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IBS affecting school exams?

Teen IBS SCHOOL EXAMS EMBARRASSING anxiety stress student a levels noises

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#1 prefertoremainunknown

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:13 AM

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Well basically I have IBS, I think it's not that severe. Mine alternates between diaherrea and constipation and well bascially I'm just wondering if I'm not the only one who feels like IBS is affecting my exams.

So in two weeks I have my mock exams, which is just practice exams before the real exam which is in May. I'm currently doing 3 a-levels which is about more than a hour per each exam and to be honest with you guys I'm literally panicking and freaking out whenever I think about doing the exam in the hall.
I've noticed for me that whenever I'm in the exam hall my stomach starts to make these noises and feels like bubbles moving in my gut so I'm guessing it's probably gas and I just get super self conscious about it and I start to get really embarrassed because it's in front of everyone and I don't know if people can hear it or not but I just get panicky and then that's when my anxiety kicks in, my heart starts to beat faster and I feel it more and that's when I just wanna get the hell out of the exam room and I just can't take it and sometimes I'll start to shiver and my legs or hands might start to shake and that's when I just totally give up on my exam and focus on calming myself down by breathing in and out until I can get the hell out of there. My IBS hasn't really ever affected me in school except for the strange and embarrassing noises which sometimes sorta feel like vibrations in my stomach too. And also I've experienced abdominal pain a few times which once lead me to go and do diahherea in the toilet for like the first time which was extremely embarrassing as I have like a phobia of using school toilets other times I've just managed through the pain until I get home....so I'm not particularly sure a spasm will happen to in the exam hall and hopefully it doesn't so in all honesty I guess the only thing to do is just not do my exam in the hall...maybe doing else where? But here's another problem.

If I wanna do my exam in another room I'll have to talk to the teachers and I hate discussing private issues with anyone. One event last year just makes me want to hide in a cave for eternity. Basically after a horrendous exam last year which i completely failed on I become so emotional and I plucked up the courage to talk to my history teacher because the next day was my history exam and it was my last exam and I thought to myself I've gotta do something about it, I cannot continue like this so I spoke to him in a flood of tears saying I just can't do it that hall and briefly explaining it was medical related but not revealing too much so he obviously very concerned told me I had to speak to another teacher who was in charge of the exams and ect so I thought great now I have to reveal it all to another teacher and I did so sobbing pretty much like a little girl whether he understood what I was saying ...I do not know and bearing in mind this teacher isn't the easiest of teachers to talk to he's quite intimidating and kinda had a go at me for leaving it till last minute and so he managed to arrange a place for me to do my exam alone with someone moderating me and so yeah it was a lot better and i did thankfully pass that last exam.

But the problem is is that I do not really want to have to go through that whole process of telling teachers why and what's wrong with me because it sounds entirely ridiculous and stupid like how a stomach problem affects my performance on a exam like it sounds totally stupid and the teacher i spoke to last year probably doesn't remember what i said so ill likely have to spill everything out again and I hate talking about it and so I just have no idea as to what I'm gonna do and I hate making it into a big deal and making a fuss over it and ....I just think I might aswell attempt to do my upcoming exams in the exam hall and whatever happens, happens and so yeah does anyone understand where I'm coming from or is it just silly? And does anyone have advice? Because i just don't know. Thanks for reading I know it was kinda long...

#2 Chaterinater

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:26 PM

I understand completely I'm 17 & in my last year of sixth form before university, I haven't yet been diagnosed as IBS yet but I'm pretty sure that's what I have (waiting for a doctors appointment). For about 5months I get pains a lot, gas & need to go to the Toliet a lot (diharrea). So at schools it's not easy, I'm always leaving school because I'm in such bad pain and I keep trying to change my diet but nothing seems to help. I've been so down about it and it's making everything worse. I have told my boyfriend and parents but I have now told 3 of my best friends and they have been amazing and so understand, I have now told the school and they are wondering why I'm not in and they were also very understand. However it still doesn't help me, constant pains and needing the toilet while at school isn't ideal, I have exams and have to sit for 2 and a half hours - not easy I'm sure you understand. Not eating appears to help as I've also felt like I need to be sick and very fatigued, Rennes also give me some relief from pain.
That's kinda my story? But I'm in the same boat, I did my 2hour and a half exam today and it was fine?! I get the same stomach rumbles and weird vibrations in my stomach (I sometimes think it's my phone haha). But they seemed okay, I was concentrating so much on my exam that nothing happened? I have another exam next week which I'm not looking forward to but I hope it's okay. I know it's bad but I find not eating much really help? If you are seriously worried then maybe write an email instead explaining how you are embarrassed etc? I hope that helps

#3 vanessa6801

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:24 AM

Hi, 

i know this was posted a while ago and I hope you will read this.

I can relate 100%  what you are describing. I am 17, also in my last year of high school, but I am in Australia so the exam system is different. I am completing my high school diploma and my official exams are in October this year, and my trial/ practice exams are in August. I am quite serious about my studies, as I imagine you are too. 

I just did my mid yearly exams which counts for quite a bit and I know for certain that my stomach was making popping noises and churning through the exam. Also, I have IBS-D so I out of my 5 exams which were held on different dates in 1 of them I was dying to do a crap which was really bad since it was a 2 hr exam.  It did distract me for about 30secs every time that my stomach churned and I would think god people will think I am passing gas since that's what it sounds like- embarassing. Also another thing I should mention is that I also applied for special exam provisions beforehand. So because I have generalised anxiety disorder, my school let me sit the exam in a smaller room with around 5 others rather than in a big hall. Even though being in a smaller room meant that all the stomach noise seemed even more obvious to those around me I really think I was able to perform better because at least I wasn't going to potentially embarass myself in the middle of a large room full of people. Do you think you could get proper documentation from your doctor, so you could back up your request for special provisions? You're 100% entitled to it, and I think you should definitely try your best to get it if you think it can help you perform better. 

But overall it wasn't that bad for me only because I've had IBS and I've had to deal with being in public with this for 1 and a half years. I am a super sensitive person and at the beginning when I all of a sudden began getting symptoms like stomach noises, flatulence and constant D, I had to change schools so that at least the people that have known me for years would not find out about my IBS. And for about half a year or so I could not ever concentrate in the classroom and I was just so full of paranoia that people could hear my stomach noises and that they just think what the heck is wrong with that chick. It definitely took a long time for me to become more comfortable with my condition and I guess I have adapted over time to my IBS. 

I am curious as to whether you are struggling to attend classes? I wish you the very best for your exams and please whatever you do don't feel like you are unworthy because of this condition you have and that you are every bit as good as someone who doesn't have bowel problems, if not better than them, because you are going through hardships that would not be imaginable to the average teenager. 

Regards,

Vanessa


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#4 prefertoremainunknown

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:38 PM

Hi, 
i know this was posted a while ago and I hope you will read this.
I can relate 100%  what you are describing. I am 17, also in my last year of high school, but I am in Australia so the exam system is different. I am completing my high school diploma and my official exams are in October this year, and my trial/ practice exams are in August. I am quite serious about my studies, as I imagine you are too. 
I just did my mid yearly exams which counts for quite a bit and I know for certain that my stomach was making popping noises and churning through the exam. Also, I have IBS-D so I out of my 5 exams which were held on different dates in 1 of them I was dying to do a #### which was really bad since it was a 2 hr exam.  It did distract me for about 30secs every time that my stomach churned and I would think god people will think I am passing gas since that's what it sounds like- embarassing. Also another thing I should mention is that I also applied for special exam provisions beforehand. So because I have generalised anxiety disorder, my school let me sit the exam in a smaller room with around 5 others rather than in a big hall. Even though being in a smaller room meant that all the stomach noise seemed even more obvious to those around me I really think I was able to perform better because at least I wasn't going to potentially embarass myself in the middle of a large room full of people. Do you think you could get proper documentation from your doctor, so you could back up your request for special provisions? You're 100% entitled to it, and I think you should definitely try your best to get it if you think it can help you perform better. 
But overall it wasn't that bad for me only because I've had IBS and I've had to deal with being in public with this for 1 and a half years. I am a super sensitive person and at the beginning when I all of a sudden began getting symptoms like stomach noises, flatulence and constant D, I had to change schools so that at least the people that have known me for years would not find out about my IBS. And for about half a year or so I could not ever concentrate in the classroom and I was just so full of paranoia that people could hear my stomach noises and that they just think what the heck is wrong with that chick. It definitely took a long time for me to become more comfortable with my condition and I guess I have adapted over time to my IBS. 
I am curious as to whether you are struggling to attend classes? I wish you the very best for your exams and please whatever you do don't feel like you are unworthy because of this condition you have and that you are every bit as good as someone who doesn't have bowel problems, if not better than them, because you are going through hardships that would not be imaginable to the average teenager. 
Regards,
Vanessa


Hey Vanessa,
Thank you so much for replying, I completely understand you it's such a struggle with this condition. When I done my mock exams it everything went really well tbh I didn't affect me as much as I thought it would thank God but with ibs it's so unpredictable my real exams are less than 2 weeks away and I'm constantly just going back and forth deciding what I should do...I think ultimately ill end up doing it the hall with everyone else and I pray to God it all goes well. I tend to eat a little during exam season at school so hopefully that will reduce the gas and in turn reducing those embarrassing noises...I don't know...it's a huge risk but we'll see I guess.
To answer your question about attending class, it doesn't usually interfere during school times but there have been one offs. My parents hardly ever let me take a day off school so if in the morning it does start acting up they'll let me miss school. My ibs usually acts up in the afternoon and at like night...but it's has acted up whilst I've been in school which makes for such embarrassing stories after.
Thank you for your wise words like everyone else with ibs there are times you feel so down about it but I guess I've accepted it...it could be a lot more worse so I'm thankful it's just this because I don't think I could cope with anything more. How is everything with your ibs and school and exams going? Hopefully you'll see this it's so comforting to know people out there actually understand you. Thanks for the reply

#5 prefertoremainunknown

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:44 PM

I understand completely I'm 17 & in my last year of sixth form before university, I haven't yet been diagnosed as IBS yet but I'm pretty sure that's what I have (waiting for a doctors appointment). For about 5months I get pains a lot, gas & need to go to the Toliet a lot (diharrea). So at schools it's not easy, I'm always leaving school because I'm in such bad pain and I keep trying to change my diet but nothing seems to help. I've been so down about it and it's making everything worse. I have told my boyfriend and parents but I have now told 3 of my best friends and they have been amazing and so understand, I have now told the school and they are wondering why I'm not in and they were also very understand. However it still doesn't help me, constant pains and needing the toilet while at school isn't ideal, I have exams and have to sit for 2 and a half hours - not easy I'm sure you understand. Not eating appears to help as I've also felt like I need to be sick and very fatigued, Rennes also give me some relief from pain.
That's kinda my story? But I'm in the same boat, I did my 2hour and a half exam today and it was fine?! I get the same stomach rumbles and weird vibrations in my stomach (I sometimes think it's my phone haha). But they seemed okay, I was concentrating so much on my exam that nothing happened? I have another exam next week which I'm not looking forward to but I hope it's okay. I know it's bad but I find not eating much really help? If you are seriously worried then maybe write an email instead explaining how you are embarrassed etc? I hope that helps


Hey there thanks so much for your reply, I know I'm a bit late in replying.
It's nice to know people actually understand you and you aren't just paranoid about it. My mock exams didn't go to bad if I'm honest I done it in the hall and it was okay but now my real exams are very close so I'm just stuck in deciding what to do again...sometimes I feel like I've managed to get the courage to talk to the teacher but then I chicken out lol. And so I think it's likely I'll do my real exam in the hall with the others and I'm just praying it goes well I'm trying to eat a little cause that helps but you know with ibs it's so unpredictable and will just flare up so unexpectedly so hopefully it doesn't act up.
Thanks for suggestion but I think I'm too chicken to go and email or talk to by teachers unless I'm on the verge of a break down like before I guess.
How is everything with your exams going plus your ibs and all that?

#6 vanessa6801

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:33 AM

Hey Vanessa,
Thank you so much for replying, I completely understand you it's such a struggle with this condition. When I done my mock exams it everything went really well tbh I didn't affect me as much as I thought it would thank God but with ibs it's so unpredictable my real exams are less than 2 weeks away and I'm constantly just going back and forth deciding what I should do...I think ultimately ill end up doing it the hall with everyone else and I pray to God it all goes well. I tend to eat a little during exam season at school so hopefully that will reduce the gas and in turn reducing those embarrassing noises...I don't know...it's a huge risk but we'll see I guess.
To answer your question about attending class, it doesn't usually interfere during school times but there have been one offs. My parents hardly ever let me take a day off school so if in the morning it does start acting up they'll let me miss school. My ibs usually acts up in the afternoon and at like night...but it's has acted up whilst I've been in school which makes for such embarrassing stories after.
Thank you for your wise words like everyone else with ibs there are times you feel so down about it but I guess I've accepted it...it could be a lot more worse so I'm thankful it's just this because I don't think I could cope with anything more. How is everything with your ibs and school and exams going? Hopefully you'll see this it's so comforting to know people out there actually understand you. Thanks for the reply

Hi,

By now you would've finished your exams. Hope it all went well!

My IBS has improved in terms of not having to go to the toilet quite so often anymore happy.png but it's gotten worse in other ways.sad.png

My trials are in August and my actual exams are in October. I'm not too stressed about my IBS playing up during the exams---- the way I see it is that even if I do embarrass myself I won't have to see these people ever again.

If you don't mind sharing, do you plan on going to university (or college)? And do you think the IBS issue will be just as bad there as it would have been at school, since there will be exams in college too?

I've been counting down the days until school will be over for good, so that I can get out of this place where I feel like I've done nothing but embarrass myself for the past 2 years......But then I remind myself- it would be the same at college, or at work, I'd be dealing with the same problems but just with a different group of people. The only comforting bit is that I will be around adults not teenagers- so I'll feel less at risk of being made fun of. 

Anyway, good luck for the future! 



#7 anna.17

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 02:34 PM

Hi, I'm also 17 and I am about to start my A-Levels (second year of sixth-form) and I suffer with exactly the same issues with my stomach making awful, loud noises in almost any silent/quiet room. It has caused me a lot of anxiety over the years and has become a bit of a cycle - I become anxious that my stomach will rumble and because the gut and anxiety are somewhat linked (for me), it means that my stomach does rumble, thus causing more anxiety and so on.

 

A couple of years ago when I was sitting my GCSE exams, the anxiety became so bad - after a very embarrassing incident in class - that I had to speak to the school (wasn't easy - I too get very embarrassed just talking about). Unfortunately, I had to go into quite a lot of detail with my teacher however my mum came with me which made things slightly easier. For most of year 11 I wasn't going to the majority of my lessons and instead I was completing my work and practically teaching myself my courses in what is called at my school, 'The Student Support Base'. I also was allowed to sit my exams in the SSB, at first in a small room with just a few people, but now I actually sit them in a room completely on my own with just an invigilator. I managed to get away with this with a note from my doctor. Anyway, somehow I passed my exams. When I started sixth-form last September, I took up only 5 subjects and amazingly, my anxiety became a lot better (and in turn my stomach problems). However, more recently I have been having some bad IBS days (I never actually have been diagnosed with IBS but that's most likely what it is I think).

 

As it is my last year of sixth-form coming up I am allowed to drop two subjects and because I am an art student I no longer have any written exams to take, so I only really have my classes and the odd practical exam to deal with. However, I am starting to think about my future and what I should do after school. I can't decide if university is right for me - I think the scariness of moving away from home and attending lectures with new people in a strange place will cause me so much anxiety and I am terrified of embarrassing myself with my stomach noises. The obvious answer would be to stay near home so that I can at least have the familiarity of my home surroundings but the courses I really want to do are quite far away.

 

I have no idea what else I would do other than go to university, and I agree with Vanessa about it always being the same whether I choose to go to college or get a job etc.

 

Honestly sometimes I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life! I just find the whole thing really embarrassing and the worst thing I find is when your stomach makes a noise and someone in the class says "was that you?" or something like that....ugh.

 

So yeah I know you first posted this months ago but if anyone is having problems with exams, I really do suggest explaining it to a teacher who you get on with or you really like or is understanding, because they can then take the information to someone who can sort it out for you. I know it is embarrassing to tell people but isn't it less embarrassing to try to get it sorted and being able to concentrate on your exams, than it is to sit through your exams worrying if the people around heard your stomach and failing your exams?

 

Also, I just wondered if any of you had thought about uni? And if you know what you're going to do after school? Anyway, hope everything is currently going well for you three, thanks for posting this topic and all the replies - they really helped me :)



#8 Kellogg's

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 12:09 PM

Hi, I apologize in advance for my english, it's not my first language (I'm french).

So I just turned 18 and I have had IBS for about three years now. I'm in my last year of high-school, and basically next week I have my final exams so that I can graduate. 

 

So at first, for about a year, my IBS wasn't that bad and I didn't have a lot of symptoms. I just noticed that often I wasn't feeling as great as before. But last year, it progressively got worse and worse, and as some of you said before, the more I was anxious about it, the worse it was and it was just a vicious circle. It was awful and I was missing a lot of class (we often have school from 8am to 6pm in France, and sometimes I just couldn't bring myself to stay until 6). None of the doctors that I saw knew what was going on, so I ended going to the psychologist, and honesty it helped me A LOT. I basically learned how to manage anxiety, and now my IBS is pretty much under control. It's not gone (I wish!) but it doesn't affect my life as much. I haven't missed school at all this year, and even though I still get bad days, I feel a lot better.

 

So last year, I had to tell the school what was going on, which was obviously very embarrassing (I didn't talk to one of my teachers though, it was the school nurse, which was slightly better), and they allowed me to take my exams in a separate room, with only a couple of other students instead of taking them in the hall. It really helped me, and I wasn't as anxious about 

 

Next september, I'm going to uni. It's really scary for me, since I'll have to go quite far away and I won't know anyone there. My family won't be around anymore either, so I just really hope things are going to be okay and that I won't embarrass myself in front of everyone. I'm quite anxious about it, but I also really want to do it (it sounds really interesting) and I don't want my IBS to come in the way of that. Since I was feeling pretty good this year, I hope things will continue that way, but I'm afraid that my anxiety will kick back in. Anyway, I'm really trying to have the most normal life I can get, so I try not to let IBS stop me from doing the things I want to do.

 

I'd love to know if some of you are also planning to go to university, and how you feel about it.

 

Thanks a lot for this topic, it's really helpful smile.png



#9 katrina_

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:10 AM

Heyy guys, I've been reading all your comments and problems with Ibs, honestly i thought i was the only one suffering at school everyday. But hearing people are out there and don't think this is stupid makes me feel heaps better. i know you guys have probably gone through so much, sick and tired of the pain and discomfort everyday. Tell me about it, i now the feeling i go through it everyday too. It sucks and on top of that is sooo embarrassing to mention. i suffer everyday at school because i get bloated and always feels like my stomach is going to make a noise, including pain and anxiety, i even get like a feeling of bubbles in my stomach at times and this condition has changed my life around, I've had this for 4 years now, i can't even o to school in peace and be relaxed about it. I know when you write it out it doesn't seem that bad but when it actually happens its sooo hard to live with. i have tried soo many different diets, tablets to fix this but nothing. Even my doctor can't help me at all. This is my last year of high school and i'm 17, i don't know how i'm gonna get through this years because its going to be so hard as well studying wise. Is there anyone out there who ca help, some things that have worked for them because i honestly can't do this anymore!!



#10 bluefrosting

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:46 PM

I'm 15 and I completely understand. Tests and even just silent bookwork are a living hell for me. I get extremely anxious and instead of concentrating on my test or work, I worry about my stomach making a noise or "what if I get diarrhea right now and we're not aloud to use the bathroom"? Even though my teachers know about my issue and I have a free pass for bathroom use, I still get really embarrassed because I feel like people will notice that I go to the bathroom in a certain class every day and I feel like they'll think I'm weird and refer to me as 'that girl who always goes to the bathroom every class'. IBS is honestly ruining my school performance, and I've thought about switching to online school but I really don't want to leave my friends. I know education is more important, but it's still really difficult. I wish I could just have a normal stomach like all the other students in my classes. Just thinking about potentially having an IBS attack, brings one on, but it's nearly impossible to take my mind off of it.

#11 katrina_

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 09:48 PM

Heyy thank you for your reply and I have thought of hone schooling but my parents would never say yes to that they think I'm not strong enough and it's not a big problem since your 15 I'm sure you have more years of scool and surviving that it soo hard I honestly don't know how I did it. Just like you I also have a pass to allow me to go outside of the class room but it's soo embarassing to actyally do it all the time and plus my cousellor doesn't understand it's sooo hard to stay focused on school when you have this,@bluefrosting I know the pain you go through if you ever need to talk to anyone you can always talk to me and ill let you know what hasn't worked for me. I know even my doctors cant help me they don't see it as a big problem like feeling it is a hundred times worse my friends don't really understand how much pain I go through they know though, and about online schooling talk to your parents about jt and if they agree you'll have time to figure out how to fix this and not always feel scared to go to school





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