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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All!

This is my first time to post in the forum. I'm really glad I found this site a few weeks ago. It's been comforting to know I'm not alone.

While driving (moving) to Seattle from Kansas City, my grandmother had a stroke. I began having anxiety and diarrhea (especially in the morning) that was arguably some of the worst I've had.

I've always had IBS-D with urgency issues (and bloating, gas, cramps, abdominal discomfort etc), but this flare up was especially bad.

Honestly, I feel like a lot of it was mental. Leaving my job of four years, leaving home again, leaving a serious relationship, a dying grandmother, new job jitters etc.

Now that my grandmother has passed away, I need to make up my mind on whether or not i want to go back to Seattle to take the job.

But i'm nervous about being in a new city with my agoraphobia tendencies: not knowing where bathrooms are, using public transit, not knowing my 'safety' restaurants, and finding a good living situation.

I went to my family doctor, poured my heart out about the dilemma, after reviewing my lifestyle, he agreed that I should try medication to curb anxiety which would hopefully relax my gut. He said many anti-depressants will slow down the digestive tract.

I took the 0.5mg Xanax the day he prescribed. I felt sick to my stomach for about 10 minutes (then it went away), I felt a little foggy and slow, but not too bad the rest of the day. I took it two days later again, for the cemetery funeral (no bathrooms) and was just fine! :)

Today, I tried just the Effexor XR( 150mg) and had more visible side effects: nausea (a few hours later), followed by a kind of loose bowel movement, sweating, slowed breathing, decreased appetite, and kind of a sedated state of mind.

I will take it tomorrow again but I'm a little concerned about taking it. I've yet to ever have an accident in public, but I really can get a panic attack when I feel like I need to go, sweating, chills etc. But I'm hoping these medicines will work. He said the Xanax is as needed, and Effexor should be daily, but I feel like if the Effexor has too many side effects, I might just use the Xanax as needed, especially as things calm down.

Any advice? Should I use one over the other? Advice about moving to a new city??

Thank you all,


8 Posts
Hi Michael,
i just read your post and am wondering if you continued the Effexor and if it helped you?

I have tried a number of anti-depressants in my quest to ease my horrible IBS-D, and really most of them have just made my stomach issues worse. However, I have heard from some people that finding the right anti-depressant, and the right dose of it, really has helped them.

I would suggest starting off slowly with any new medication. I too am terrified of starting new meds, because I have to go to work and go out in public and am afraid of sudden attacks of diarrhea.

Have you tried Immodium to prevent diarrhea? I have found it very useful - i take a half of one of the tablets and it slows things down for me, but not so much that I get constipated. It is also reassuring when I have to go somewhere - to a meeting or a dinner, and I am feeling worried that I might have an IBS attack. It really helps me psychologically and physically too.

I would be careful with the Xanax as that can be quite addicting. But I myself have used benzos (Ativan) to deal with the anxiety that IBS brings up, and while I don't think Xanax or Ativan actually affects your gut, it helps you to relax and not feel so stressed. And I do believe that stress can bring on IBS attacks.

Best of luck to you!

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