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Anxiety and IBS

New member here, and I’d like some input. I saw a GI in July, and he did bloodwork and a stool sample. Both of those were ok—so he gave me some meds and probiotics. After a few weeks, diet changes, and being on the meds, I was doing much better when I went to my follow up appointment. So, he just suggested to follow that treatment. Well, my diarrhea has been pared up for a couple of weeks now, and my anxiety is through the roof because of it. All I think about is my bathroom habits. The diarrhea only comes after meals. Do you guys think I should go back for a colonoscopy? Is my anxiety likely to blame for this flare up?

  1. Hi, @elesha1979. Welcome to the site! We're glad you're here. I really wish that your GI's suggested regimen would've continued to help! Anxiety can definitely be a big factor in some folks' IBS flares and symptoms. While can't provide any medical advice (for your safety), I thought I'd share an article with you that gives some tips about managing anxiety and overthinking: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/stop-thinking/. I hope this is helpful! - Chris, IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team

    1. I had IBS before Anxiety. Dislocating a hip replacement and a mild stroke caused anxiety. Medication for anxiety created IBS as it slows your system down therefore your digestion. Also the hip stopped me from running which had both IBS and Anxiety kept at a manageable level. It took months to find medication for my anxiety due to the IBS. As soon as something creates bad anxiety now my stomach goes into knots and I know for the next couple of days I am bloated and the discomfort is unbearable. I have been told that probiotics which have taken for years have now been found to not be good for IBS. When I have been under the impression that the opposite was true. A Doctor advised me.

      1. I know exactly how you feel I suffer with anxiety also , it emotionally and physically tired me are you the same , take care

      2. @spirit,

        I take probiotics and they help me tremendously. My doctor has always told me they are helpful, so I guess it all depends on who you talk to? I would go by how you feel though. If you take them, and they help then I say keep taking them.

        As far as anxiety, have you ever tried CBD oil? It helps a lot with anxiety, pain and sleep. Maybe something to look into?

        I hope you get relief soon!

        Big hugs, Elizabeth (team member)

    2. I had all the tests, incl colonoscopy, endoscopy and when these revealed no obvious cause was advised to take copious amts of Metamucil, Olyster and similarly useless rabeprazole. I was never offered the antispasmotics I learned about here - never. GI had no interest that IBS-D explosions continued. Referred me back to GP, who had sent me to specialist. I then tried $$$ probiotics - no change. Then apple cider vinegar - good for a short while then nothing. Then raw honey. That worked for quite a while until it didn't. B/c few public parks in our suburb have toilets I had to beg spouse to take me to this one place where I could walk. Begging after decades of marriage prompted me to find my own digs in the city. Tough decision but I return to the burb most weekends to cook and garden and surprise, surprise my guts have calmed considerably - almost 100% but still occasional explosions. I've noticed no particular pattern. My explosions occur regardless of food or drink. FODMAP changes nothing. I do find, tho, that I avoid tomato sauce and raw veg and w/o the often challenging spouse every day I drink less alcohol. Spouse doesn't drink at all and has tried to impose temperance on me but unsuccessfully. Have never been a heavy drinker but I do very much enjoy no more than 2 cocktails while I cook dinner. I love to cook and do it well. I keep a steady supply of Immodium gel caps and take one every morning, more acc to pkg instructions on a day if/when I have an explosion. These days are less and less frequent.


      Moral: If you can identify high stress sources and eliminate them, do. Not everyone has that luxury, alas. I am fortunate that I did.

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