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Is your IBS-D affected by drinking caffeinated drinks?

I love drinking tea, the odd coffee and my ice cold cola on a summers day but at a cost - what cost? Bowel spasms, cramps, IBS-D, everything moving through my digestive tract faster than you can say 'Toilet'! In other words, it sends my bowel into spasm and makes me constantly poo poo poooooooo (sorry TMI!)

The spasms can be felt like uterine tightenings like being pregnant - my large descending colon goes tight and then relaxes and constantly does this....it causes back pass pain and discomfort and urges to defacate as well as wanting to wee all the time.

It also causes left descending colon pain which has been so bad it has landed me in hospital.

So why dont I just stop drinking it?

True, that would be an option but I am sick to death of my body rejecting everything, PLUS sometimes my bowels are ok and drinking tea doesnt affect it, just like sometimes I can eat certain things and not get indigestion and then eat the same thing another day and get bad indigestion - confused!

Anyway, I have read great detail into caffeine and its stimulant properties on the CNS. I even advised to stimulant properties of caffeine to a patient today who was having severe bowel movement problems since having surgery. She was amazed that caffeine could cause bowel activity and thought it caused constipation - she is wrong - the caffeine acts on the CNS and the pathways, including the nerves on the bowel and digestive tract, causing it to go into over drive - especially in people who have a sensitive disposition like me.

But what puzzles me, is sometimes I can drink tea and be absolutely fine, whereas right now I am in pain, can feel my bowel go into spasm and have the constant urge to poo and I wondered, is caffeine a prominent trigger for IBS symptoms? Do other people get the same thing?

I dont class myself as having food sensitivities, just a selective digestive system! But what I have observed over the years is what my stomach likes my bowels HATE and what my bowels like my stomach HATES. Its like living with two arguing spouses. Not fun.

Has anyone else been affected like this? Did cutting caffeine out solve your problem once you realised it was caffeine?

Does anyone find their IBS causing life affecting anxiety because they dont trust their body, namely their bowels to behave when out in society or at work? I am scared poo-less, (excuse the pun) to go to work incase my IBS glues me to the toilet.

Holly
 

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Hi Holly. Caffine definitely was one of my triggers. Coffee, soda, chocolate, and even decaffeinated coffee and tea including green tea. It took me a long time to realize that was it but now its been 5 years since I've had any caffine. My IBS-D isn't completely under control but caffine was one of the triggers.
It is causing me so much anxiety. I haven't seen my best friend in over 3 months because I'm so worried I'll get an episode. I never really had trouble with it at work because I had a desk job next to a bathroom but now I'm unemployed. Looking for a new job causes me so much anxiety. There's plenty of jobs I didn't apply for because I was scared I wouldn't be right next to a bathroom at all times. I wish there was a company with all IBS workers. Haha would be so much less stressful.
-Natasha
 

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Hi there, yes I'm thinking coffee is a big one for me as well. I only drink decaf at home and I suffer from constipation. Go away on vacation and my husband only drinks caffeinated coffee so I end up doing it as well. It's a complete flip and I've got diarrhea constantly!! I'm NOT going to drink any coffee even on vacation next time so we'll see!

Cheers,

Lauren
 

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hi yes caffine is def a trigger but worse than that is any fizzy drinks and any drinks that are sugar free. i do have 1 decaff coffe in morning but seem to be ok with just the one brand others make me ill still.
 

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Coffee is a definite trigger for my D. Trying to titrate down in the hopes of stopping completely. Soda is a trigger also, plus it causes the cramping you describe.
 

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Green Tea is a no no for me. But black team is fine. Coca cola and pepsi is also fine. Coffee I have had varying results with so not totally sure, most of the time I am fine. But those times i tried 2 cups of coffe a day it has gotten worse.
 

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Coffee ?? Are you joking? It's the number one enemy of my bowels !! Even decaf affects me (that's how I know it's not a really complete decaffeinated product). I drink green tea (but not too strong) twice a day and even this is a slight provocation for my IBSD, but I manage. I really miss a good espresso or capuccino though.... Cokes and Pepsi are avoided as well.
 

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Generally if i drink coffee with powder form, yes. After 10-15 minutes my bowels are moving, but other types of coffee, i am not. Also coke or other caffeine sources isn't problem for me.

But i must say, i haven't got a real ibs-d. My stool form is not tottally liquid.
 
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