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

Last updated: July 2022

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

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