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severe anxiety and ibs flare up

(40 Posts)
kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 08:35:07

hi,
I've posted here a few times recently about a health worry. I've seen 2 gps and been examined, also spoke/seen 5 other gps, who all said the same thing. I have health anxiety which at the moment is taking over my life. Since this anxiety has hit me a few weeks ago, i've had a really dodgy stomach.

I've had ibs for 20+ years now and have had flare ups over the years. Usually some constipation for a few days then a bout of diahoreah and things settle down again. Over the last few weeks i've had loose stools or diahoreah around 3 times a week with days inbetween of normal bms. The anxiety has completely taken my appetite away so i've barely been consuming more than 700 calories per day and as a result i've lost over a stone in 5 weeks.

my citalopram has just been increased from 40mg to 60mg and i have a cbt appt on the 11th of july.

Now i feel like i'm in a vicious circle, i worry about having diahoreah my anxiety heightens and i have diahoreah then i worry more and on it goes.

Really struggling atm, we're on a family holiday and its so hard having to put on a happy face when all i want is to lock myself away in a room and not speak to anyone.

I have mentioned the loose stools to every gp i've spoken to and they all reckon its the anxiety

Anyone got any words of wisdom?

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 09:28:50

can anyone relate to this?

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 10:31:36

sorry to be such a pain but my anxiety is really getting the better of me. Just need some rational words.

winnybella Sun 03-Jul-11 10:35:50

Well, I haven't got IBS, but can relae to having loose stools when stressed (before taking a trip or an exam, for example), therefore it seems totally possible that being in a continual state of anxiety would produce such an effect.

Great that you have CBT app soon smile

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 11:06:31

thanks winnybella,

Really need to pull myself together, i'm a complete nightmare just now. Its so unfair on my family.

I was following your thread about your recent health scare and i'm so pleased for you that everything turned out well.

winnybella Sun 03-Jul-11 11:24:34

Thanks smile

Tbh seeing in how much anxiety you are at the moment it would be almost weird if there weren't any physical symptoms iyswim.

Just hang on in there til the 11th smile

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 13:07:55

i know, the symptoms probably are'nt even as bad as i think they are. I am having normal bms in with the diahoreah and loose stools and probably only going 2x a day. But unfortunately my ha does'nt let me see things rationally.

We are on holiday in our touring caravan down at matlock and i'm finding it hard to relax and enjoy myself.

catx2 Sun 03-Jul-11 15:52:06

Hello.
We spoke on here before.
I've also got IBS and has had it really bad since Nov last year. I'm in constant pain in my tummy, my bowel movements keep on changing and lately I've had really bad indigestion as well. I know my bowel movements get loose when I stress or worry about something. Today the movements have been normal as I've been quite relaxed as it is the weekend and I'm also off tomorrow. But the constant indigestion is getting to me now.

I saw my Dr a week ago who has now refered me to the hospital to the gastro team. He said he still doesn't think it is anything serious as I haven't lost weight and no blood loss for months now. But I do find it hard to trust him as he prescribed me Calcium tablets and Citalopram and I kept on going back regarding constipation and pain and he never said to me it could be linked to the tablets. Felt a bit better after stopping them but as I said it is now really bad again. I have convinced myself I've got bowel cancer or some sort of cancer in the tummy region.

Like you I find it difficult to enjoy life now and I keep on focusing on the symptoms which I think make things worse. I know from previous health anxiety attack that things got worse when I focused to much on the symptoms.

The wait for my hospital referal is probably be going to be quite long and I keep on thinking that it is going to be to late for me by then. Think I will go back to the Dr tomorrow as I'm really concerned about the indigestion and nausea feeling.

I hope you have had a better day today!

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 18:56:03

hi catx2,

How do you feel about being referred? Thats one of my fears, the thought terrifies me.

Have you worried about other cancers in the past? I've a list of them that i was convinced i had. I also had fears that my dc's had cancer too.

How long have you had ibs for? When you say your movements keep changing, in what way? Sorry, one more question if you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

I hope you dont have to wait too long for your appt to come through, has your gp given you any indication how long it might be?

catx2 Sun 03-Jul-11 19:31:06

Hi.
I'm 33 years old so my GP said I'm in the wrong age group for cancer but really it could happen to anyone. There was someone on here a while ago in their 30's with bowel cancer.
Yes I'm scared of going to the hospital but my GP keeps on saying it is only to reassure me that there is nothing wrong.
He said the app could be sometime away and I guess that is because he feels there is no worry.
The movements change from them being quite normal to really runny. So every morning I will go when I get up then I will go another 1 or 2 times and it is runny but often this is on the days when I'm rushing to get the kids to school and myself to work.
I have been worried before. I think I told you in another thread that last summerr I thought I had had a stroke when on holiday. The Dr I saw there didn't think it was a stroke but possibly an onset of MS. This really scared me. I had such headaches, chest pains, pain all over, nerve twitching, feeling really dizzy. I thought I had MS, brain tumour, leukemia, heart problems. All sorts of things went through my mind. I had an MRI scan witched showed nothing, blood tests showed nothing. I took myself to A and E twice as I thought there was something wrong with my heart. But nothing was found. It wasn't until I started taking Citalopram that these feelings in my body started to go away. So I know now that it was the anxiety that caused it all.
And yes I worry about the kids too. One of them has got really sensitive skin and I'm constantly looking out for changes.
I was never like this before. I had a really healthy pregnancy with twins and so many things could have gone wrong but I was never worried then.
Today I really feel rotten. Really bad indigestion all day and my tummy hurts so much. I've tried , Buscopan and peppermint tea and no improvement. Think I will call GP in the morning.
Sorry for long post.

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 20:21:12

i can relate so much to what you've written.

All the constant worrying really takes its toll. I've also been told that i'm not in risk group, but how can they be so sure. The last gp i spoke to last week said to me "you don't have anal,rectal or bowel cancer". He has'nt even examined me!

How long has this bad spell of ibs going on for you? And how did they diagnose your ibs? I'm sorry you're feeling so bad, hope things improve soon and you don't have to wait too long for your appt. Do you know what they are going to do at your appt, is it a colonscopy?

I also have indigestion now and again but have never reall worried too much about it, just thought it went hand in hand with the ibs.

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 03-Jul-11 20:58:04

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catx2 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:10:17

I used to get constipated alot when I was little but it got better and didn't really bother me until one day when I was in my 20s when I had such lower right side abdominal pain. I went to A and E and they said i was constipated.
My GP had then the refered me to see why I always get constipated. I had a colonoscopy then and they found nothing.
That was 13 years ago and I was refered so quickly then. I normally get cramps on and off since then when I get constipated which tend to happen if I'm away from home or stressed. But this time it has been really bad since November. I thought first it was just the Calcium tablets and the Citalopram that messed me up but i stopped taking them in April.
My GP did say you can get indigestion with IBS but I have never had it before. To me this is a change/new symptom and that is a worry.
I hope you can enjoy your holiday. How long are you away for?

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 21:44:22

shine - discussing this on here does help me. Speaking to people who understand what i'm going through does help me. Yes i have severe health anxiety but that does'nt make me immune to cancer! That attitude is what worries me about the gps, they can't see past the anxiety and everything gets put down to that.

Catx2 - i remember having constipation as a child periodically but think my ibs started after a stomach bug 20 odd years ago. I was never "properly" diagnosed but its been going on all these years.

We're on holiday until friday. We're on a lovely campsite near matlock in derbyshire. Going to try to enjoy it as much as i can.

I hope you get the answers you're looking for soon.

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 03-Jul-11 21:46:55

Message withdrawn

sugarbea Sun 03-Jul-11 21:54:46

I don't have ibs myself but both my mother and a good friend with ibs that constantly worry about EVERYTHING health and otherwise things that COULD go wrong.The more they worry the worse the ibs gets. My good friend does have counselling as she was starting to get depressed and she's been a lot happier and as a result her ibs has calmed down. Hope that doesn't sound patronising ,from the outside looking in the way I see it is if you can curb the anxiety you can maybe help to control the ibs smile

kaylasmum Sun 03-Jul-11 22:25:44

shine- thats the point though, i do have symptoms, i'm not making anything up. And altered bowel habits are a problem and this is what's worrying me. I think the drs just think i'm overreacting but i know how i feel.

Sugarbea- your post did'nt come across as patronising.

I know i need to control my anxiety and i am trying to but struggling. I have an appt for cbt on the 11th of july.

kaylasmum Mon 04-Jul-11 17:57:58

hi catx2,

Just wondering how you're feeling today. Did you go back to your gp today? My stomachs been quite bad today and spoke to my gp but actually feel worse after speaking to him. he told me to go back to see him next week if things don't settle down and some tests can be done, that terrifies the life out of me.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 04-Jul-11 18:32:39

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tallulah Mon 04-Jul-11 18:37:17

I went to my GP monthly from July 2010 to Jan 2011 with worsening bowel problems and was told it was just IBS. I had blood tests that showed "nothing nasty". I was finally referred to the hospital on 26 Jan, had a Barium Enema in Feb followed by a CT scan and had surgery to remove a tumour in mid March. I knew it wasn't IBS but they kept telling me I was too young and didn't have the right symptoms.

Sounds like both of you may just be having worsening symptoms because of anxiety, but do get it checked out. (By Jan I was having to go to the toilet 10 times a day and 3 times at night so it was quite extreme).

kaylasmum Mon 04-Jul-11 18:43:43

hi shine,

I know my anxiety is making things worse but its really difficult, i wake up every morning feeling really anxious and end up having an upset stomach.

I don't enjoy feeling like this, just want to feel better.

tallulah Mon 04-Jul-11 18:45:56

x-post with your last one kaylasmum. FWIW I was petrified of the thought of the tests but the thought of them was way worse than the actual experience. I can't bear needles or blood so I'm the wrong person to have lots of treatments but I was fine. You will be too.

kaylasmum Mon 04-Jul-11 18:55:10

hi tallulah,

How are you? I hope your ok.

I just don't know what to think, i have had ibs for many years and it is always worse when i'm anxious. Going to the dentist always gives me diahoreah. My bms were pretty much fine until i started panicking about a tiny lump next to my anus, which was confirmed by 2 gps as a pile. I've been in a high state of anxiety since then.

Had you previously been diaganosed with ibs? Was increased bms your only symptom?

tallulah Mon 04-Jul-11 19:50:37

Yes I'm ok thanks but having chemo which is making me feel ucky.

I've had IBS since I was 17, and as you say it gets worse under stress.

My only symptoms to begin with were increased BMs. It wasn't until Jan that I noticed some bleeding (not much) and I had really horrible pains in my lower stomach one night (which I doubt was related to the tumour anyway). My consultant said the tumour had been growing for about 2 years. So I'd had it for well over a year before I got any symptoms at all.

kaylasmum Mon 04-Jul-11 20:09:54

were you properly diagnosed with ibs?

I don't understand why so many drs seem to think if you're not in the risk group that its ok just to leave things. Its awful to think that you were going to the toilet ten times a day and up at night too. I thought it was common knowledge that
Ibs does'nt normally wake you in the night, surely that should have been a sign to the dr that something else was going on.

I hope the chemo does'nt take too much of a toll on you. You sound like a very strong person.

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