Severe panic before, during and after bowel mo... - IBS Network

IBS Network

40,390 members13,586 posts

Severe panic before, during and after bowel movements

Sasical profile image

Hello there,

I have asked this before on here but still looking for answers so hoping someone might have this and found a solution.

Just before a bowel movement I start to feel really strange, like a doom feeling, the I get shortness of breath, sweating, fast heart rate it gets worse and worse and really feels like I will drop dead. It's like a panic attack but out of control.

After pooping I feel really bad for about 20-30 mins and then I'm ok again, just tired from all the symptoms.

This only ever happens related to pooping or gas.

Anyone else get this? Any advice please? 🙏

28 Replies

Hi Sasical,

We have spoken about this before on here. I am sure now what you are experiencing is called a vasovagal attack on the toilet.

Please see the link:


Just found this too.

Please note that I do not faint with this, I just have all the symptoms. I have never fainted in my life!

Sasical profile image
Sasical in reply to Maureen1958

We have spoken before on here Maureen. Thank you very much for replying again and I hope you are doing ok.I have looked at the links you have kindly linked.

I never have the pain associated and in my case it almost always starts even before I go for my bowel movement x

Maureen1958 profile image
Maureen1958 in reply to Sasical

I still think it's the same thing, it's more to do with the fact that it's putting pressure on the vagus nerve. Try running it past your doctor and see what he/she has to say.

Sasical profile image
Sasical in reply to Maureen1958

Thank you, I have been to countless doctors and they all say maybe this or maybe that but in the end they just say, I don't know, it's so strange, I've heard anything like that before. Can I really be the only one? 🤔

Mine usually happens when I am near to finishing, then I get the hot feeling, sometimes prickly heat, I can't think straight at all, feel panicky and have an overwhelming feeling that I want to lay down on the floor before I fall down. Does any of that sound familiar?!

Sasical profile image
Sasical in reply to Maureen1958

Yes it does, the hot feeling, the not being able to think straight and the panic, those I get for sure.

It could be leaky gut or irritated nerves in the end part of the large bowel. Sometimes I get a strange feeling like ants creeping up my legs just before I need the loo. Yours sounds extreme though and you have my sympathy. Your best bet is hypnotherapy.

Thank you, I will look into both leaky gut and irritated nerves (which is what it feels like to me)

Yes, I get this. Only when I eat too much sugar. I feel faint, sweat profusely and turn grey, I feel the need to lie on the floor. Then I am wiped out for about a week and have since had a diagnosis of vaso vagal syncope due to an incident of passing out, in the absence of any better ideas.

Bits1961 profile image
Bits1961 in reply to BabsyWabsy

Do you have constipation ? I often have it and the thought sitting on the porcelain throne for ages struggling fills me with dread and I start to panic😌

BabsyWabsy profile image
BabsyWabsy in reply to Bits1961

No, quite the opposite.

Maureen1958 profile image
Maureen1958 in reply to Bits1961

You may want to read this:

Viklou profile image
Viklou in reply to Maureen1958

That seems to relate to constipation. I've had similar feelings but I put it down to being dehydrated.

Maureen1958 profile image
Maureen1958 in reply to Viklou

I think the vegas nerve has a lot to do with all of our problems, whether we have constipation or diarrhoea!

Hi..yes I have this..not all the time and mostly when I wake in the night wanting a poo. It happened in the early hours of this morning. I don't sleep well anyway as also have fibromyalgia. Stress plays a big part in this I believe. I have had a bad falling out with a family member a week or so ago and have been very anxious! I know what you mean about the doom n gloom feeling...its very disconcerting! I felt better about an hour after having a normal poo. I take a nausea tablet and suck a very strong mint which helps a lot. You are defo not alone in di we suffer!!

Pthom50 profile image
Pthom50 in reply to Pthom50

Should read ' boy do we suffer!'

Sasical profile image
Sasical in reply to Pthom50

Hi, I'm sorry to hear you suffer with this too. It's really horrible isn't it. I will try the suggestion of the strong mints, because sometimes a very strong smell or noise can help me snap out of it, so a strong mint also makes sense

Shortly before I have a bowel movement, my stomach stings and cramps.. After my bowel movement my bowels sting and cramp for at least 1/2 hour. There is definitely some kind of message sent bowels to pain center!

Sorry you are going through this, mine is different in so far as I don't actually have pain

You're not alone, I used to get the same symptoms, and would end up lying down for about an hour convinced that I was going end up in hospital. My doctor said that it's over stimulation of the vagus nerve, which is why your heart rate increases and you feel so awful. I ended up having hypnotherapy and it's really helped me as stress can make this worse. What I also found useful is breathing exercises as this helps control your reaction, try finding a piece of music or sounds that help you relax (lots of these on YouTube). I hope some of this helps 🙂

Sasical profile image
Sasical in reply to angelwings52

Oh thank you so much for your reply!

I had this few weeks ago, nearly fainted while on the toilet. Luckily my husband was with me so I lied down and felt better. I feel lightheaded and nauseous when I have gas and start feeling I need to go to the toilet. Saw a gastroenterologist after few days and he said is a vaso vagal crisis. Then I also had a colonoscopy and there is absolutely nothing! I am seeing a dietician in a few days. Hopefully she can help.

Thank you! Please come here and let us know what the dietitian recommends. Good luck

Yes every morning I wake up and start to get really anxious.Like a feeling like you’ve got to go to the dentist.I sweat and my heart starts pounding.After the bowel movement I am shaky and look red in the face .I have to sit down for a while as I feel totally drained.Im sure it’s all anxiety related.This just makes my i.b.s worse.But I just can’t help it.Its a never ending nightmare.

I’ve had this condition for about 13 years and I have really had enough.

Life is horrible at the moment.I have many more bad days than good.

When you get a good day make the most of it.

Sasical profile image
Sasical in reply to BlueDevon

Poor you, it's horrible isn't it?

I'm going to an osteopath at the mo for him to help with my vagus nerve, he said my bowels are stiff and tense. I've been to a couple of sessions and I think I see some improvement 🙏🙏

Is the central nerve,

Sasical profile image
Sasical in reply to Risita


Thank you, but do you know why oe what can be done about it?

You may also like...