Ibs + Citalopram - advice needed : I've had bad... - IBS Network

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Ibs + Citalopram - advice needed


I've had bad ibs-d which only just died down in the past year or so with the odd once a fortnight flare up (instead of all day every day). Because it got better I stopped taking Citalopram in December as I felt fine anxiety and ibs wise. But this week I've had a sore stomach with d every day so far.

It could be down to stress as I'm planning my wedding for September. But I'm no more stressed this week than any of the past few weeks. I also take probiotics and thought they played a major part in me feeling better.

Calling for a docs appointment tomorrow anyway as I can't go on feeling like this in work its making me feel down and I feel sick about the possibility of this being my life again.

Has anyone had similar issues and found anything that helped? I also came off Citalopram as thought it was what was killing my sex drive but it's not returned so guessing it's my contraceptive pill causing that. So wondering if I'm best to just give in and go back on Citalopram.

12 Replies

Hi allí

I wanted to respond because you must be feeling terrible at the moment with all the planning you are doing for your wedding.

I think that sometimes stress can creep up on us and you aren't always able to pinpoint the one thing that is the final straw so maybe although you don't think you are anymore stressed than a week ago, perhaps underneath you may be.

I was wondering whether you had been tested for coeliac disease because that can lead to symptoms very similar to IBS, my own son was fobbed off with a diagnosis of IBS-D for almost 4 years by Drs who put his symptoms down to anxiety and stress until he was finally diagnosed with coeliac disease last year. I am asking this because my son was prescribed citalopram to begin with and when it was discovered he had Coeliac disease his GP said that particular anti depressant would only have aggravated his condition. He takes a low dose of amtryptaline now which is helping hugely,because even though he is completely Gluten free he has been left with IBS D type symptoms.

Are you able to pinpoint any particular foods that initiate your symptoms, it might be worth asking your GP for a referral to a Dietician so that you can see if the FODMAPs diet could help.

Speaking as a mum who has watched her son suffer with symptoms similar to yours I can only sympathise with what you are going through, just when you think things are under control everything seems to be conspiring against you, I do think that there is a connection between your gut and your state of mind and if you are able to take some time for yourself and practise relaxation ( the most difficult thing to do if you are out of practise !) it may help you.

I didn't want you to worry alone, please get back to me if you want to know anything about my son's situation in case it might help you.

alli2oo5 in reply to knitwitty

Hi knitwitty, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I tried the Fodmap diet when my doc referred me to a dietician when my IBS was really bad the last time but nothing really helped, so I think mine is down to anxiety and stress mainly. Although I do find I can't eat really creamy foods or they definitely do make it worse so I tend to avoid them.

I'm sure I was treated for Coeliac with 1 of the many blood tests I had and it came back normal, it sounds mad but I almost wish it was that and then I could deal with it better. I'm glad your son finally found out what was wrong even if it did take 4 stressful years to get there.

I decided not to visit the docs today as they'd only put me back on Citalopram which I don't really want, I visited Holland & Battet and the woman suggested 5-htp to help the stress and anxiety and hopefully if those are calmed down then so in turn will the ibs. Time will tell I guess if they work. I am quite lucky as I go on holiday in a week so that hopefully will help me relax and definitely time away from work will help.

82-1 in reply to knitwitty

Hi f you were feeling better why did you go off the tablet? It no shame to be on anti depressants especially if you have anxiety, sometimes Docs or phys put you on a combination of tabs so you are more even in moods etc and it helps you relax more. There is definitely a brain stomac connection, if you are anxious you will feel it knoring in your stomac then you get gastric. Even headaches, hot sweats and nausea. Walk every day and meditate thinking about your breath.

The diet is important, the fodmac diet is good as foods will trigger your bowel like apples, onions, cream etc. lots of info on net and menu books.

Maybe get more support and see a phycoligist who will help you look st your anxiety and develop plans and teach you new ways of handling things. The other thing is the other side of anxiety is depression and if you suffer that for long periods it’s best not to go off your meds. I am not a Dr but one who suffers with depression and anxiety, ibs, nausea. Just keep positive and try all things and see what’s best for you. Be happy!

alli2oo5 in reply to 82-1

Hey, thanks for your reply. I came off Citalopram as thought it was what was killing my sex drive, making me sweat excessively and was causing brain zap's. Thankfully the brain zap's have now stopped but the other 2 issues aren't resolved and 3 months on Cit must have all left my body. It's such a difficult thing to know what is best as its different for each individual and its a gruelling process trying everything that's out there while trying to remain positive. Definitely think my ibs is stress and anxiety related, certain foods don't help. I am going to try and add more exercise in to my life as I have heard it helps with anxiety. I will certainly look in to the phycologist option and see if that will get me anywhere, thanks.

Hidden in reply to 82-1

For everyone saying "be happy"! Please don't do this. We are all here because we are suffering. No One is better than anyone else. When you have severe cramping, constipation, diarrhea, dismissed by Doctor's, losing weight, it is hard to "just be happy" we are looking for support and advice and compassion from others who have been there and comfort and just saying "be happy" is not helpful. If we were happy..we would be out enjoying our lives not on here. It is hard to have any kind of social life no matter how hard you try. When you are constantly in pain. I'm not trying to offend anyone. But if people are so happy on here, why are you on here? No offense. ☺


Hi, Have you tried Bentyl? It's very effective. Works for IBS-D and IBS-A. Helps stop intestinal and abdominal spasms and cramping. Also helped with my anxiety. Just made me feel relaxed. Helped with insomnia too. But I am noticing a difference in spasms and cramping. You can Google if you want. It has gotten alot of positive reviews. It comes in 10my and 20mg, taken up to 4 times a day 30 minutes before meals and at bedtime. Your Doctor or Gastro can write you a prescription for it. Keep us posted.

alli2oo5 in reply to Hidden

Hey Eliana5, thanks for replying. I've never even heard of Bentyl, so I will definitely google it and check it out thanks. Anything that helps even a bit is worth a shot! I just got some 5-HTP from Holland & Barrett which is what the woman recommended is best to relieve stress and anxiety (well she mentioned some legal cannibas oil thing but I'd never heard of it so didn't fancy trying it) and also aloe vera colin cleanser to help with the ibs, so will see how those two go also.


Okay, just be careful with the 5-HTP. It didn't do anything for my anxiety as well as L-Theanine or GABA. Not strong enough I guess. They wear out quickly. That's what happened to me when I was on SAM-E. Because it will interact with any prescription meds you may be taking. Make sure to check with your pharmacist or Doctor because many of these supplements, are not FDA aporoved, and not regulated, so who knows what's in them. A safe bet is Magnesium Glycinate for Anxiety and constipation. It is sold over the counter, and is the best absorbed unlike Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Gkluconate.

It's IBS-D that I have, no constipation. I was looking at magnesium in the shop when the woman came over and chatted and she suggested the 5-HTP. I'm not on any prescription meds just now (well the contraceptive pill) but none for anxiety. I do sometimes take propranolol as and when but the woman said not to take that as well as 5-HTP. There's never going to be any miracle cure, its a nightmare coming to work and feeling this way. I remember when it was really bad before for months on end I considered quitting my job as I couldn't cope feeling miserable and running to the loo all the time while all my colleagues have a normal life. Trying to nip it in the bud before it gets to that stage again.


That sounds good then, I think the 5-HTP is a great choice.

I have suffered with IBS for over 20 years which has been a real problem/live changer for me. I have tried all the exclusion diets but nothing helped. I panicked whenever I had to go anywhere in case I needed the loo and worried for days before hand & often cancelled at the last minute. Citalopram has certainly helped with the panic attacks & taking Lopermide the night before I travel really helps. It's not ideal, but it does allow me to go on holiday now which I avoided for so long. Spent so many years hiding my "problem" Thankfully, my hubby & good friends understand "the 2 minute warning"!

Hi I've been on Paroxitine which I tried to stop also but the GP told me to take low dose every other day to help with my nervous anxiety. Stopping totally bought back the Ibs-d.

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