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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a very unprofessional mish-mash of some thoughts I have had based on some reading and research.The digestive system is extremely complex. There are many steps in the process. The digestive system is autonomous and can command this process on its own without help from the brain.The digestive process is regulated by the careful timed release of several type of hormones. They stimulate nerves which cause contraction of muscles, secretion of other hormones, and digestive fluids, etc, etc.The amounts of the hormones and their timing is extremely important to smooth, normal digestive function. A slight fluctuation in this complex rhythm leads to digestive problems.The interesting thing is many of these hormones are also apparently the hormones that regulate mood (serotonin, NK-1, etc). Again too much or too little of these chemicals can cause depression, anxiety, etc.It's a slight reach but it would seem to me that IBS and anxiety go hand in hand.While it seems it possible to have anxiety without IBS. It seems to me it is impossible to have IBS without anxiety (I'm talking chemically)So for all of us he think that all are problems are our own fault ..."no guts" and also associate their IBS with stressful situations should understand there is a complex chemical situation occuring and your IBS may not be a result of your stress. Your stress and anxiety may be the IBS. Chemically these may be the same thing.I've also read some research that states that infections (ie bacterial) can and do produce toxins which inhibit the action of these hormones. Therefore the mental and physical symptoms we experience may actual be a complex chemical reaction caused by external factors.For all those, including myself, who blame themselves for these symptoms (ie worry too much, too anxious, etc), know that IBS and anxiety may be one in the same (chemically). And although we may be able to reduce our symptoms by certain coping techniques the real problem we may beyond our total control. Those who have learned to associate mental stress and anxiety with IBS should not blame themselves. These hormones effect both.It's interesting that our biology uses these hormones for both mood and for digestive purposes.Researchers are getting closer to unraveling this complex puzzle. But I think we should try to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We may have no more control over IBS and anxiety then some people have on catching a cold. IBS/Anxiety is chemical. So unless anyone can prove otherwise I'll just choose the egg...and it's not my fault(just not sure of the cause...yet).
 

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I have eggs for breakfast and chicken for supper, but I'd rather eat duck with orange sauce. (No sign that I'm chemically imbalanced here, right?)Seriously though, excellent post!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Excellent post critchie. When my IBS is not "acting up", I can have a perfectly wonderful day shopping, etc. When it is acting up,I am anxious. Funny, when I took lotronex, I was able to jump in the car and go anywhere I wanted without thinking, "What if I have to POOP and there isn't a bathroom!!" What a way to live. Hope they come up with something to disconnect my mind from my bowels!!
 

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The only problem with the theory is that many IBSers do not have anxiety. Many people with anxiety have IBS (and IBS and anxiety are both very common problems so by statistics alone their will be alot of people with both)I do not have anxiety. (calm and cool as a cucumber prior to taking oral exams for my Ph.D. which are usually deadly things for anxious people). And even the minor flutters I get I can calm right back down (I even get some heart palpitations that often can trigger panic attacks in anxious people...never bother me a bit emotionally....pain in the butt physically, but no emotional/panic reaction to them)OTOH, I think that people who have both anxiety and IBS get a double whammy, as the two feed off of each other and cause much bigger problems for a person than either one alone. And, more than they would be if they were simply additive (1+1=2) I think they are more like 1+1=5. This is seen in biological systems. Substance X causes a reaction of 5 units. Subtance Y causes a reaction of 2 units. Give test subect substance X and substance Y and get 37 units of reaction.You get into trouble trying to take the idea that receptors/hormones being involved in two processes mean they are the same thing. Histamine, for example is a widely used hormone in the body Allergies do not mean Acid reflux do not mean Migranes. do not mean Alertness....(all the other things that can happen from too much histamine at the wrong time in the wrong place, or the right amount of histamine in the right place.)Now I agree it is NO ONE's fault they have IBS, it is a REAL physical problem. However, how you handle having IBS is to some degree under your control. Other wise CBT and hypnotherapy wouldn't every help anyone and they are both very effective (from someone who did CBT and got her life back). Just my two centsK.[This message has been edited by kmottus (edited 01-04-2001).]
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
kmottus,I can't disagree with anything you said. Obviously we all can control somewhat our reaction to anything. And ways of mitigating IBS via these techniques are certainly helpful.When I was a kid I saw my father cut off the tip of his finger while laying carpet. He showed no reaction gathered the tip of his finger in a plastic bag put ice in it and drove himself to the hospital where it was surgically reattached. The fact that he didn't show any reaction to it, where 99+% of the population would have been hysterical, didn't mean it didn't hurt or that he hadn't actually cut off his finger. Of course we shouldn't consider ourselves victims.If you look at the cold virus some research says when you are stressed you are more likely to catch a cold. I happen to agree. Any number of "stressors" environmental, mental, physical, may depress the immune system. But it is the virus that causes the cold not the stress. I.E. if we could magically eradicate all the cold virus strains nobody would get a cold...no matter how much stress they were under.I'm going to choose to look at IBS this way.I happen to believe there is something to this mind gut thing for many of us...I also think these "hormones" can cause multiple problems in and of themselves including both IBS and anxiety.I'm a little insecure about my IBS problem so I'm constantly trying to justify it. I've decided to just go with this theory for now, although keeping an open mind. Especially since there is nothing definitive about IBS causal patterns I can draw my own hypothesis.This justifies that the next time I describe my IBS symptoms to a healthcare provider and they ask "are you the nervous type?" and then give that " I solved your problem, just relax its all in your head" look...I can walk away thinking "the problem's in your head...you're the one without an open mind."Obviously I'm not the one doing the research, I'm not going to personally find the "cure" if one exists. I'm just going to believe what I want to, and be a little stubborn about it too.
 

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Just as long as you don't get so attached to your theories that you aren't willing to try or look at something new.Unfortunately stubbornly falling in love with the first theory is a very common human trait. It is why sometimes doctors can be a pain in the butt. First theory love affair. Your nervous ergo it's all in your head. FWIW alot of the medical schools are trying to train that out of the doctors. They do simulations where it is difficult to figure out why things suddenly went south. Usually the first thing they think of is what they go with and ignore new data that keeps coming in until the simulation kicks the simulated bucket. Until you've been forced to face that kind of thing it is very easy to be unaware that it goes on.We had a case of that in the lab I did my grad school research in. Fortunately good scientific practices mean you test all the fractions, not just the one it is SUPPOSED to be in. Led to some really interesting new ideas, but when we looked at the data, it had been telling us for months that we were barking up the wrong tree.It's also the just tell IBSers to take more fiber. That was standard medical education and the first theory they learned. And it does work in some cases, so it isn't a bad thing to try. But their theory doesn't let them be open to new possibilities.K.
 

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I just want to say I am enjoying this exchange as you guys go through some of the same thought processes I have.One thing I want to mention is that the stress can be mental,physical, or enviromental. Mental:stress from going to work for example. Physical:stress from eating to much at one time. Environmental: Heat or cold can be a problem for some people.All of these can be a stress to the system.Also, because you don't realize stress or anxiety doesn't always mean its not a factor. ------------------ http://www.ibshealth.com/ www.ibsaudioprogram.com
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Starla,It was the Lotronex experience that has mostly led to this conclusion. No IBS symptoms = less stress. IBS and its resultant anxiety led to a lot of bad habits and even phobias.I felt anxiety when I was on Lotronex...but then I could really "just take three deep breaths" and felt better. That advice didn't work before Lotronex and it doesn't work now without it.It's strange all the bad habits and avoidance techniques I have developed over the 10+ years I've had IBS. On the Lotronex these fears seemed silly and irrational. Strangley they now feal rational and necessary again.So forgive me again but I'll choose the egg.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Eric,I think this is rebellion/anger and is probably just one of the five stages of grief or whatever. Unfortunately I just kind of randomly oscillate among all five and never seem to reach closure. I think they'll probably find a hormone that controls this too.
 
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