!) of what actually causes my bad guts.

I’ve been having almost daily symptoms for the last Four months ( always have had symptoms but they’ve not been as bad last summer) and during these four months I’ve also been very very anxious (my son is having school anxiety which is really stressing me out).

It doesn’t help that I’m constantly thinking I’ve got something awful going on even though GP says it’s IBS, I can’t stop the negative thoughts creeping in.

I really am desperate to sort this out once and for all this year ( have a gastroenterologist appointment next month) but if it’s caused by my anxiety and I’m a naturally anxious person, I fear that I’m never going to get rid of this ball and chain I drag round on a daily basis.

Is anyone else out there anxious? Do you think your symptoms are caused by your nervous disposition?

Btw, my symptoms are constant activity in my guts with constant rumblings, wind, distended and discomfort, feeling I need the loo and just a general feeling my tummy is just angry!

17 Replies
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Yes it is defo partly caused by anxiety. I am the same but my triggers are travelling. I always have an attack if I know I have to go a long distance in the car or on a train. Holidays are a nightmare for me. I had cognitive therapy last year, it does help but you have to change you whole mindset and keep at it. It teaches you mind fullness and coping strategies.

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Yes, I hate traveling I get really angst if I get stuck in traffic. I’m on a waiting list for CBT hoping it will help.

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I had CBT, It sort of works but you have to keep at it. I was okay while having it but you soon slip back in to old habits once it stops. Its a mind set. It does make you think more rationally. I used to have the same things go round and round in my head while I was in a stressful situation. It does teach you to break that cycle.

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Anxiety and stress are without a doubt my main trigger. Sometimes during a stressful situation I thing I’m fine and then when I start to wind down it hits me head on. It may be worth speaking to your GP about help with your anxiety. I also strongly recommend Mindfulness. It can really help to reduce anxiety levels.

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Mine is caused by anxiety it started when my anxiety was really bad. I have daily stomach rumbling/twitching, chest pain, acid reflux, needing to wee a lot, trouble with bowel movements but doctors have done tests and came back clear of anything serious.

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I have the same symptoms as you, hoping a can get it under control this year, it’s so argh!!

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Anxiety and nerves definitely a factor. My daughters gets worse during exam periods . Have seen a pattern now stress plays a big part . She now uses a well being app to help calm nerves .

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Which app does your daughter use North?

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You are not on your own, everything you just wrote was like my own words, mine also has got worse over the past 5 months, I have doc appointment next week because I am worried sick too.

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It’s horrible Jules its so easy to feel alone as we generally don’t discuss our bowel habits with most people and that can leave you feeling desperate, I’m glad for forums like this. Hope all goes well at docs.

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Definitely! And it has been a big part in beating my IBS too.

sickofibs.com/ibs-triggers/...

Alison

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Thanks for that Alison 🤗

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Anxiety and stress def play a part in my IBS-D. I can be feeling fine and sticking to the diet, then I get anxious and my symptoms cone back. I firmly believe there is a correlation between anxiety/stress and IBS.

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I totally agree with you. Mine came on after I met a bi polar man. I was very tensed up most of the time. It was stress according to my doctor. Now it won't go away. I don't want to take PPI's as they screw your bones up. There is nothing in western medicine that will help, but I was told by my chinese endodontist that chinese accupuncture will fix it. I will try that and see if it works. He gave me the name of a very reputable one.

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I can certainly understand why you would be tensed up. I have heard that accupuncture can help with stress and anxiety. If you try it let me know if it helps. Thank you!

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Same here. I’ve had problems since 2008 when I was severely anxious due to a very bad breakup. I’ve had long periods of feeling ok, but then it’s back. Current attack was triggered last April after a family member died after a horrible illness. Still haven’t got it under control. The biggest problem is that IBS causes even more stress with the fear and anxiety of wondering if I will ever feel ok again. Big vicious cycle. Very hard to control anxiety when you can’t see an end to the pain and poor quality of life that accompanies this condition. This is a great site, really appreciate reading about similar experiences.

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I feel your pain, I’m stuck in the same cycle and think my anxiety over it all is being made worse by the memories of losing a very young family member a few years back.

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