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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybodyI'm wondering if anyone has any similar experiences/theories about people close to you whether family or b/f, g/f developing IBS after you have it, and how or why this might happen??I have had IBS for fifteen years. In my previous relationship which went on for four years, my ex-boyfriend, who had never had any stomach problems, began to have episodes of diarreah, belching, general stomach upset. This went on intermittently until we broke up. I have since spoken to my ex - boyfriend who said the problems went away gradually after we separated.I am now in a new relationship and the same thing is happening again!! My current boyfriend has always described himself as having a "cast iron stomach" and was able to eat massive quantities of things that would make me seriously ill, without consequence. Now, he too is having attacks of diarreah, stomach churning, pain etc. I am worried about him and think he has a terrible diet but he is not one to go to doctors. I am also worried because last night the symptoms woke him up from his sleep, which I know is considered a "red flag". He had to spend an hour on the toilet in pain, and concurrent with the "IBS" attack (if you want to call it that) he had an asthma attack and could not breathe...and today he had to go to work exhausted.I have heard of IBS running in families, but is it possible for IBS to be passed on to a boyfriend or girlfriend like this? I know its not physically contagious, but what about a psychological element? My ex-boyfriend used to call it "sympathy belly" when he was having an episode. He was joking, but you get my drift...BTW, I am a C (although used to be D), although my boyfriend seems to fit the D profile. This has been going on too long and too intermittently to be a GI infection. I would describe the symptoms he has described to me and the way it all looks from the outside too to be CLASSIC IBS.
 

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Hi ModgyAs far as I am aware, there is no way IBS is "contagious".Perhaps these people have just become more aware of their digestive systems than if they were not close to someone without IBS.I think the psychological link idea is much more likely!
 

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Hi ModgyAs far as I am aware, there is no way IBS is "contagious".Perhaps these people have just become more aware of their digestive systems than if they were not close to someone without IBS.I think the psychological link idea is much more likely!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agreeBut then, there is something radically different PHYSICALLY, between how my b/f was before and how he is now. I know its not contagious.The other thing I am thinking is that with the sheer numbers of people developing IBS (or so it seems) it becomes more likely that it could be someone you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agreeBut then, there is something radically different PHYSICALLY, between how my b/f was before and how he is now. I know its not contagious.The other thing I am thinking is that with the sheer numbers of people developing IBS (or so it seems) it becomes more likely that it could be someone you know.
 

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Well, I had a very similar experience with a girlfriend whom I had about a 3 year relationship with, 15 years ago. I'd had IBS for several years at that time. Before the relationship, she had no digestive problems. Within a few months after I started seeing her, she developed bad bloating - she looked like she was several months pregnant (but she wasn't). Before I met her, she was actually quite slim, with a "flat" stomach. She had all of the tests, was diagnosed with IBS and prescribed anti-spasmotics and pain killers. Her (daily) bloating and pain persisted throughout the 3 year relationship. After we broke up, I wasn't in contact with her. Then one day, about a year later, I saw her at a store, and you guessed it - she told me that after the breakup her IBS slowly disappeared, over a period of months, and she was completely free of it. I haven't had any relationships since then (too much trouble from the IBS for that sort of thing). In fact that relationship was the only one I've had since I developed IBS. I'm kind of shocked reading your story, that this actually happened to someone else. I thought in my case it must have just been a huge coincidence. It really makes you wonder...-Captain Colon
 

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Well, I had a very similar experience with a girlfriend whom I had about a 3 year relationship with, 15 years ago. I'd had IBS for several years at that time. Before the relationship, she had no digestive problems. Within a few months after I started seeing her, she developed bad bloating - she looked like she was several months pregnant (but she wasn't). Before I met her, she was actually quite slim, with a "flat" stomach. She had all of the tests, was diagnosed with IBS and prescribed anti-spasmotics and pain killers. Her (daily) bloating and pain persisted throughout the 3 year relationship. After we broke up, I wasn't in contact with her. Then one day, about a year later, I saw her at a store, and you guessed it - she told me that after the breakup her IBS slowly disappeared, over a period of months, and she was completely free of it. I haven't had any relationships since then (too much trouble from the IBS for that sort of thing). In fact that relationship was the only one I've had since I developed IBS. I'm kind of shocked reading your story, that this actually happened to someone else. I thought in my case it must have just been a huge coincidence. It really makes you wonder...-Captain Colon
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Captain ColonWow!! That really is amazing. I don't know whether to be happy, or worried, that I am not the only person that this has happened to.And it sure is making me wonder...I have always been one to resist the idea that there is a huge psychological element to IBS, but maybe this proves that there really is.On the other hand, what we could be looking at is another "hidden" common denominator between two people in a close relationship...they they are both eating or ingesting from the environment something which one of them stops ingesting when they leave the relationship?I am VERY keen to hear stories from anyone else who might have had this happen what you think its all about!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Captain ColonWow!! That really is amazing. I don't know whether to be happy, or worried, that I am not the only person that this has happened to.And it sure is making me wonder...I have always been one to resist the idea that there is a huge psychological element to IBS, but maybe this proves that there really is.On the other hand, what we could be looking at is another "hidden" common denominator between two people in a close relationship...they they are both eating or ingesting from the environment something which one of them stops ingesting when they leave the relationship?I am VERY keen to hear stories from anyone else who might have had this happen what you think its all about!
 

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I agree that there is a huge psychological component to it. A lot of the anxiety about bowel functions is learmned in our original families and it is quite likely that partners pick it up too. My sister developed IBS I think after watching my behavior
 

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I agree that there is a huge psychological component to it. A lot of the anxiety about bowel functions is learmned in our original families and it is quite likely that partners pick it up too. My sister developed IBS I think after watching my behavior
 

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we seem very ready to rule out the physical here.....before eric or one of the other board pitbulls leaps on me, sure sure sure ibs mind body axis neurons serotonin overgrowth studies sample size yada yada yada yada.anybody read the thread with the woman who started practising better oral hygiene, and her ibs just went away? (Sure gave me and my grubby habits a jolt. not helping so far though).my boyf's had considerably more stomach upsets and about a hundred cubic metres more gas than the norm for him since we got together. physical relationships are pretty ideal for passing on any organism.all psychological, in every case? even before we start talking about misdiagnosis, i'm not buying it.
 

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we seem very ready to rule out the physical here.....before eric or one of the other board pitbulls leaps on me, sure sure sure ibs mind body axis neurons serotonin overgrowth studies sample size yada yada yada yada.anybody read the thread with the woman who started practising better oral hygiene, and her ibs just went away? (Sure gave me and my grubby habits a jolt. not helping so far though).my boyf's had considerably more stomach upsets and about a hundred cubic metres more gas than the norm for him since we got together. physical relationships are pretty ideal for passing on any organism.all psychological, in every case? even before we start talking about misdiagnosis, i'm not buying it.
 

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the environmental factors thing is interesting too. boyf has never eaten so healthy as since we have been together. but it doesn't seem like all the veggies, rice and protein are doing him any favours!maybe he should go back to white bread and pizza.
 

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the environmental factors thing is interesting too. boyf has never eaten so healthy as since we have been together. but it doesn't seem like all the veggies, rice and protein are doing him any favours!maybe he should go back to white bread and pizza.
 

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I don't buy it either. Maybe if partner is mimicking behavior....maybe it is psychological. But no way if he/she developes diareah or constipation and belly swells with bloating. funny missC ....all that healthy food is making him ill.
Joann
 

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I don't buy it either. Maybe if partner is mimicking behavior....maybe it is psychological. But no way if he/she developes diareah or constipation and belly swells with bloating. funny missC ....all that healthy food is making him ill.
Joann
 

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I don't believe there was a psychological factor involved with my ex-girlfriend developing IBS after I began a relationship with her. Back when I started seeing her, my IBS was much less of a problem than it is now. She knew about it, but I really didn't talk about it much and we were able to generally carry on a fairly normal relationship. My main problem was (and still is) with pain. I have IBS-A, and I tend to be on the C side. D isn't a problem for me most of the time. So I really wasn't having to go to the bathroom more than a "normal" person, and there was really nothing unusual happening in that area that she could "pick up" on.There was nothing in common as far as diet goes. I'm a whole foods lacto-vegetarian, and she was not a vegetarian, not interested in the whole foods diet, and was lactose intolerant. We didn't live together, BTW, and we rarely ate together - I would eat my diet at my home, and she would do likewise, and I'd usually go and visit her in the evening. But she nevertheless developed IBS and a very bloated belly. But interestingly, I don't have bloating with my IBS, that's not a problem for me. I just don't believe that all that bloating she had could possibly have been caused by something psychological. So I think her getting IBS was either a huge coincidence, or else there actually was a mysterious "something" I was passing on to her that she was sensitive to which triggered the IBS, and which disappeared after we broke up and she wasn't exposed to it any more. I used to think it was sheer coincidence, but now, after reading Modgy's story, I can't decide which of those two possibilities is the less remote one...BTW-none of my family members (some of whom I am currently living with) have ever had any digestive problems of any kind.-Captain Colon
 
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