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Anxiety, Stress, Embarrassment, IBS and Work


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#1 ANGEL-ROSE2012

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:50 PM

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Hi All,I just wanted some advise really I am new to this - I would appreciate to hear any views, to find out if others think that stress and anxiety make IBS worse, as currently Im feeling like its a viscous circle......I am anxious because of IBS yet my anxiety brings on my IBS :( I notice its (IBS) worse for me in the mornings of work (I do get nervous for work and think I have a very nervous stomach), I'm not so bad when Im off work or weekends - On work mornings Im stressed and I rush around, even though I get up plenty of time for work, I feel my stomach moving and bloating and gurgling when I get stuck in traffic and thats when I know its going to be a bad morning - I work in a very quiet office (I think this makes it worse) as I am most paranoid of my stomach gurgling and people hearing (You know the noise its not a 'im hungry gurgle') its the wind noise in your stomach sometimes I can even feel it move my actual stomach like as if there is a huge bubble in there I also HATE MEETINGS! and quiet rooms etc, when I know I have a meeting I start to panic and it makes me feel like I need to empty my bowels etc even though I always go twice before work....... So on the days my stomach is noisy It makes me anxious and I feel like I need the loo and I go - which I hate at work, I am quite shy and embarrassed by that kind of stuff and I think this is why this has come as a bit of a shock to me and possibly the people I work with and commenting when other people have been to the toilet DOESN'T help, normally I can take imodium and Im fine, I do think they work and my doctor said they are perfectly fine to take I just worry if I take them too often can I become imune or can they do anything bad to you? I also was prescribed mebeverine from the doctor and they do take away the cramps some times but they dont really give me peace of mind like Imodium does - Yes I sound a bit mad I dont mean to, I do have IBS but I think a lot of mine is Psychological and has more to do with stress and anxiety.Basically my questions are as follows:Are imodium safe to take? Is then any good herbal remidies or medications that can control the noisy and gurgly stomach? Is there a particualr breakfast that may help?Do other people believe that stress and axiety can make IBS worse and that it can become a viscious circle?Has anyone take Mebeverine and what did they think?Does anyone know the main foods that make it worse and make it better?I know this is a IBS forum website but does anyone know of anything that works for ANXIETY? Ive just bought some St Johns wort but havent tried it yet.I really look forward to hearing from you , as Im new to this and its been really getting me down, I have developed a real paranoia at work and I constantly think about using the toilet in the morning - I have normally calmed down after lunch and I think less about it, I still can get a bloated stomach and pains but its that actual needing to use the toilet at work that fills me with dread ( I KNOW ITS NORMAL but not when you work with a lot of prudey women)ThanksAngel-Rose


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#2 sickandtiredofit

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:32 PM

Hi All,I just wanted some advise really I am new to this - I would appreciate to hear any views, to find out if others think that stress and anxiety make IBS worse, as currently Im feeling like its a viscous circle......I am anxious because of IBS yet my anxiety brings on my IBS :( I notice its (IBS) worse for me in the mornings of work (I do get nervous for work and think I have a very nervous stomach), I'm not so bad when Im off work or weekends - On work mornings Im stressed and I rush around, even though I get up plenty of time for work, I feel my stomach moving and bloating and gurgling when I get stuck in traffic and thats when I know its going to be a bad morning - I work in a very quiet office (I think this makes it worse) as I am most paranoid of my stomach gurgling and people hearing (You know the noise its not a 'im hungry gurgle') its the wind noise in your stomach sometimes I can even feel it move my actual stomach like as if there is a huge bubble in there I also HATE MEETINGS! and quiet rooms etc, when I know I have a meeting I start to panic and it makes me feel like I need to empty my bowels etc even though I always go twice before work....... So on the days my stomach is noisy It makes me anxious and I feel like I need the loo and I go - which I hate at work, I am quite shy and embarrassed by that kind of stuff and I think this is why this has come as a bit of a shock to me and possibly the people I work with and commenting when other people have been to the toilet DOESN'T help, normally I can take imodium and Im fine, I do think they work and my doctor said they are perfectly fine to take I just worry if I take them too often can I become imune or can they do anything bad to you? I also was prescribed mebeverine from the doctor and they do take away the cramps some times but they dont really give me peace of mind like Imodium does - Yes I sound a bit mad I dont mean to, I do have IBS but I think a lot of mine is Psychological and has more to do with stress and anxiety.Basically my questions are as follows:Are imodium safe to take? Is then any good herbal remidies or medications that can control the noisy and gurgly stomach? Is there a particualr breakfast that may help?Do other people believe that stress and axiety can make IBS worse and that it can become a viscious circle?Has anyone take Mebeverine and what did they think?Does anyone know the main foods that make it worse and make it better?I know this is a IBS forum website but does anyone know of anything that works for ANXIETY? Ive just bought some St Johns wort but havent tried it yet.I really look forward to hearing from you , as Im new to this and its been really getting me down, I have developed a real paranoia at work and I constantly think about using the toilet in the morning - I have normally calmed down after lunch and I think less about it, I still can get a bloated stomach and pains but its that actual needing to use the toilet at work that fills me with dread ( I KNOW ITS NORMAL but not when you work with a lot of prudey women)ThanksAngel-Rose



#3 sickandtiredofit

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:51 PM

I know what you mean about work. My previous boss was really nice. She knew I had issues and that I wasn't avoiding work or goofing off when I spent time in the bathroom. My new boss is awful. He is constantly on me about bathrooms breaks and attendance. I have FMLA paperwork filled out by my doctor about bathroom breaks. But now when I know I am going to have a bad day I don't even go to work because I can't handle the stress. I have been looking for a better job, but as you know it is tough to find one, especially when you have all the issues that come with IBS. I definitely think my IBS is because of stress. About the Immodium, my husband has Crohn's disease and his doctor told him it was safe to use. He has now had his colon removed but before he would take 8 or more a day to keep the Crohn's from acting up while he worked. My problem is that since mine is alternating d & c, if I take Immodium I can get the d side and that isn't any better. I feel like I am on a roller coaster. I have tried different anti anxiety medicines, Xanas was the best but I feel like I'm in a fog and forget about doing anything productive. Everything else has been about the same. Sorry I don't have any information on any herbal remedies. As far as food, I try not to eat until I am home. One thing that has helped me is finding a therapist that gets what is is like to have bathroom issues, she has ulcerative colitis. Most people don't understand what it is like. I think that for me it is the embarrassment of having to go to the bathroom so many times and feeling like your coworkers think you are weird or whatever. I finally broke down and told the woman next to me what was going on and she was awesome. Do you have anyone at work that you are friends with? Sometimes it helps to have someone to at least understand what is going on. I hope it helps you. Good luck! I will pray for you.

#4 Cassie90

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:29 PM

Hi Angel-Rose. I'm not an expert, but most of my IBS stems from anxiety, so maybe I can help.Imodium is safe to take. I've never heard of someone becoming immune to it (although anything is possible), but can you develop a dependency for it. I try to use it sparingly and only in the worst anxiety periods, but sometimes you just HAVE to take it daily. I can understand that, but don't have a solution. Make sure you get the Gas +Bloating Imodium Plus - it might help with the stomach gurgling. Also try taking an antispasmodic, as that might help, too.Herbal remedies have never worked for me, but the commonly suggested ones are Peppermint tea and green tea (which can also suppress your appetite, and helps in stressful situations when you know eating will cause an attack/gurgles). Also, try eating something really plain for breakfast, like dry toast. Bring light snacks with you (nothing oily, sugary, heavy, dairy or seed-y) and re-introduce foods into your system throughout the day. I find it works best to keep it really plain and really light during work hours - fruit, crackers, bread, water. Stop bringing in last night's dinner or a peanut butter sandwich, as sometimes the things you can eat during low-stress night periods you can't eat during high-stress day periods. Avoid caffeine if you can, especially in the mornings.Anxiety can DEFINITELY make IBS worse. Without a doubt. And sometimes you don't even recognize that you're stressed until you leave the situation you're in. For me, IBS-anxiety attacks are extreme cramping and bloating with no diarrhea (whereas I have IBS-D food-wise, if that makes any sense), which means zero relief until I leave the stressful situation. And then I become worried that if I go back into the situation (a classroom, test, etc), I'll have another IBS-anxiety attack, and then I DO get an attack, and thus a vicious circle begins. Things that help with anxiety: You can go to a doctor and get anxiety medication, if you feel it's that bad. I'm not on any medication, so some things I do:a) I do everything I have to do the night before. I choose what I'll wear the next day, what I'll eat for breakfast, pack my bag, shower, etc. I leave ZERO decision-making for the next morning. I get up, get dressed, eat, brush my teeth and go.B) I stick to water and crackers in the morning, as least until I get to where I want to go. I find a lot of my IBS-anxiety is anticipatory, and once I get there, there's a 75% chance I'll be okay.c) If I feel an attack coming on (usually a slow-but-steadily-rising-in-intensity pain), I breathe slowly and deeply, in through my nose and out through my mouth. When I release my breath, I imagine I'm breathing out the painful area, if that makes any sense. It can't stop a full attack, but it can help if I catch it early enough.d) If I can't stop the attack, I get up and take a walk. At work, I'll pretend I'm going to check on a file, or to the vending machine to buy some water. Getting up and walking around can help, sometimes. Especially if you can get some fresh air. ^ However, those only help with anxiety-related attacks. If nothing else works, Imodium is my last-ditch option. I also try to distract myself, by throwing myself into organizing my desk, or drinking water, or starting up a conversation with someone. Anything to get my mind off of the stress. Foods: There's a FODMAP diet you can follow for IBS, but it differs slightly for everyone. My general rule is: no alcohol, no dairy, no seeds, nothing oily/greasy, no olive oil. You can add and omit things as you go. When having an anxiety-related IBS attack, stick to very, very plain foods: white bread, unsalted soda crackers, plain rice, water, potatoes, broth. Avoid eating big meals.I hope that helps! IBS is really different for everyone, and you might have to slowly find your own way - what foods you can/can't eat, things that help you in stressful situations, etc.

#5 iamkinghenry

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:10 AM

Hi, sorry to hear about your troubles. It's very difficult to deal with gastrointestinal problems. Please make sure you get all the tests you can possible get done to rule out this being something that is treatable. I was diagnosed with IBS and 2 1/2 years later finally got tested for a parasite and have Giardia Lambia.Read my story for more info.http://www.ibsgroup.org/forums/topic/149169-my-story-with-gastrointestinal-problems/I hope you get better.

#6 guillaume

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

There definitely is a link between IBS symptoms and anxiety, I think every IBS sufferer noticed it. I have for sure.Against anxiety, some suggest relaxation, but I never was able to get good results thanks to it. Or you could try hypnotherapy.Concerning the main foods that make IBS worse, everyone is a bit different, but we very often react to gluten, lactose, fructose, lentils, beans. If you are ready to go on a restrictive diet, I suggest a low-carb diet, or a low-FODMAPs diet. There is plenty of info about them on this forum.

#7 ANGEL-ROSE2012

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 07:19 PM

Apologies for my late reply I have just managed to log back on and read all of your very useful responses - THANK YOU! I really appreciate it. I think it is a case of living with it and trying to find out what works :) I am just about to look into that FODMAP diet and see if that helps - and read any stories that you fellow sufferers have wrote.Again thank u and sorry for late reply - if you think of anything else to say from my initial post please let me know - I can log on whenever now :) x

#8 Shannon_de

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:46 PM

Sorry about your troubles. I go to school and I get nervous about it too. So much so that now I'm having to take anti anxiety medicine. I feel nauseous all the time and thank goodness I don't have to work or I don't know if I could make it through a shift!! When I did work, I would feel sick right before work but after getting there and talking to coworkers I'd feel better. It helped take my mind off of worrying about IBS. I always found a few people at work that I told about my condition and they all understood and it made me not feel so embarrassed or shy. You'll be amazed how comforting that can be. Its also comforting to know that you aren't alone with this. I take bentyl for my stomach cramps and diarhea however I only take it when I need it. Taking it everyday would constipate me. I don't think my IBS is as bad as some people because I can eat whatever, its just a gamble on whether or not it'll make me sick. My doctor told me a I have a bad variation. I can't rule out any kind of food and I alternate between d and c. I go through phases too where I will go months without problems and then I enter my sickly phase...that's what I call it. Right now I'm going through my sickly phase which is what caused the stress and anxiety to kick in. I suggest talking to your dr about the anxiety. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have anything. I take ativan and only take like a quarter of a pill. Just enough I think. Also, might try to do some exercising like yoga or simply just walking around outside. Anything to calm your nerves and get your mind off the worries you have. You should definitely check out the FODMAP and take note on which foods you can and cannot eat. Hope things get better at work!! You can conquer this....just gotta tell yourself that sometimes!!

#9 refuse to live this way

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:02 PM

Angel - As you have read, anxiety has a lot to do with IBS, but, on the other hand you had asked about mornings being worse then other times. I'm probably one of the few without anxiety (my boss is great, my boyfriend is great, my co-workers are great and no one else knows), and I generally don't care what others think anyway (lol), so my anxiety is next to nil. But, mornings are way worse for me then any other time of the day. If I wake up and don't have severe diarrhea and I'm not feeling generally bad, then I usually can make it through the day without feeling too bad. If the diarrhea starts first thing in the morning, or sooner if I wake up in the middle of the night, then I can forget about functioning at all. I have done like you have and gotten up 2 or 3 hours earlier then normal, or even stayed up all night, just so I can go to work. But, if I have an attack (as I call them), I might as well forget it. As far as the stomach rolling and roaring in the quite office, try like I do and announce the incoming flight, or the volcano getting ready to errupt and make a joke of it. People will either laugh or get over it, which ever they prefer. If asked, just let them know you have tummy troubles and leave it at that. I also have a fear of public restrooms, so "going" elsewhere for me is not usually an option. You've probably heard of shy bladder (when someone can't pee), well I have shy bowels and unless is were an emergency (which I've only known to happen once or twice in my lifetime), (I'm 51), I just don't or can't go in public, which is why I get it out of the way in the morning before I leave the door, or I don't leave. You might try taking imodium at night before you go to sleep. I have found this has helped to get my 5-6 bouts in the morning down to 1-3. Peppermint oil capsules and lemon-ginger tea have also helped me. I eat rice cereal at lunch and nothing else until I get home from work. Figure out what foods really bother you and stay away at all costs if you can. I hope some of this has helped. Best of luck to you.

#10 Sharye

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:05 AM

I am also new to the forum, but want to tell you a little about my story. I have suffered with IBS for years with varying symptoms and have found that stress is a major trigger for me. When I have an attack I really have to watch everything I eat. It is very frustrating because you would like to be able to eat things you enjoy, but when you're having an attack you need to go on a relatively bland diet. I wish I could tell you I found a cure, but the truth is that is why I just joined this site. Like you I am hoping for some good advice to help me with my symptoms. Through the years I have had a variety of symptoms. Right now it seems to be gas pressure to go and loose stool. I have been to the gastroenterologist and diagnosed with IBS. He put me on Citricel and Align, which worked until 2 days ago and then I had another attack. It gets very frustrating and you are right it stresses you more.

#11 rebeccasmith1

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:12 PM

Hi All,I just wanted some advise really I am new to this - I would appreciate to hear any views, to find out if others think that stress and anxiety make IBS worse, as currently Im feeling like its a viscous circle......I am anxious because of IBS yet my anxiety brings on my IBS :( I notice its (IBS) worse for me in the mornings of work (I do get nervous for work and think I have a very nervous stomach), I'm not so bad when Im off work or weekends - On work mornings Im stressed and I rush around, even though I get up plenty of time for work, I feel my stomach moving and bloating and gurgling when I get stuck in traffic and thats when I know its going to be a bad morning - I work in a very quiet office (I think this makes it worse) as I am most paranoid of my stomach gurgling and people hearing (You know the noise its not a 'im hungry gurgle') its the wind noise in your stomach sometimes I can even feel it move my actual stomach like as if there is a huge bubble in there I also HATE MEETINGS! and quiet rooms etc, when I know I have a meeting I start to panic and it makes me feel like I need to empty my bowels etc even though I always go twice before work....... So on the days my stomach is noisy It makes me anxious and I feel like I need the loo and I go - which I hate at work, I am quite shy and embarrassed by that kind of stuff and I think this is why this has come as a bit of a shock to me and possibly the people I work with and commenting when other people have been to the toilet DOESN'T help, normally I can take imodium and Im fine, I do think they work and my doctor said they are perfectly fine to take I just worry if I take them too often can I become imune or can they do anything bad to you? I also was prescribed mebeverine from the doctor and they do take away the cramps some times but they dont really give me peace of mind like Imodium does - Yes I sound a bit mad I dont mean to, I do have IBS but I think a lot of mine is Psychological and has more to do with stress and anxiety.Basically my questions are as follows:Are imodium safe to take? Is then any good herbal remidies or medications that can control the noisy and gurgly stomach? Is there a particualr breakfast that may help?Do other people believe that stress and axiety can make IBS worse and that it can become a viscious circle?Has anyone take Mebeverine and what did they think?Does anyone know the main foods that make it worse and make it better?I know this is a IBS forum website but does anyone know of anything that works for ANXIETY? Ive just bought some St Johns wort but havent tried it yet.I really look forward to hearing from you , as Im new to this and its been really getting me down, I have developed a real paranoia at work and I constantly think about using the toilet in the morning - I have normally calmed down after lunch and I think less about it, I still can get a bloated stomach and pains but its that actual needing to use the toilet at work that fills me with dread ( I KNOW ITS NORMAL but not when you work with a lot of prudey women)ThanksAngel-Rose

Hi Angel-Rose, I would just like to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Reading through your long message I share all the same problems as you. I was diagnosed with IBS in May this year after struggling with symptoms for 3 years I finally went to see my GP. I don't mean to sound depressing but living with IBS makes everyday so much worse. I wake up every morning and the first thing on my mind is 'Is my stomach having a good day?'. I spend the majority of my day worrying about this and it really distracts my studies. It's got so bad, I have decided not to eat during school at times because it makes symptoms worse when I have a full stomach of food. We've just been turned into an academy and even post 16 are not aloud to go home, and for the past 3 years I have been going home to empty my bowels during lunch breaks and now we have to stay in school IT'S A NIGHTMARE. Literally. This illness has taken over my life. I do not enjoy staying over round friends because I empty my bowels after everything I eat, so I only go out shopping and meeting for coffee and town etc, which really gets me down. I know people like you are in the same boat but it's sad because there is no cure for our illness. :(

#12 Lilypad 27

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

Hi all, I have the same problem as a lot of you and it also really ruined my life for a good few years, I deal with it now way better than when I was in my early 20's, I would just avoid anything but from around 3 years ago I have been able to deal with it in a much less panic stricken way, that's not to say I don't get anxious and panic when I know I have a meeting or training day coming up, I actually have one tomorrow that I am dreading but I know when I am there it will be fine.  A GREAT PIECE OF ADVISE is to drink hot water in the morning, this helps me empty my bowels before I leave for work or whatever it is I am doing that day and pretty much for the whole day (depending on what I eat) my tummy and colon is pretty calm and quiet so I can concentrate on what's happening around me.  For me it's all about coping methods, I make sure not to eat anything too acidic, spicey, even sweets as that can set me off for a couple of days before, I pretty much live on toast, crackers, plain crisps and on the day I wake up really early to make sure I have enough time to drink as much hot water needed to empty my bowels, this can take up to 4 trips to the bathroom but so so so worth it, then once I get to the place for the meeting, training etc I make sure to get there early so I can pick a good seat which is usually at the front at the end of a table that has easy access to the door, doing all this reallly helps bring down my anxiety levels and lets me actually enjoy what it going on.  So this is exactly what I have been doing for the past 2 days and hopefully tomorrow will be fine (which I know it will be). 

 

Another thing to try is Congnitive Behaviour Therapy - it's pretty life changing, it helps you to think differently and makes you face your problems which by reading all the different posts is very hard for us all to do.

 

Hope this helps you xx



#13 Pepper H

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

Yes! I agree with arriving early to get a good seat next to the door! I have been doing it this year at uni, now I always sit next to the door and it's amazing how much it makes my anxiety levels drop.



#14 CarolinaGirl

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

It is so refreshing to read your story and to know that I am not alone! I am a student in college and every time we begin new classes, the first thing I do is scope out the classrooms and find all the bathrooms in the building. I also make sure I sit right by the door so i can leave the room without being a distraction and I have noticed that this does help my anxiety a lot knowing that I can leave whenever I need to. The worst is test days and knowing that I have to sit there until i have completed my work and it makes me feel trapped which causes lots of panic, leading to a trip to the restroom. Thank you so much for sharing!



#15 Lilypad 27

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:43 AM

I just wanted to give some feedback of my training day last Friday that I was dreading, even on the bus there I almost turned right around to go back home but I didn't I used all my coping methods (hot water in morning, get there early, get good seat by the door, eat very light meals) and the day was totally fine, I actually enjoyed it, so you can do it, you just need to find the right coping methods.  I do still hate meetings, training courses etc, but I know if I do this my anxiety levels go way down and I don't feel like I want to run away as soon as I step through the door.







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