Over the past 8 months I have been suffering from mild to sever anxiety and I have been getting a lot of symptoms that I am not used to. The one that has bothered me the most lately is that I have been having soft and pale colored bowel movements. Is this a common symptom of anxiety that a lot of you suffer? I never have any strong stomach pain but I always feel like my stomach is churning. I suffer from hypochondria so I after reading symptoms on the internet I have started to get worried.
When you say your bowel movements have bothered you the most "lately," what exactly, does "lately" mean? Our bowel movements change all the time for many reasons. Anxiety can be one of them. A diet change. A new med. Getting off a med. Antibiotics are notorious for messing up poop. Drinking more, or less, or not enough. I am lumping alcohol and water into that category. Not enough fiber. On and on and on. You have no pain, just some churning. Does that happen after you eat? Before? Just before a BM? Does it stop after you've had a BM? Have you recently been sick with any sort of intestinal bug/bacteria/virus?
Is there any blood or mucus on the stool?
Aside from the anxiety, do you consider yourself fairly healthy? Are you active? I see that you are young and not at an age where a colonoscopy would be recommended.
Being a hypochondriac does not help and you absolutely must stay off the damn symptom sites!
Unless you are losing sleep or work over this, for one week, eat a high fiber, low fat diet, cut out sugar and booze (if you partake) eat NO junk food, eat yougurt or drink some acidophilis milk or buy some probiotic stuff at your health food store, drink lots of water, exercise and get plenty of rest. If you don't begin to see a return to whatever your normal bowel movements were, then it's time to have "the talk" with your doctor.
And since you're going to be at your doctors anyway, you might ask him to recommend a good therapist to help you deal with your anxiety and hypochondria. Why continue to suffer with disorders that can be fairly easily fixed?
Please let us know how things turn out,OK?
If your stool is very light to clay colored then you need to see your doctor. It can indicate a lack of bile. A change for a few days is nothing to be concenred with as there are many factors that play into the change of color. If it remains very light or clay colored, then see your doctor. Take care...
Thanks for writing back. Your support is very much appreciated. I have been experiencing these bowel movements for about 3-4 months. I am not currently on any medication or have been on any medication within in the last 6 months. I used to workout regularly before my anxiety hit an all time high. Now I work about about once a week and find that I eat a lot of "junk" food to fill the void that this anxiety is causing. Other than the anxiety that I have been feeling, I do consider my self healthy. I am 5'7'', 135 lbs, so I dont think my weight is an issue.
In regards to my churning stomach, I usually always feel it after I eat. I feel like my body is rushing to digest the food that I just ate. I am going to try to make an appointment with my doctor in the next week or two to see what he thinks. I will keep you posted.
Try chewing more slowly. Anxiety sufferers tend to wolf their food, and that causes incomplete digestion. Digestive enzymes might also help. Chamomile, either in extract form or as a tea, is a mild relaxant that also has an affinity for relaxing the stomach. I've always felt my anxiety in my stomach most as for physiological symptoms, with frequent loose stools. I use digestive enzymes and aloe juice for poor digestion to try and keep it regular. Good luck.
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