IBS-C And a Fear Of Going
Last updated: January 2021
If you have IBS-C, you are probably all too familiar with pain associated with going to the bathroom. Whether it is hemorrhoids or other issues causing you pain, it is easy to develop a fear of going because of the pain it can cause.
The worst thing you can do when you have IBS-C is avoid or delay going. It only makes matters much worse, but sometimes the pain is great enough to make you consider it. No matter how great the temptation, do not wait when you feel the urge. Go!
The consequences of holding it can be severe
I am not generally comfortable discussing details, but this is an important issue. I have had hemorrhoids ranging in size from small to extremely large, and I have had fissures and a minor prolapse. All of these things can make it very painful to go to the bathroom. These issues make it uncomfortable to sit, so going is a scary thing when these problems arise.
Further compounding the issue is the fact that IBS-C can cause bowel movements to be large and quite solid. This agitates any injury to the area and can hinder healing. Sometimes it can even make the problem worse. This has been my experience on many occasions. Since I swing back and forth between IBS-C and IBS-D, I find myself often wishing for IBS-D to kick in to allow some injuries and issues to heal.
Extreme issues caused by delaying going
I have made the mistake of avoiding going in the past. It makes it much harder to go and leads to even larger bowel movements. This tends to cause even more trouble. I was hoping to have a little time to heal, but the end result was more injuries on top of the existing issue. Any progress I had made in healing was eliminated and I ended up with even more problems.
I was trying to allow large hemorrhoids time to heal a bit. It was not that hard to avoid going as I was in the middle of a very bad IBS-C flare. Still, I did delay going, hoping it would be less painful if I healed a little first. The result was a minor prolapse and extremely large hemorrhoids. Of course, this would take even more time to heal.
Don't delay. Go right away.
Learning to deal with the fear of going due to the pain and very real possibility of injuries and complications has been tough. Since I have episodes of both IBS-C and IBS-D, treatment is ineffective. Treating one leads to the other, and the results tend to be worse than if I did not treat it at all. Using a mild stool softener to treat a particularly bad bout of constipation ended with disastrous results and embarrassment. As a result, I only treat a flare when it is absolutely necessary.
Delaying or avoiding going can also lead to bowel obstruction or impaction, and these issues can require hospitalization. If you are considering delaying or avoiding going due to the fear of pain, please know this is a very real possibility if you do so. Know that waiting will likely cause more problems than it solves. Just don’t do it.
Fighting the fear and coping with pain
Despite the pain, I have to ensure that I do not give in to the fear of pain and avoid or delay going. I have to keep the consequences of doing so fresh in my mind to keep me from falling into that trap. I have to relent to enduring the pain, no matter how bad it is.
If you have a fear of going, know that you are not alone. Know that there are many of us who share your fear. I am in your corner, and I hope you are able to find relief from IBS-C and have nothing to fear in the future. Until then, take comfort in knowing there are people who understand what you are going through and are happy to offer their support.
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?