Nervous when in quiet rooms!!!: I have been... - IBS Network

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Nervous when in quiet rooms!!!


I have been tentatively diagnosed with IBS last year- my symptoms are that I have to rush to the loo every morning and don't leave the house until i have been again at least 3 more times. At work I have to go before meetings as I get nervous that I may need to pass wind in front of people- this is effecting my whole life. I have stopped going to church as I don't want to embarrass myself by passing wind- and I have now got to do a lot of training days for my job which I enjoy but I'm afraid of having to rush out mid sentence due to this condition. To combat it when I'm at work I don't eat breakfast which seems to help. But I know this is not the way. My GP was lovely but I feel she's not sure what to recommend I do other than go on anti depressants which she mentioned and I don't want to go down that road.

Is there anyone out there with similar problems I just feel so helpless and it's really getting me down I need help!!!

11 Replies

I found I had the same problem. The fodmap diet is helping me a lot. I would suggest going to a dietitian to get some advice on how a different diet could help your symptoms. Good luck!

You sound just like me! I won't go to talks or meetings (I'm not working at the moment) or anywhere where my bowel might be heard! Sounds funny but it completely affects my life. Like you, I hardly go to church now, only the odd Sunday when I'm feeling relatively good. Diet does help, but it can still be a problem even when I've been sticking to a sensible diet. I dread going to people's houses cos it's so difficult to cope with. Believe it or not, I am a very sociable person, so I find all this very difficult. So, I do understand what you describe and hope it improves for you.

A friend of ours had to change her Sunday morning worship to fit in later in the day for the same reasons and has not found a lasting solution.

I am just now trying activated charcoal tablets to see if wind and bloating is reduced and whether excess mucus is mopped up. Early days but I will post if there is an improvement.


Thanks for all your supportive comments I was very tentative about pouring out what has been a on going nightmare- I am relieved its not just a problem with me- I thought I was going a bit mad! I will try al things suggested though, I have tried cutting things from my diet before I don't feel it does anything, plus I'm a vegetarian and if I find potatoes or cheese are bad for me then ill be sad! But I will try anything at this point!!!!

my sister swears by probiotics and they are available in non-dairy sources.

Blimey this is probably one of the worst exact things ive suffered and fear the most about IBS, the fear of noise, bloating, wind in a public place. Ive had IBS for 20 years, since school days. And you can imagine the scenario and how humiliating it was in class, exams, etc etc and what kids can be like.

What ive found is, initially it was the physical symptoms, but without doubt the main cause is mental worry, fear. Where in an environment you re not comfortable and its quiet, the fear automatically triggers a reaction, like a button, even if you had no IBS symptoms previous to that meeting or quiet class etc etc. Ive found this out only too well over 20 years.

Hence even tho educational establishments were good in understanding i missed so many lectures, lessons and gave me special exam rooms alone, hence no stress, hence i wouldnt be paralysed with fear. I have to admit, i do shun public places alot, peoples houses i dont know, limited social life, librarys etc.

The weird thing is, if you re in a quiet room with family, friends who know you and your condition well, you aint scared if oops and noises etc happen. But as soon as that place is a stranger or two, bang the sweats and panic starts.

Anyway rabbiting on, you are not alone. Trust me, the excuses ive used over the years to bail out off anything quiet is quite scary. Only ever sit on a noisy train, bus, go to a noisy concert etc. Quiet and that alarm bell rings. Fear of Embarrassment i guess.

Docs have suggested prescribe, anti deps, nortryptilline, fluoxetine etc to calm the stress levels. Works wonders for some, relaxing tapes, hynotherapy esp. Gut Directed Hypnotheraphy, which i had for years. Worked brill for some. Thing with me is, my concious brain is such a worrying little so and so. That no matter all that, i still work myself into a frenzy and rather be a hermit in my own room and house :-)

Wish it was normal for all off us to just let rip and belch without warning or fear, with no consequence of pointing fingers, whispers and embarrassment.

Hope something works for you. You sure are not alone....

Oh yeh.....mornings are worse for me too...and gone through the constant toilet runs, to make sure, every little poo has been removed as such, hence it cant embarrass me later. not eating keeping an empty stomach etc. But with this you ll find, well i have anyway, is your stomach will just growl and make noises due to hunger.

Solution could well be the anti deps route...being stress free, more relaxed etc

Good luck anyway

I have had this for 9 years and it is driving me up the wall. I have had a colonoscopy, barium etc and they found nothing sinister. Some days I am constipated but the the consultant told me to take 2 suppositories every morning to clear my bowel. This works but on the mornings that I wake up with diarrhoea then there is nothing I can do. I have tried lots of medicines and there doesnt apear to be a pattern to it but it is always worse in the morning and seems to go off later in the day.

Any new medicines out there that people have tried??

I have the same problem. I often have wind and cramps in my lectures and whilst my fellow classmates don't know the truth about my "stomach troubles", they all know how my stomach rumbles and howls! It happens ALL the time and has done from when I was a toddler. The noises can be so strange so if I'm in public and that happens, I naturally glaze over it and ignore it. My dad has exactly the same thing and he doesn't have any form of digestive/stomach problem other than that! That's officially called borborygmus, which sounds itself like a stomach noise :P

Other problems like burping/belching/flatulence are different though. I have an acid stomach too so I belch A LOT and I cannot afford not to because once I have any wind lower than that, it's a case of "excuse me for a moment while I pop to the loo". Obviously it's hard when you're in public or around strangers but I developed ways of de-gassing myself without people knowing! Stomach-wise, I can swallow air in order to help release the air in there already and I can't really describe it properly but I can sort of internally burp, like quietly into myself so it can't be heard and I can do something similar with my other end so to speak :P I was able to do these things from childhood so it's second nature to me.

In terms of stuff that could really help you, a medication I find helps a lot with wind and cramps is Buscopan. With anti-depressants, it's not to do with being depressed; they relax the gut and de-stress it so that you suffer less cramps and any wind can get through the gut quicker and easier. I am on 60mg amitriptyline for this and also for another health problem I have. I find taking a dose of my medications before bed relieves some of my symptoms in the morning. Also, not eating would make your gut worse as your gut will react more after not having food for a long period. My aunt suffers terribly with IBS-D; she eats so little because she is convinced that it makes her symptoms better, but as soon as she eats a decent meal her body goes haywire. I found that eating smaller amounts more frequently can combat the issues. As an IBS-D sufferer, wholegrains and insoluble fibre are the enemy!! Soluble fibre is your friend, found in starchy foods, white bread products and peeled veggies so potatoes, carrots and other peelable veggies are a-ok. Avoid the wholegrain and bran and stuff like that as they are high in insoluble fibre which irritates the gut and exacerbates IBS-D. There is a lot of info on the net about what foods have soluble/insoluble fibre but it's also a case of trial and error. Some people swear off bananas with wind, cramps and D, whereas I find they are brilliant for my system!

I can recommend CBT of some form; I had stress management therapy because I had such a hard time with my symptoms when they started getting really bad and I was signed off from work. It helped me de-stress and learn how to get the stress out.

Hopefully, you will find some help from this!! Good luck!

So very sorry to hear your problems, and totally relate to them. My biggest fear is having to share a bathroom on holiday or toilets at work. I am better sitting in social situations than standing when the wind is less controllable. However, like the first comment here, I have had amazing improvement with the FODMAPS diet - worth googling to find out more. My symptoms got worse with a vegetarian diet, which now makes sense as I was eating more of the problematic fruits, veggies and legumes. I am eating meat now as that is a safe food for me, but you could certainly be veggie and follow the FODMAPS diet..

Hey I can totally relate with how you feel...I realize this post has been up for 7 years now.

I've had this gassy farting problem since I was 11 years old, it was when my grade 6 teacher had us lay on the floor for quiet time, that's when my gassy problem started if I remember correctly. Ever since then, I've had this issue through high school and university. One time in high school, we had quiet reading time, I was so conscious to not make any farting noises, but unfortunately a high - pitched farting noise that sounded like a deflating balloon passed through. My friend next to me looked at me shocked. I was so embarrased and was sure that the others in class had heard. Another time was during my first year exam at University, I was feeling gassy and tried to concentrate on my exam but suddenly what sounded like an explosion ripped out and I got up of my seat and it kept going. I am pretty sure a lot of people heard but were too focussed on their exams to look back. Anyway, I failed that exam because of the time wasted in the toilet. Now I'm 26 years old, I still suffer from this especially when I'm sitting in a quiet room of people. I think this is partially due to being too self - conscious of farting out aloud and people looking at you to make you feel humiliated and embarrased. Another reason could also be nervous gas through the environment you're in...or possibly the foods you eat as well. Maybe it's especially worse in the morning because you're always rushing to get somewhere. I'm not sure but I think these are possibly the factors that cause gassy problems for me. Anyhow, I hope you also know that you're not aloe with this silly issue that has affected our lives. I think there is a way to overcome it, to not care anymore and just let it rip if it happens.

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