Random Situations That Set Off My IBS
Last updated: August 2021
We all know the common triggers that cause an IBS flare: wrong foods, stress, lack of sleep… But that’s not all, at least for me. For some reason that I cannot explain, my IBS gets triggered by completely random and unrelated situations.
Starting to work
I just put my baby down for a nap, finished laundry, and am now finally able to start working. I sit down at my desk, turn on my computer and start the first task of the day. And then, it happens. My IBS wakes up, maliciously laughing at me: "Did you really think you could just go on and start working? Oh no, my dear. You’ll have to deal with me first!"
This literally happens to me every single day! No matter if I had breakfast or not. No matter how well I slept and when I got up. As soon as I start a work project, I will have to use the bathroom.
And the funny thing? It doesn’t happen on the weekends. Or when I don’t have any ongoing projects and thus don’t have to work. There’s something about feeling productive that just doesn’t appeal to my digestive system, and I have no idea why.
Calling a friend or family member
Similarly, calling someone also triggers my IBS. Even if I felt perfectly fine 2 minutes prior to my call. And it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, either.
Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t use the bathroom during a phone call. I assume that this could trigger some unconscious stress response that would set off my IBS. As a result, my family is used to me taking breaks during our phone calls because of my IBS. It’s so annoying, but what can I do?
The unlucky consequence of this is that I enjoy phone calls much less now. This is very unfortunate because my best friends and family live in another country and phone calls are all we have right now.
Deciding that I’m going to bed
Another random, but extremely annoying situation that triggers my IBS is deciding that I’m tired and going to bed. I mean, really? My bed is certainly not scary. Going to sleep doesn’t prevent me from using the bathroom, or create any other potentially anxiety-inducing situation. It truly feels like my IBS is just mocking me.
And yet, it happens so often. I feel perfectly fine while talking, playing a game, watching a show, or even reading in bed. But as soon as I decide to turn off the lights, my stomach starts rumbling and I have to get back up and deal with it. It’s not usually an actual flare, but it’s still enough to considerably delay my bedtime.
Having to leave the house
I admit that out of all these situations that trigger my IBS, having to leave the house is the least random. I always get anxious about going out, even if I’m just going for a walk in our neighborhood. But still: why does my IBS, without a fail, start right when I’m about to leave, and not a minute earlier? It’s so annoying!
Thankfully, it’s not usually an actual flare and the uneasy feeling subsides pretty quickly once I actually do leave the house. But having to use the bathroom the moment I need to leave makes me late for everything, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I’d love to know: am I the only one experiencing this or do any of these situations trigger IBS for you, too?
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?