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Stress and IBS

Hi, I’m 23 and have been suffering with constipation for a few years now. I thought it was starting to improve about 5 months ago however I then started experiencing other symptoms which I’m not sure are related to IBS or not. I have been having frequent headaches, the urge to burp frequently, pain in my ribs, back and chest. Feels like trapped wind? Weird sensations such as tingling in legs and hands. The need to pee more frequently and a temperature. Seems worse at night and is affecting my sleep. I have had blood and stool tests and nothing has come back and I am getting extremely anxious about what it could be. Everyone keeps saying that it’s stress or just severe IBS symptoms, has anyone else experienced something similar? This is making me very depressed and affecting every aspect of my life, any advice is appreciated.

  1. Hello

    Sorry for responding so far after your posting. I have IBS-C, and I have experienced a couple of the symptoms you wrote about. Along with severe constipation, I have experienced pain in my ribs during bad IBS “attacks”. Plus, I commonly get frequent headaches, sometimes back or chest pain, and the feeling of “trapped wind”. I believe the trapped wind is gas, as it seemed to get better when I moved around more or stretched out, my headaches might be associated with nausea, stress or dehydration, and the back and/or chest pain seems to be related to the movement of my bowels, and the food I eat. I have never heard of tingling in hands and feet before, or rising temperature associated with IBS, but you could an an extreme case. With the peeing frequently symptom it might be good to get some sort of UTI test, since your symptom may be related to that.

    In order to ease some symptoms, I would recommend getting some type of exercise. My most common source of exercise is just walking. It is easy to do, doesn’t require equipment, and convenient for most people. In addition, water, water, water. I seem to always be dehydrated and when I drink lots of water many of my symptoms decrease substantially or disappear.

    If you would like to, you could try out the Low FODMAP diet. I don’t know what your diet is like, but following the diet has kept me more symptom free. (Though I seem to have it better than many with what I can eat and the severity of my symptoms.)

    The way I was diagnosed with IBS was more complicated than most. My gastroenterologist told me that they had to rule everything outs, so I did an endoscopy, colonoscopy, blood test, X-rays, two biopsies, and some unnecessary visits to a gastroenterologist. This is definitely not the way for everyone, if your doctor isn’t giving you answers, then you should try to find another one. Stress is a big contender for IBS it can amp up symptoms a lot. Finding a way to cope with stress is key in my IBS management, as I get stressed very easily. (Also, side note, if you have not tried this already taking fiber supplements, and/or probiotics can also help.) I hope this was helpful!

    I wish you good luck in figuring things out!


    1. Stress is wild what it does to our gut. I was doing fine then all of a sudden anxiety kicked in because of someone and guess what. Chills, pains and Diarrhea is back. The nerves are crazy. One doc told me an anxiety pill may actually help the IBS. I have yet to try after 5 yrs. I just hate taking medication

      1. Have you ever tried gut-directed hypnotherapy or EFT ( for anxiety? It helps me quite a lot, especially when I remember to be consistent with it.
        I've been wondering about anxiety medication, too, but I also don't like taking medication.
        Karina (team member)

    2. Hi yes im having sharp +painful pains through stomach ,back and joints,Its horrible ive started taking byscopan again eased it a bit,vut gets so painful

      1. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. 🙁 You're not alone. If you're interested, we have an entire article collection about pain here: Hugs, Karina (team member)

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