Please Help, College student with IBS - IBS Network

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Please Help, College student with IBS

sischick profile image


I am new to this site and I am really looking for any support or advice anyone has.

I am a freshman in college and a few weeks after college had started i started getting bloated. It’s now been 6 months and I wake up everyday bloated, can’t sleep at night because of stomach pain, have constipation, and other symptoms. Does this sound like IBS?

Do you guys recommend the low FODMAP diet?

When I went on vacation with my family over winter break, all of my symptoms disappeared and I was completely fine. As soon as I came home and went back to school they all came back. Is this stress related?

I find that this is so embarrassing and depressing I can’t go out on the weekends and just cry myself to sleep. I need relief so badly.

Thank you!

13 Replies
Hidden profile image

Sounds like it is stress related. Anxiety amd stress can go straight to the stomach for some people. Is school a problem for you in any way. Have you discussed any of this with your family? It is best that you do, problems are always easier if you have that support.Is your diet vastly different when you go back to school? Is there a clue there? Perhaps your diet then is not so good or healthy.

Think about what you are eating, certain foods can be really bad for you, especially if you are overdoing it.

FODMAP is recommended by many, but best to see a doc and try and get a proper diagnosis. If you do have IBS there is a lot of info and advice on this site from others that know how you feel.

sischick profile image
sischick in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply. I am going to a GI doctor in 50 days which is causing me so much anxiety because it feels so far away. My therapists tells me it’s stress related but I can’t cope with that. It just doesn’t make sense to me that school ( even though I do hate it ) could be causing me this much stress! I am planning on transferring schools but I just hope it would be different at a different school and worry if it’s not :( The bloating is really ruining my life. I work out all the time and when I am at home you could almost see my abs and now it’s just bloat. So depressing.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to sischick

Stress is something that many if us get and I know what it is like. It goes straight to my gut. If you are the type that gets anxious, it is so difficult to control. Try to relax yourself, execise is good, walking, cycling etc.

Hi exactly the same as me bad stress at work pains in stomach went to GP who examined me and said as soon as you get on holiday I can almost guarantee you'll be fine and guess what I was no pains st all. Its easier said than done but try and relax and distract yourself and the fodmap diet did work for me. Good luck.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Lancs65

Sounds to me very much a stress/anxiety issue. Unfortunately there’s no quick & easy fix as this can affect your guts, it certainly does with me. You do need to explain what is going on with your parents & tutors. They are there to help you. My daughter is in her last year at uni, when she is stressed, meeting deadlines/hand ins etc, she suffers badly with uti’s. Her tutors are very supportive & keep an eye on her. As Fuv38 suggests the food you are eating at college may not be helping!! Sorry I can’t be more positive!! Good luck. Maybe once you find a school/colllege you are happy in things will settle down. X

sischick profile image
sischick in reply to Hidden

Yes you’re right! Thank you for this reply. I am planning on transferring schools and I am just waiting to hear back from them so I am anxious and stressed about that too.

sischick profile image
sischick in reply to Lancs65

Thank you so much. Like I said when I went on holiday break I was fine. It’s really SO crazy to me.

Hi there,

So sorry to hear you're having these issues. There is some great advice in the replies you have already received. This is such a great supportive online community.

I find that alongside the Fodmap diet, practising mindfulness techniques every day can also help. You can put mindfulness into your everyday activities so it doesn't become too onerous to do and just becomes part of your daily routine. It's crazy (and frustrating) how brain and gut are so intrinsically emotionally linked.

Look after and be kind to yourself.

sischick profile image
sischick in reply to Crossfitter

Thank you so much. I have tried so many different things and I don’t know how to relieve my stress anymore. I really thought I was managing it well but I guess not :(. I am going to go home next weekend and see if that helps. Take some yoga classes :)

Sorry to hear about your condition but as a number of posters have said, the gut and the brain are totally interrelated. It is very important that you really examine what it is you hate about school and work hard on that to remedy the situation.

Good luck

sischick profile image
sischick in reply to yogaman

Definitely going to transfers for schools! Just want to make sure I don’t feel this way at another place :(. Crazy to me how the brain can be this impactful on the gut

Hidden profile image

A few deep and (very) meaningful questions for you:

If you hate school, why are you there? Why do you hate about, or find particularly difficult? And what would you sooner be doing instead? What/who is preventing you from going for what you really want in life?

Maybe the bloating is your body telling you that you are going the wrong way, and need to be yourself and enjoy what your are doing, whatever that is.

If you are looking for inspiration, the articles on "Medium" are excellent!

Hope this helps,


Hidden profile image

Hi Sischick,

I agree with Hidden, this is stress related which is the cause of a lot of health conditions in todays world. There is something about being at college that is triggering your symptoms. If you can work it out for yourself, you will probably find that the symptoms stop, but if you can't then a therapist/counselling should sort it out.

Here're some questions to ask yourself

Do you feel scared/insecure about being at college?

Do you feel you have to do really well or you will disappoint your family or someone?

Has something happened to you that being at college is a trigger for that thought?

Do you miss being at home?

Try and connect with how you feel, the fact that it started again when you went back after the holidays, how did that make you feel... if you can find the answer, then you can address the cause.

Hope this helps.

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