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Stress and IBS

Posted by Cherrie , 13 January 2009 · 1,009 views

IBS & My Otherwise Normal Life
Stress and anxiety are not the cause of IBS, but they are an important trigger for a lot of people, yours truly included.

I had a pretty nice holiday the past month -- my friends have been very understanding and I basically was able to avoid most of my trigger foods most of the time. And I also discovered that a tiny bit of organic cheese won't burt me nearly as bad as regular cheese, so I was even able to enjoy a lil bit of that with just some pain/loose BM's. But milk (even if organic) is something I still can't handle. Unfortunately the organic yogurt and cultured soy are both just too sugary for me -- wonder why they put that much sugar in it. LOL, I digress. The main thing is, I didn't have much stress and was managing great.

However, from last Sunday until now, I've been stressed out. My freelance, some family stuff I had to deal with, my insomnia, my projects, etc etc... and my gut's been in pain and rambling. It's been especially tough the past couple days, by a cumulative effect, I guess. And I've been having this pain around my navel and running all over the colon.

And sometimes, stress doesn't have to start as anything huge -- like, this morning, it was just that the delivery people were scheduled to come very early (earlier than 8 a.m.) and that as usual has turned out to become a big stressor for me. So, I didn't sleep well last night and only had about 4 hours of really sleeping fast and sound, because I already had poor sleep the previous night and was worried about not getting enough sleep. It all sounded so absurd -- I couldn't fall asleep because I was worried not getting enough sleep, LOL. But it was so true and that is how anxiety works. The more you focus on something, the more it can get to you; and you can't stop focusing on what you wish to stop focusing.

Anyways, because of all this stress and anxiety my gut becomes more painful and then I thought, "oh gosh here it goes again! what a disaster, now I'm losing control..." and unfortunately this way of reacting so didn't help, although right at that moment when I was having that thought it didn't occur to me that I was going down a path I wouldn't want to. So, the morning went like, having to drag myself out of bed becasue they were coming in about 30 min.s. Did all my morning chores in pain and wondering whether this time it was going to be C or D and hoping that it was not going to happen when they came and put the furniture together. Had breakfast and took meds and hoping to go either before or after they came and so breakfast totally tasted tasteless because I was so anxious. Then I was feeling so cold and bloated and painful. Then they came and got everything done. Then I signed the paperwork and said thank you and they left and I dashed to the you-know-where.

Now everything's pretty much settled and I'm feeling a lot more relieved, although still sore in my navel (edit, oops and ouch, not quite, gotta go). And looking back, the thing is, the anxiety really didn't help and it never does. While stress is an intrinsic part of life and anxiety may be an immediate reaction to stress for me, going down this slope is really not good and I really have got to try and find ways to react better and to de-stress in the moment where the anxiety happens. (I mean, everything works great when I'm not right in the middle of that moment, but...). It's so hard, but if I can do that, maybe I'll have fewer stress-related attacks like this. But the good thing is that I've realized this and will be working on getting better ;)

Hope everyone's well.

Hugs,
Cherrie




Aw Cheri...

{{{HUGS}}}

I know exactly what you're saying.. I'm finally starting to get over the holidays, but now I'm like "woah, January's almost half over!" and I'm freaking out about random things.
The middle of last week (yeah, great timing with the tests on that Monday! This is why my shoulder killed me...) I couldn't sleep one night AT ALL, so I cleaned the apartment, took down the tree, etc. etc. hoping it would make me tired.
Problem is, it didn't! Why??
I'm exhausted but can't get to sleep, and stress in settling in because for some reason, EVERYTHING seems to take FOOOREEEEVEEERRR to do so I'm so behind.

Sorry, I went off topic a bit... :D

But I understand what you're saying... it's okay though. Soon enough we should see the sun and things may look better!

- Ashley
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Thanks {{{Ash}}}

I totally get you! It's just like when there's stress, there's all sorts of stress coming from everywhere, isn't it? ... And the cold weather so doesn't help...

Hope you're feeling a little better today and are able to enjoy a relaxing weekend.

{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} and thinking of you.

Cheri
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