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A man looking extremely angry and frustrated

Anger and IBS

I do not consider myself an angry person. I try to be polite, professional, funny (when I can), compassionate and considerate. My therapist has informed me that this does not matter. Apparently, I am a very angry man. Deep down I knew this, I have a tendency to just push the anger emotion down when it arises, not dealing with it, letting it just sit in my belly for it to rear it’s head when it just simply can’t stay hidden anymore. Hmm…sit in my belly. I guess it’s no wonder I have IBS, gastritis and several ulcers (shrug). While I have done a lot of work trying to deal with conflict and frustration in my life, I have to say that over the last couple of years one of the things that has made me truly ANGRY is IBS. I have tried to determine the root of this association between anger and IBS, and at least for me, have found some answers. Please allow me to share.

Why IBS makes me angry

Since being diagnosed with IBS, my emotions have run the gamut from nervousness, apprehension, worry, anxiety and ultimately, depression. Not to say that I haven’t have my successes and even interesting moments with IBS. I HAVE learned to manage IBS, I HAVE learned about the illness and the people that suffer with it. I am happy to be part of this community and it has been so helpful when I’m starting to have an IBS freakout session. Being part of a community helps to keep a cool head when things are getting really rough. Does this mean that all of the worry, anxiety and bad feeling have not caused a certain amount of resentment, annoyance, agitation and dare I say, ANGER? You bet it has. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again…I hate IBS…like you hate a person who has insulted your mother 😉 So I have developed a certain amount of anger and consternation throughout my experience with IBS. I am angry that I have to eat a particular way, I am angry that it disrupts plans, I am angry that I have to make excuses…anybody out there feelin’ me? What to do, what to do? We talk about coping skills with regards to the very common anxiety emotion that many people with IBS experience. Many of these skills translate to managing anger. But, while we often talk about how to subdue anxiety there is a school of thought that says we should ourselves feel it and not suppress. Under certain circumstances that is true (for another time). With anger, I believe, dealing with it and allowing yourself to feel it, is very important.

Well, dealing with ‘IBS Anger’ healthfully is really no different than dealing with other kinds of anger. You have to acknowledge it, feel it, let it come and then, eventually, come to some agreement with it. There is no other way, without it becoming something that will eventually fester inside you and probably will end up making the IBS worse. Just some observations from an angry, angry man lol.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • marlene43
    10 months ago

    I have both types of IBS–definitely a life changer-wrecker. Does anyone else have both types and no magic solution?

  • Mia
    10 months ago

    I totally relate…IBS makes me angry! I guess each IBS “victim” has a different experience, but the agony is the same. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Jimski55
    10 months ago

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I strongly recommend In their book titled A Headache in the Pelvis they discuss a concept called Extended Paradoxical Relaxation. I have found that something with a different name I started 45 years ago but never really got into to be pretty much the same thing with the same results as they describe. Lets simply label it meditation. I am on the upswing after decades of torment. If you buy the book it will be the best investment in dealing with your situation. IMO

  • Kelly Dabel, RD moderator
    10 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your experience Jimski55! So glad that you have found some relief and are feeling better. We appreciate you sharing with our community here. Wishing you continued relief. Best, Kelly, Team Member

  • Rosie
    10 months ago

    I harbour anger at my condition but am grateful that IBS has prevented me from hanging out with uncompassionate friends at this point in my life. Last year I invited a coworker to Mexico with me and she didn’t realize my restrictions on walking after eating and kept insisting on doing walks. I see less of her now. I had 2 other friends come after her and they were respectful and we had fun. I am also grateful that I don’t drink much alcohol anymore due to IBS and have spent more time with minimal drinkers. We have great times without alcohol. If I am strict with my diet I can cope in the community but it is hard work. We all cheat and suffer the consequences.

  • Kelly Dabel, RD moderator
    10 months ago

    Love hearing how you have found gratitude ion your journey with IBS Rosie. So glad that you have connected with friends who show you compassion and respect. Wishing you relief soon. Thank you for sharing and being part of our community! Best, Kelly, Team Member

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