Seem to have developed an IBS type condition :(

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tl;dr: 2 weeks of gas and loose stools during anxious time, will it get better?

I'm posting this here rather than in the IBS forum because I want to hear from people who generally suffer anxiety rather than long term IBS sufferers only.

I'm 26 and had a car crash last year that gave me floaters. That plus job dissatisfaction led to lots of stress and some stress related symptoms over the last year. In the last few weeks I have quit my job and am giving my flat that I loved to go back to live with my parents to try and get things back on track and start again in August.

Suddenly 2 weeks ago I woke up with terrible trapped gas pain that lasted all day. In the evening I passed some watery diarrhoea and the pain relieved.

However for the next 2 weeks (today is 2 weeks to the day) I've had periods of very bad gas, particularly in the morning before I wake, some vague abdominal discomfort at times and intermittantly loose stools.

I've seen a doctor twice who isn't particularly concerned and suggested it was either a bug or stress related, and my stool sample was normal. She gave my some buscopan which seems to help the discomfort but the major symptom is still gas, sometimes my bowels are just constantly bubbling away it's so noisy. I'm having a bit of urgency and symptoms basically disappear after I poop so it sounds very stress/IBS related.

I've never in my life had bowel problems until the last 2 weeks but already I can't remember what it's like to not have these symptoms.

I am very worried that I am now stuck with this permanently and just wanted to know if anyone else has had this kind of thing resolve after their stress resolves and if they have any tips how to break the cycle?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes, Ciaran.  It will get better.  Just eat light - toast, eggs, tea, crackers, maybe a bit of chicken, applesauce, mashed potatoes.  Stay away from too much dairy or meat for a bit.  It will settle.

    Best,

    Linda

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply! And for the reassurance. When I think of IBS I think only of people who have it for decades, but I suppose if "1/5 people have it at some time in their life" it must come and go for many.

      I find that very fibrous food is terrible, I will have cramps and need to open my bowels within minutes! But otherwise most foods seem ok.

      I suppose I have been too impatient expecting this to improve so quickly?I have had it for 2 weeks now so possibly it will take a few more?

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  • Posted

    Were you on antibiotics over the last couple of months? Could be a bout of c diff. Could be a side effect of a medicine you take or a new food. Probiotic l culturelle is a good start. Dont drink sodas at all or coffee for a few weeks.
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    • Posted

      No i hadn't had any medications at all prior to this starting 2 weeks ago, but my stool has now returned to almost normal rather than the wtaery stools you'd see in C Diff so I don't think it's that.

      I'm taking a pro-biotic each day now, and I find that buscopan and silicagel are working well. I was only taking half the dose of buscopan, I'm trying the full dose now, hopefully this will nip it in the bud..

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  • Posted

    I am surrfering terribly from anxiey regarding this. Just when I wake up and things feel like they have improved, a few hours later I'll have some cramps and a loose stool, then things will improve, then get worse etc. so that I can't see any sign that things are getting consistently better.

    It's terrifying me that 1) I'll have this forever or 2) this is something more serious.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ciaran,

      Could have started with a gut bug, theb bug is gone, but your tummy is delicate and stress adds to it.  It will pass - continue to eat light for a while - stay away from most fibre.  You'll be fine!

      Best,

      Linda

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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda, I spoke to my GP again today who said the same, that if this is caused by stress then it should pass.

      I am having a blood test just to rule out anything else but I don't really have any proper pain, just niggly cramps, and I don't have any blood of mucous in my stool, plus most of the other things like urgency and having trouble with fibre, all seems to fit with IBS-type stuff so I'm trying not to let my health anxiety make me too terrified.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ciaran,

      Took about a month for me.  Ate really lightly for about 3 weeks - toast, rice, mashed potatoes and carrots, eggs, more toast, apple and pear sauce, arrowroot cokies.  Ate little bits often - every couple of hours.  Also took a probiotic.  Then, slowly started introducing other foods - some boiled green asparagus, cheese, milky tea, etc - always at night.  Now I've added potato chip and chocolate.  Life is good!  You'll be fine, just take it slow and keep a bit of a food journal for a few weeks - just to see if you are, in fact, bothered by any particular foods - don't eat spicy stuff yet.

      You'll be FINE!!!!!!

      Best,

      Linda

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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda.

      Did you find that your mental state had to change before things improved? I'm in the process of a lot of life changes and im still quite anxious/stressed.

      So was this the first time you had had such a problem before? For myself I've never had bowel troubles at all in the past.

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