A woman sitting at a desk holds her side in pain as a dark cloud envelops her

Why My IBS Has Turned into Something Scary

IBS was always an annoyance, but it was never something that scared me. I understood that it was always changing and pain and symptoms changed over time. I considered this normal and never worried about it. Now, every little thing scares me. Even discomfort I have experienced for decades stresses me.

Accidentally finding a concerning issue

I recently had a health scare. While seeking medical care for another issue, it was discovered that I had a GI bleed. Completely by accident, they found I had a spot in my colon that was oozing blood.

They were not sure what was causing the bleeding, and I had to have a colonoscopy to find and resolve the issue. Doctors initially suspected I might have diverticular bleeding, but that was not the case. I had 3 polyps removed. One was large and the doctors believe that was the source of the bleed.

Developing a fear of IBS symptoms

Large polyps and bleeding polyps are more likely to turn into cancer over time. I had to wait two very long weeks to find out whether or not any of the polyps were cancerous. Considering I had overlooked a symptom that should have been a red flag for well over a year, I was very concerned, to say the least.

Thankfully, everything was benign. I was very relieved to have it all behind me. At least I thought it was all behind me. That deep sigh of relief was followed by a sense of walking on eggshells. I am always scared.

New pains equal new worries

If I feel a new twinge somewhere, I worry. I no longer chalk things up to IBS like I once did. I fear the worst. While I have plenty of reasons to be more vigilant in reporting symptoms, I know many of my symptoms are definitely IBS-related. Still, it does not keep me from worrying.

Every single time I have any sort of symptom or a change in bowel habits it scares me. If I have gas pains, I worry. If I have even the slightest bleeding from hemorrhoids, it terrifies me. A flare of any type sends my mind into overdrive. I feel like I am scared all the time.

Worrying too much over every symptom

I was diagnosed with IBS almost 3 decades ago. In that time, I have experienced just about every symptom you can imagine. Since I have IBS-M, I have dealt with both sides of the coin. While the pain and triggers might change a bit over time, it all should be easily recognizable as symptoms of IBS.

No longer do I find myself saying, "It's just IBS." I now analyze every little twinge to death. Of course, stress agitates IBS so it only adds to my problems. Will I ever be able to stop obsessing over symptoms? I sure hope so.

Trying to differentiate between normal and not normal

Making matters worse, I also had my gallbladder removed during all of this. Now I really do not know what should be considered normal. Some of the changes could be attributed to that, but I still worry much more than I should.

Is this symptom normal? I have had this type of symptom for years, but it is different now? These are just a couple of the questions that run through my mind all day and night. My IBS scares me now, and I miss the days when it didn’t.

Have you been stressed or scared by new or changing symptoms? How did you handle your fear? I would love to hear about your experience.

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