Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Digestive Health Support Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For me I know that without a doubt stress is a HUGE trigger for my IBS-D. I talk about it with my doctor who just says to not stress, find a way to let it go....yeah but HOW? I try not to stress, but the fact is there are things that I cannot escape and though I try I know subconsiously I still stress about them. Here are some examples of my stress;1. General stress about having a IBS-D attack2. My grandmother has stage four ovarian cancer, which has cost her removal of most her bowels, it has spread into her liver and other organs and she is in month 22 of the 24 they gave her...the outcome is inevitible...but how to process that????3. Family, I have A LOT of responsibilities in my family to be the strong one to handle whatever it is that goes wrong. Be it helping my mom deal with my grandma's disease, my sister with my nephew who is 17 having problems in school and ridiculous girlfriend issues.4. My job, potential loss of it if I keep missing work due to my IBS-D and just huge cuts that are being made because of the economy and such.5. Just being miserable because of weight gain to steroids doctor had me on for nearly two years, no relationships because of my disease, no hope for having a family of my own because of said disease, feeling like a rotten friend for always having to bail on plans made (which are few enough as it is)So, what preytell can I go to just deal with it all when it gets to be too much? When my symptoms aren't bad I feel like I can handle all of this, but when the episodes hit my mind is the first thing that goes to a really dark and sad place. How do I fight my way back out of it. I would love to hear what some of you do to combat stress and the dark times. Perhaps I can find some inspiration and something new to try...its either that or just crawling into bed with the covers over my head and never coming out again....which many times sounds perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,955 Posts
A few things. And I know when you are stressed trying to find time to care for yourself seems impossible and stressful.1. Diet, for some IBS-D types a low carb diet reduces the symptoms so may be something to try. Try to make whatever diet you do as healthy as possible (if it means spending a couple of hours on Sunday setting up lunches and snacks for the week rather than catching what food you can then do that) and generally smaller more frequent meals are better than waiting too long to eat and then eating too much. If you need some medications for your IBS, use them (OTC like Imodium or Calcium Carbonate supplements or prescription)2. Be rigorous about your sleep. Set a wake up time and get up at that time every day (helps keep the whole biological rhythm on track, it doesn't know from weekend). Limit naps during the day and make sure room is dark, cool and quiet enough for sleep. A hot bath or shower about an hour before bedtime can help your body get the sleep signals it needs and avoid TV and especially computer an hour before bed and see if that helps. Also using small lamps rather than overhead lights for that hour before bed can help.3. Get some exercise. Even a 20 minute walk every day. Exercise helps burn off stress. Don't to this close to bedtime. A Yoga, T'ai Chi or Qi Gong class may be a good outlet as well if you can't do something more strenuous.4. Develop a stress reduction practice. Even a simple meditation or something like progressive muscle relaxation. This is a good thing to do between bath and bed with the dim lights. Reading that isn't too exciting is also a good thing to do at this time, or other calming hobbies like knitting or crossword puzzles.One thing is that a lot of people (especially me) tends to slack off on these things when I'm feeling better and often that is when you need them. First you help establish the habits that will help you through the worse times. Secondly, you make the most of the times when you can heal and rejuvenate so you have more reserves for the bad times.Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,019 Posts
I had my own collection of contributing problems, both health and financial, which found me in much the same spot as you. I know that once you get into one of those downward spirals, it is hard to break out. The thing which turned my life around was to begin treating my health with supplements, one of which re-energized me and another that began to correct my cholesterol and GI problems, the latter a daily part of my life for 10 pretty lousy years. Honestly, if it hadn't been for that, I would either not be alive or would have become another IBeezer with a list of pharmaceuticals just keeping me patched up. Once I began to see an improvement in my overall health my job situation improved, my stress levels dropped, and my optimism returned. Really, this is possible. My first suggestion would be to try and get at what brought this on in the first place. If you can isolate that--mine was smoking, as an example--you may be able to find others who have successfully confronted the same first cause. Even if that is not possible, there are a number of remedies to the D that have been quite useful for a number of others: hypno or CBT to address the mind-body connections; daily doses of calcium, Questran, Immodium, and/or soluble fiber to bulk things up or dry them out; low dose anti-depressants for their constipating side effects. My second would be to investigate nutritional supplementation to strengthen your overall core health. Third would be to find a way to isolate your pains and anxieties so that they do not overrun you. As a recent convert to yoga, I was impressed with a remark regarding not giving in to the "pain of pain," and I think that could be expanded to the anxiety of anxieties. (I spent more than a year afraid of high speed highway driving, such that each time I would have to do that, I would bring on another surge of adrenaline which would render me almost out of control. By the time I worked through that it was clear I was the cause of my difficulties.) I can say for my chronic lower back problems that this has been the most useful way of dealing with the pain that I have so far found. Lastly, if you can, try to schedule your life around your bowels. I know this can be difficult; but I would try to never put myself in the position of having to do a lot of running around or attending meetings until after the lunch bm, if that were at all possible. That made it possible for me to work through most of those 10 years. Good luck to you.Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
I went through an awful lot of stress over the course of years and at the time it seemed endless. Looking back it was pretty bad and it was one thing, then something else, then something else. I have always been the strong one that people come to and in numerous occasions I had to basically shut everything away that I felt, to help the other people. I think that caused a lot of problems for me and I also gave up smoking which was my only way of dealing with stress and I've had this really ever since. I have had major problems dealing with the stress of this. To be honest the only thing that helped me in a day to day way was getting some help from the doctor. I was perscribed beta blockers and although they aren't stopping the problems they are helping me to get out and to do a few things whereas before i couldn't do anything and they do take away that terrible knotting in my stomach that happens as soon as I wake up and the terror of thinking you are going to have to go out with diarrhea. I'm also on anti depressants which are helping and immodiums.I did smoke and I think that has made dealing with the stress harder sometimes as I know if I had a ciggy that would calm me right down. I think that getting enough sleep does help and I've also got some hypnosis cds which help to calm me down as well. What I would say is this. Make sure that you leave time for yourself and be you sometimes. Don't be consumed all the time by the stress and try to not always be the strong one. It's really good to help your family and I know what that's like you haven't got any other option but make sure you try to talk to someone about it. Try to have a bit of fun and time away from the stress at home. If I had to do it all again, that's what I would do now. Hope this helps you a little.Claire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Sounds like it's more than just stress, maybe a bit depressed too. I have generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder and depression. When my anxiety is high my IBS is bad. So I try to keep my stress low so that I don't have anxiety about the IBS acting up because of my stress. A vicious cycle! I accept that there are many things I cannot control nor change. Life happens. There are moments in our lives when we feel we just can't handle everything we are given, but yes we can. My Uncle passed last year of muscular dystrophy and it hurt and I then told myself " I love him so much, it is not fair he was taken from me, but it is not fair for him to see me in heaven crying. He didn't leave me because he chose too, he had too." he was in so much pain and just slowly dieing he was miserable, now he's comfortable, the pain is gone. Same will be for your grandmother, and if she is a grandmother and your nephew is 17, it sounds like she has had a good run. We can't live forever. List the facts and don't dwell on what you can't change. Enjoy the time you have left with her and accept it so you feel no regret or guilt later. Mom, and sister, this can be difficult because without them realizing it they are adding more stress into your life and of coarse you love and care for them so you are there when they need you. But what you are forgetting to do is turn the tables once in awhile, and get your troubles out to them. Acting so strong and hiding everything we feel and just bottling it up is not healthy, and it makes it easier for them to come to you with there problems because they don't see the harm in it. So vent, cry scream, whatever makes you feel better. Now for the job, this one is hard because that is something out of your control. All I can suggest is now while you know your job is at stake, start making a back up plan, maybe try something from home because of the IBS. There are jobs like data entry and medical billing that can very well be done from home. And stop putting yourself down! Those bad thoughts about being alone and never having a family are having a negative impact on your life and self...if we believe something we actually make it happen bad or good, the power of the mind! So stop!
Now for stress relief:1. See a councilor, very nice to have someone always to vent to with very useful information.2. A creative outlet, examples are painting, sewing, playing an instrument, or anything you want to "make"3. Sleep, healthy foods and exercise! 4. Relaxation time. Try meditation or guided imagery meditation. (this has helped me alot!) Or as simple as a nice hot bath. (without thinking bad stuff!
)5. Say STOP! When stressful thoughts enter your brain say stop and move onto something else.Hope I can help a bit. I've been dealing for years with stress and anxiety and finally broke down and tried all the little stress relieving techniques and they helped me alot. I always thought I was strong and could handle anything, now I'm choking on my words, I've meet my match! Well Good luck and God Bless!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top