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I love books and one of my favorite places to go is the Half Price Bookstore. My husband and I would visit after going out to dinner and I'd have an IBS attack so we'd have to leave. As the years have gone by I've noticed that I have an attack every single time I go to that specific store whether I eat first or not! It is the oddest thing. I don't understand it. I've even planned to go and had Imodium before I went which helps me prevent attacks... and it still happened. I now go there and within 2 minutes the cramps and sweats set in. The last time I left and walked around the parking lot and within 10 or so minutes I felt fine again and never even ended up having to use the bathroom.Has anyone experienced something like this before? I'm sad about not being able to go there but it seems so odd to me that this would occur.
 

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Yes I believe this happens to me a lot. If I have had a problem somewhere in the past each time I do that thing or go to that place I seem to have problems there again. I think it is the subconscious that remembers. Sometimes it is just from being excited. My bowel is very reactive and my emotions do play a big part in how my bowel is. If I get nervous or anxious and who doesn't with ibs-d I can have a need for the bathroom with urgency in a matter of minutes. Does anyone have a solution for this or a medication that would help?
 

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Yeah, it's probably subconscious, like the person above said. You said the symptoms occur once you are already at the place or do they start on the way there? This used to happen to me in the car on the way to school at the same spot every time & I found that closing my eyes & relaxing until I got to school helped.
 

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All of the above are absolutely possible reasons for the book store being a trigger. But, also consider other factors. . . a used book store probably has a lot of dust, mold, and other potential triggers. My mom and I always find we have to go to the bathroom about 15 minutes after entering a fabric store. After trying to figure this all out, we've decided it must be from the dyes in the fabric. Environmental factors, as well as emotional factors can all make symptoms of IBS, or other illnesses, worse. So, yes it's possible. And, no, you aren't crazy, just human. Best!Elizabeth
 

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There could be something in the store (dust, mold, etc) and there also can be a conditioned response.I had one to raisins rather than than a place. I got sick for other reasons the first time I had raisin bran and some how that got my brain/body to assume raisins are always bad. The problem is every time you get sick (I threw up if I ate them) when you are around (in my case eat) the stimulus that is conditioned it reinforces the conditioning. So it can be a pretty hard feedback loop to get out of. I avoided raisins completely for about 5 years and the conditioning (which lasted a good 20 years) finally broke. I think anything can cause a conditioned response even if it doesn't cause you anxiety, stress, fear, or other negative emotion like a person you can't stand.
 

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Yeah, it's probably subconscious, like the person above said. You said the symptoms occur once you are already at the place or do they start on the way there? This used to happen to me in the car on the way to school at the same spot every time & I found that closing my eyes & relaxing until I got to school helped.
Mine always start before when I am anticipating leaving the house. I fear not being near a bathroom when I need one as my symptoms can come on very quickly and I need a bathroom now not 10 minutes from now.
 

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I love books and one of my favorite places to go is the Half Price Bookstore. My husband and I would visit after going out to dinner and I'd have an IBS attack so we'd have to leave. As the years have gone by I've noticed that I have an attack every single time I go to that specific store whether I eat first or not! It is the oddest thing. I don't understand it. I've even planned to go and had Imodium before I went which helps me prevent attacks... and it still happened. I now go there and within 2 minutes the cramps and sweats set in. The last time I left and walked around the parking lot and within 10 or so minutes I felt fine again and never even ended up having to use the bathroom.Has anyone experienced something like this before? I'm sad about not being able to go there but it seems so odd to me that this would occur.
 

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My first time on the forum and I couldn't believe when I saw this post! I definitely thought I was "losing it" when I would enter one particular store and need a bathroom within a few minutes....it didn't make sense to me...but then neither does IBS. I have never mentioned this part of my problem to anyone until now and I am 63 years old! If for no other reason (although I am sure there will be thousands..) I am so glad I registered for this site!!!!
 

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Though I love books I have had this reaction while in libraries and used bookstores for as long as I remember. I always assumed there was a connection in my mind with reading on the toilet while a child.
 

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I laughed reading this because I am not kidding you, my biggest trigger place is ALSO a book store.Its the funniest thing... Chapters/Starbucks does it to me. It doesn't happen every time I'm there, but its happened enough times for me to notice!Books... Bathrooms... Maybe its a little too ironic!
 

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This happened to me also - in fact, the connection of places with IBS attacks is fairly common - and it is similar to food triggers - it is all a part of the brain-gut connection. The first attack was most likely random - but from then on there can be a subconsious connection. Hypnotherapy is your best bet to beat this - I remember the first time I was able to overcome it - in a store parking lot - got the beginnings of an attack and it stopped within seconds as I had an automative 'thought' come to me sort of like, I don't need or want this - part of the hypno sessions, and it went away. I also used to have IBS attacks every time I ate popcorn or other foods (in fact at one time I was down to only crackers and water.) After the hypnotherapy, I have no food restrictions whatsoever. Worth looking into anyway. It pretty much is most likely the place or the thing that is the trigger as a connection, rather than anything in the location itself. At least that has been my take on it with speaking to folks! The subconscious mind has a lot of control over our bodies, to be sure...
 

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Based on the responses here, this sounds to be fairly common. Happens to me as well (dealing with this for over 30 years). I agree that having a really bad random attack at a particular place can "mark" that place in my mind. All of a sudden, the chances of having a similar episode if I go back to that place goes up dramatically. Especially bad if I know there is no bathroom nearby.
 

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my trigger is my mother. Can't stand her, triggers it just when she leaves a message on my machine. I check the caller id. Dad's a close second. I live far away.
I totally get that! One of my triggers is my Mother-in-Law~seriously, no joke
She lives right next door to me. She has family dinners alot and we are always invited but I try to make an excuse not to go. My hubby gets annoyed with me but I know if I go I'll have an attack.
 

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It definitely sounds like anxiety is what you have going on that is triggering your IBS. I would check with a doctor and see about getting on a mild anti-anxiety medication. I'm taking Buspar 10mg tablets twice a day and my digestion has greatly improved since getting on it.
 
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