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Avatar universal

How many of people also suffer from Anxiety & Depression from IBS

I have been diagagnosed with IBS-D about 4yrs ago from one major incident. Since then i have developed anxiety and depression.  When i do not have a flare up, i am fine, but when i do have a flare up, and right now its a bad one i am extremely anxious and very depressed. A small flare up will last for about 2-3 days, this one is been going on 2 weeks, as i was on antibiotics for something else, and it messed me up pretty bad.
I am just wondering how many other people have these issues?
Please write and let me know.
26 Responses
Avatar universal
About a year ago I developed symptoms of IBS-C but was never diagnosed.  My dr. says it was brought on from stress and anxiety.  Then I fell into a depression. within the last month I started having IBS symptoms again but mine included rectal spasms.  I noticed my symptoms were brought on by stress.  

If your having rectal spasms what helped me is anucort-hc 25mg rectal suppository.  Using a probiotic helps put the good bacteria back in to you intestine caused me to have less abdominal pain.  
Avatar universal
Oh yes. I already have anxiety and depression issues and gastrointestinal problems just exacerbate the both of them.

I have never been diagnosed with IBS, but I do suspect I have IBS-C or something similar. I have had constipation problems for a very long time, but the past couple months have been an absolute nightmare and I cannot figure out what is causing it. I am only able to go a little or not at all, I am bloated to the point I look pregnant, and have a lot of gas. I can't stand it much longer. My diet has not changed. The only thing that has changed is my sleep schedule. I am getting up earlier and going to work (I was previously working at home). Ever since I went back into work, my stomach has been a mess (and the stress of my job is not helping by any means). My menstrual cycle has gotten knocked off too. I was getting it faithfully once a month until I went back to work. It did finally come on in May and my stomach problems seemed to ease up, but not even a week later, it was right back to the same problem. I have been crying almost every night because I cannot stand how awful I feel. Many nights, I think about how much I'd rather be dead then to have to deal with this problem anymore. I know people who think that is a ridiculous way to feel, but I guess many people do not realize just how debilitating gastro problems can be.

I started Accuflora probiotics last Wednesday and so far, I have not seen any noticable improvement. I am going to bump up to 2 and see how it goes from there.
Avatar universal
WOW yes i totally understand how you feel, although mine is diarrhea, i cry most days and nights because this is the third time i have gone through this. Each time it has lasted around a month+, and then my tummy takes months to get back to normal. It is a nightmare. and i also feel the same way, people dont understand why it would feel better to not live then to live a life like this.  My menstrual cycle always gets thrown off, and i feel so imbalanced, like i am in pms the whole month.  Lately, i have been waking up shaking and head shaking, and mouth is completely dry .. as if i am dehydrated. I drink more than half my weight in water daily, and i sip on Smart Water for the electrolytes ... i just dont get it.  Been through all the test, nothing comes up which is great, but i would really like to know WHAT it is.  And why it makes the anxiety and depression sooo bad. I know that they say our gut is our second brain, but it is so difficult to have people understand.  I do know that what gets me better is powder form of probiotics, and eating a very bland diet and suffering thru it.  My nausea is really bad too, and i suffer from migraines, so i use Torodal/Phenergan shot when my migraines meds dont work, and i noticed that when i use the phenergan, it makes the nausea go away and makes me feel normal again ... Last only about two days, but it helps.  
I hope the probiotics work for, and i am sorry of what you are going thru, believe me i know .. and i understand.
Avatar universal
This trouble with my stomach started right after Easter Sunday. I was expecting my period to come that week and it never came. And yet I had symptoms that are only typical of that time of the month. All the way up until May when it finally came on. And like I said, my stomach problems eased up right when it came. I was starting to wonder if it was hormonal.

I have been very emotional the past few days because I just simply cannot take it. And the worst part is, I have obsessive compulsive disorder as well and trying to get my mind off of this is almost impossible. And probably stressing over it is only making it worse. I am so bloated I am having trouble breathing right now. My weight has went up. I was 136 on my scale last weekend, this past weekend it was 137 and today it was around 140. My eating habits haven't increased. I don't know if the weight is just constipation weight or not, but that is not helping the depression by any means. When I am out at stores, I scan through all of the digestive stuff, but there are so many different things, I end up just walking away aggravted and not purchasing anything. When I do try things, I try to tell myself to be patient and wait a little while for it to work, but being uncomfortable, all I want is quick relief. I have only been on the probiotics one week, but I am already losing my patience with them. Cheerios and tea used to help in the morning, but now all it does is blow me up worse. I have no insurance right now and my employer is being really complicated about giving it to me, so I can't just go to the doctor whenever I feel like it. I am very tempted to shell out the $80 to go see my family doctor, but I have a feeling it will not get me anywhere. All I want is some kind of relief.
Avatar universal
Yes i agree it could be hormonal. I have thought the same thing. Last month when i was on antibiotic that originally gave me my flare up, i noticed i did not ovulate. Then my period actually came three days earlier. Felt ok for about a day, and then back to the nightmare.  Just wish there were more answers out there. I have been seeing so many post every where about Diarrhea or constipation, nausea, early morning wake ups, shaking, crying, its all too much. The IBS grab bag is not a good enough answer for me. Because like you i feel like i am losing my mind ... but when my stomach is ok, i am totally fine. I still have anxiety and some depression, but do not have the same feeling as this. Like i said in my earlier post, when i took the phenergan, it was like i was back to ME for about two days. I am going to bring it up to my PCP when i see him on thursday.  Although i am not comfortable with relying on that to fix it, cuz i know its just a band-aid.  Maybe it can help my until i get my stomach back under control.  Who knows. I wish there was more i could tell u to help, just dont know that much myself.  When this first happened to me in 2006, i went to a nutritionist,and thats when i got on the probiotics,and a supplement called Tannalbit, gave up all dairy and gluten, and it took about 2 weeks until i saw/felt a difference. But then right now, i am doing the same thing and its been about a week since being off antibiotics, so its taking longer.  I am just very sad, depressed, anxious and sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!! As for going to see your doctor, if you can afford it, i would, but i would also think about seeing a nutritionist.  Sometimes, they can really help.
Avatar universal
Problems began properly about 3-4 months ago with a bout of constipation. Had previously
suffered with anxiety, panic and depression over a year ago. Had 4 months respite following
CBT and then WHAM back it came with Reflux, IBS and menopausal symptoms too. I have also just been diagnosed with food intolerances Wheat and dairy + maybe. Since stopping the wheat I have lost a lot of my bloat (and 10lbs in weight) but need to put the weight back on as I was underweight to start with. I am still trying to work out what makes my stomach burn and gives me terrible insomnia. It is a slow process working out which foods trigger one of my many symptoms, and I frequently make mistakes. Most nights I can sleep in 1-2 hour blocks only. This is extremely frustrating, makes me more anxious and tired in the daytime. For the anxiety, I am learning how to meditate which relaxes me more and I do EFT. I am also enquiring about Yoga as I have heard that this is very helpful. I believe that gut health is
the key to everything. Just got some digestive enzymes and probiotics to try. Hope we all find
the key to the lock and soon.
Avatar universal
YES, gastro upsets trigger depression and anxiety, and I think that just makes the problem all the worse.

I have IBS-C and non-ucler functional dyspepsia.  I rarely have issues with my IBS-C thanks to Muralax.  About 5 years ago, my gastro doc told me to take a class once a day, and since then, I rarely have an IBS-C episode.  When I do, it's short lived.

Now I struggle with functional dyspepsia.  I've had an endoscopy and all looks fine, so my doc can not figure out why or how to treat me.  I've just started on Lexapro, because I do suffer from anxiety, and there may be a connection between that and FD.

YES, on the days when I'm having no problems, life is good.  However, with my FD, I can go days with pain and discomfort, and yes, it causes me to become depressed.  

You are not alone :(
Avatar universal
Ive had IBS C for years and it seemed to ease off over the years. Just a month ago I seemed to get a stomach bug causing some kind of gastroenteritis. Dr believes this could be a flare of the IBS. It seems to be IBS D.  Because I also have ME/CFS I have many symptoms and all conditions role into each other. I am getting up in the morning and fell the anxiety sweeping in and palpatations. With this, my stomach lurches and off I run!!

Im sure many folk understand this. The IBS C didnt really bother me too much with depression and anxiety, but THIS...is the total pits. I seem to have allowed it to overwhelm me in emotion and fear, but wonder if IBS could be a sensitivity in the nervous system, firing off all these hideous emotions. Its not too bad when things are under control, but it can be bad.

Avatar universal
I never had problems with depression concerning my IBS-C either.  The symptoms are  infrequent for me.  

I do experience bouts of depression when my functional dyspepsia flaies up, which is monthly.  My gastro doc seems to think it is related to IBS.  

Avatar universal
it seems very interesting that, when we are having a flare with ibs, and mostly ibs-d, that it does make the anxiety and depression soooo much worse. I know that it affects the serotonin in the gut, too much serotonin causes fast digestion or no digestion.  How to fix it .. well thats a whole nother Oprah ... it is driving me crazy though.  Not a nice thing to deal with daily. Sometimes i feel like if i didn't have so many physical symptoms of feeling so sick that i could deal better with the anxiety and depression.  I do take klonopin for my anxiety normally. But i do not take anything for the depression, because i seem to only have that when i have a flare up.  I made an app with the PDoc to see if there is anything that can help. As i have migraines too, and take migraine meds, i am limited if any to take an ssri.  So i am kind of stuck.  And i agree to some it may seem so ridiculus to feel so down and out just because of a stomach issue. But many who have not dealt with it, dont know that it feels like the worst life ever!!!!
Avatar universal
It is a very mind consuming thing. I try not to think about it because thinking about it probably makes it worse, but it is so hard not to! All day in work, my pants cut into my and my stomach sounds like a coffee pot brewing. I eat lunch and blow up even worse. And the more I blow up, the worse my heartburn gets. And antiacids don't seem to want to take this heartburn away. At times, I actually develop the pregnant waddle because I can barely walk properly from the bloating. My back is hurting from how I have to walk. Today in work, I was sick to my stomach from it all. I have had this occasional problem I get occasionally for the past few days (I wrote a new post about it) and it is giving me even worse gas and I can't figure out if it is just from temporarily increasing the probiotics.
Avatar universal
Its interesting how the D seems to trigger depression when the C doesnt so much.

Ive only been suffering the D for about 6 weeks after horrific stress and a stomach bug. Obviously Im under my GP who hs taken bloods and so on. Stool sample was negative and blood results will be given Monday.

I was worried that because of my age (mid 50s) that I may have cancer, but he assured me that it didnt come on this way.

I have been so tearful, and have found that it has affected the CFS/ME symptoms, and almost unhinged me mentally, with wierd thought and si on.

I gad a couple of better days this week with only once in the bathroon that day, no nausea and no gripes. Today its worse, so it fluctuates and Im trying to keep it together.

My view is that on Monday if my GP tells me he feels this is a flare (possibly PI IBS) and stress, I will try and override the misery of it,

Hard I know but I look forward to the easment. Gastroenteritis + ME + IBS + Stress = a ghastly mess !!

Its good to be able to take comfort from others who battle too.
Avatar universal
I agree that it is interesting. I am surprised that more peoplke with constipation are not miserable. Or they just have not answered; I don't know. I have severe constipation problems and it is an absolute nightmare for me. I have been crying almost every day for the past couple weeks because I am so miserable from not being able to go. Its making me feel toxic! I just broke down and took 3 laxatives last night and I have barely had any action. I only use laxatives as an absolute last resort. I really don't know where else to go from here. I am still waiting to see any positive reaction from the probiotics. I hate having to wait to see if something works or not. If this doesn't work, I have no idea what I am going to do. Maybe try aloe vera again. I don't know. My whole digestive system ***** and it seems to be a trait in all of the women on my mother's side of the family. My mom, my sister, my grandmom, my aunt, and I all have issues. All of us have GERD. My mom and my sister both have been diagnosed with IBS. My mom has Barretts. And all I want to do is go to a gastro doctor for it and my employer is giving me a difficult time about medical.

Sorry for ranting. I, too, am comforted by the fact that others feel the same way.
Avatar universal
No need to apologize, it helps to get it out to people who understand, i can talk till i am blue in the face to people, but like i said unless they have been through it, it just sounds like an uncomfortable situation to them.  What probiotics are you taking?, i do know that i started one recently called VSL#3, and while for me it worked very well, i think the reason it did is because it caused me a little constipation.  So maybe you can double check the one you are is not adding to your problems, instead of helping.

That is terrible that your employer is doing you like that. Oh have u tried papaya enzymes? I know that when i get constipated and have a ton of gas, i take a couple of those, and gas comes out within 10-15 mins and the next day i have a BM. U might need more than a couple, but this might help.

From the research i have done over the past four years, i have found more people with ibs-d have more signs of anxiety and depression, but now i see that is does happen with C as well.  From what i have read, people with C have lower serotonin, and it can cause the constipation, the drug zelnorm inhances this and that is why it creates the gut to move faster. Then they have another one for D, and it is suppose to block the serotonin, but has been taken off the market because it constipated people tooo much. I would just like to find a happy medium ... as i am sure all of you would as well.
I have been eating a bland diet for three weeks now, and i am sooo sick of the food.  I am down to force feeding, because i dont want to smell, or even look at food right now.  The only time my stomach calms down is at night where i am done eating, and it has a chance to rest.  But then the morning comes, and i am shaking, and have to rush to the bathroom, it takes about 1 hour before i feel a little better .. and then i have to eat again, and so on .....just tired of it.
1325865 tn?1275125008
My depression/anxiety triggers the IBS, not vice versa.  My GI system just now returned to "normal" after 7 months of diarrhea, wt. loss and pain, AFTER the depression began lifting.  I feel so much better, physically and emotionally!
Avatar universal
I am taking Accuflora. It has about 5 different probiotics in it. I still have not seen a really noticable improvement with them, but for the past few days I have thought, something is different. And then I realized that the heartburn I get that is typical with gas and bloating (and in a different spot than the heartburn I get from eating food) has been almost nonexistant. My stomach is still a bit uncomfortable and bloated today, but I don't feel as bad as I have been. Maybe it is finally starting to kick in. I really hope it does, although I would really like for the probiotic to start regulating my digestive system. The only complaint I have is I have a mouth full of canker sores that started after I increased my dosage. I don't know if the Accuflora is the cause of them (the whole Herx thing) or something else.

I have heard of VSL#3. A lot of postings I came across reading about probiotics, VSL was mentioned. A lot of people seemed to have good results with them. The bad thing with reviews, though, is not many people mention whether the pills helped with diarrhea or constipation.

Yeah, I am getting very angry with my employer. I am well past the point of being able to qualify for benefits and its hard to have to remind my manager because she is stressed and gets very nasty when you ask her to do something. I don't even know if I am going to have a job in 2 weeks. If not, then more unneeded stress to add to my intestinal problems.

I never heard of papaya enzymes but they sound like something I could try.

That is interesting about serotonin and the digestive system. I have heard about links between the two, but never researched it. The only research I have done on serotonin was its link to depression when I did a research paper on it in college a couple years after being diagnosed with it. If neurotransmitters are definitelty the cause of these problems, its amazing the chaos those chemicals can cause when they go out of whack.
Avatar universal
Im so sorry you are having such a hard time with this. Ten years ago I doubled up in pain and my gut went into total spasm. Even my GP didnt seem to know what it was. She sent me to see someone else, who diagnosed IBS. Over the years my poor bowels would almost shut down. I felt pregnant, toxic wasn't the word. I felt as though someone had blown mu up with a bicycle pump with loads of impurities. My face felt bloated, arms and so on. Also, I had put on a couple of pounds in weight.

I was given Mebeverin tablets. Really they relaxed the smooth muscle, and that helped with period pains too. Seemed as tho there were no side effects. The constipation was nasty as it would be every 7-9 days. No one feels well like that, but I tried to keep off the laxatives.

I guess I was lucky I didnt get depressed with the C, but it hit me very badly when it swang the other way.

I take probiotic tablets and live yoghert. Its good to coat the gut at bed time. A specialist told me that after the last drink, just before bed, a mouthful of live yogert should be slooshed arund the mouth and them swallowed. Nothing else by mouth. That then allows the gut to be coated by thee good bacteria as we sleep.

Heres a link of how to make your own live yogert.


Best Wishes.
Avatar universal
What a hard thing to go through, for all!  It is really sad to me that even the GI's dont know what to do. and of course we have to be our own advocates, but it is very frightening when you dont actually know WHAT you have or what is off balance.
So if we all knew, it would be much easier to address ... throw us a bone doc's!!
But i suppose for them as well.

For me, i am only depressed when i have diarrhea, its like a wave comes over me and i cannot switch it off. Once my stomach heals or somewhat, then i feel myself again. But thats not to say that when i get constipated i feel great, i understand the toxic feeling,and its not a good one.  I have tried to constipate myself on many occasions, does not help.  The key is the balance. and as far as VSL#3 is concerned it does constipate, or at least it did me, but from what i have read, it is suppose to balance out eventually.

I am not sure if i mentioned that i am reading up on a Dr.Pimental from Cedars-Sinai, his book is called A New IBS Solution, it is pretty interesting. He does explain alot of the reasons why ones goes through what they do, both C and D. and he is the one that recommends the breath test, to see if the underlying cause is Small intestine Bacteria Overgrowth.  I will be getting the breath test from my GI in about 2-3 months, to see.  I will def post and let the board know ....

For now, its like there is no other choice but to live like i do ... force feeding, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety and depression ... I always opt for the more natural approach vs meds .. so i may be asking for it, but i dont want a band aid .. i want a cure or anything close to it! A way of normalcy, a way to function, and def to know how NOT to get back in these situations ... wishful thinking, and a whole lotta prayers:-)
Avatar universal
cazsb- that is a good way to describe how I feel (the bicycle pump). I am disappointed because I thought the probiotic was helping with the bloating but I am still pretty uncomfortable.I probably won't bother with it after I take the last pill. What a disappointment. I have a couple pounds of extra weight (which I am assuming is just waste weight because it goes away if I go to the bathroom), which doesn't sound like a big deal, but to me it is. I have a very poor body image, so that couple of pounds of waste weight is extremely upsetting.

Is Mebeverine only sold in the UK?

tiansoph- I have never personally been to a GI doctor, but I have known several people who have been to one for IBS and their doctors were less than sympathetic. In fact, they were right down rude to the point of almost trying to make the patient think it is all in their head. And we all know it isn't!

The toxic feeling is awful. I mean, if you think about all that is in waste and it is just sitting in my intestines.....ugh. I live in fear everyday of my bowels becoming obstructed. And now knowing that chronic constipation can sometimes lead to colon cancer- its scary. It's morbid, but I have always had this strange feeling that one day I will have cancer and it will be somewhere in the digestive system. I have had GERD and constipation a long time, my mother has Barretts, my parents both have intestinal polyps (although my mom's are not the ones that can lead to cancer), and both of my maternal great grandfathers had stomach cancer.

I don't remember you mentioning the book, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to look for it. I have wondered about SIBO. It may sound strange, but I just cannot wait to go to a GI doctor. They can't do much for IBS, but at least I can be checked out to make sure it is IBS and not something else.

The natural approach is what I have been trying to turn to, mostly because I cannot see a doctor yet. I just want something that is fairly safe and can be taken every day without causing dependency. I thought I'd take a break from Metamucil and try Miralax again and it did actually help me some today and just that little bit improved my mood greatly. The only problem is I have to take it 2x a day to see any type of result and at $18 a bottle, its too much to put out a month.

I hear you on not wanting a band aid. I have had depression, anxiety, ocd, and a host of other things for many years and all I want is a cure for them as well! And meds don't help me. They either do nothing or they make everything worse (and this is staying on them 6+ months). And now this with my stomach!
Avatar universal
Hi there again,
Im glad you mentioned waht I said about being blown u by a bicycle pump, bucause I have never heard anyone mention this bloating feeling. I'm glad I am not the only one who feels this way. I have noticed that before this happens I often put on about 2Kg and how ever I cut back I can not shift this excess weight.

I really have just lived with this horrific feeling of toxicity which eases in the end, but can last for weeks. All that disgusting stuff floating round anyone's body is enough to make someone feel continually unwell.

I do not think the drs know whats going on with us. There seems to be information about infections..overgrowth and so on. Over the last few days I have just gotten over 6 weeks of IBS D/Gastroenteritis /Stress. On top of that I have CFIDS (ME here in the UK). My GP has not been able to get to the bottom of this and mentioned that Stress and gastric upset and really upset the IBS. I found yesterday that all my bloods we ok, but one has to be retaken in a couple of weeks time as the kidney function is borderline, due to the weeks of D. My appetite is starting to pick up now, and the IBS is swinging all over the show. Enough to be depressed about, but when the D semed to ease, the wierd depression seemed to lift for now.

Mebeverine is also known as Colofac, Duspatal and Duspatalin. Im not sure about the sale of the med outisde of UK. However I do know it can be sold over the counter as Colofac. Ive been on them for 9 or so years, and no ill effects. They relaxed the muscle of the gut. Funny thing was I could feel the sensations but not feel the pains!!!

Avatar universal
Hi again!

The bloating is awful. My sister, who has actually been diagnosed with IBS, has bloating all the time as well and we were talking one day about how bad it is and how it is pretty bad that we feel uncomfortable even in scrubs at work!

I think about all that nasty stuff in waste and it just sitting in my intestines all the time and it makes me physically ill.

I was on Metamucil since last April and I stopped taken it last week to see if maybe I would have a little more success with the Miralax and it worked for a few days and now I am right back where I started. Many people told me the Mucil is what was causing my constipation. But the whole reason I started to take the Mucil was because I could not go at all! When I started to take it, it helped some. And then it wouldn't. And then it would again. I miss taking it. My stomach does not feel the same as it did when I was taking it. I tried to do research on what could be causing it not to work and all I find is you have to consume enough water or it doesn't work. And I drink 64 ounces, sometimes more, of water alone a day. I take 2 tsp of Mucil a day. Maybe it is not enough; I don't know. I really want to go back to taking it and hey, since I am still constipated, was the Mucil really the blame?

Hm I can't find any information about what Mebeverine could be in the US. I don't even know what kind of presciption drugs they offer for IBS anymore. Zelnorm was yanked off the shelves, which is a shame because it sounded like many people had success with it. I think Amitza might still be prescribed, but I am not sure.
Avatar universal
Hi there again,
Ive not been around for a week for two as I have been laid low with CFS/ME.  Things still churning at times, but have had some relief generally as things settled for a while.

I had some bloods done a coouple of weeks ago and it seems as tho the chronic D has disturbed the kidney function and I have to have it redone this week. I think I got so de-hydrated that it mucked the kidneys up.

The dr has put the whole thing down to a bug, stress and so on. It seems as though everything seems to set off everything.

How are you? Hope things are manageable at this time. Im still taking the live yogert an will be starting to make my own (see how it turns out anyway) soon.
Best Wishes,
Avatar universal

Sorry to hear you haven't been well.

I went back to taking the Metamucil, but just once a day, along with the Accuflora, and I also started a pill that is a combo of psyllium husk and apple pectin. I don't know if it was just a freak thing, but the day after I took that pill, I was able to go some. And the next few days as well. Still nothing to sing joy over, but my abdomen felt and looked a lot less bloated. Unfortunately, yesterday I ate a little too much and am paying the price, although I don't think I still feel as bad as I have.

Isn't that weird how everything sets off everything? My problem always seems to be everything feeds into each other. I get stressed, my digestive system acts up, that stresses me out even more, which only makes my digestive system act up even more. If my anxiety levels get high, my depression gets worse and vice versa.

Things are a little better, at least with my digestive system. I hope things start turning around for you and thank you for your concern. :)

Avatar universal
Hi Nikki,
Hows it going? I'm sorry Ive not answered before, but have had decoraters in, and the computer was dismantled. It threw a total tantrum when it was all put together and switched on.

Its a couple of months now since I had that humungous flare. I have never had anything like that before, but I guess I have never had gastroenteritis. The acute phase seemed to go on and on, and it must have been 6 weeks to 7. It did affect my kidneys but had to retake the kidney function tests and thankfully that is ok at the moment.

Im just eating little and often, but I now and again have a big meal which makes me feel ill.

Ive noticed tho since I had that nasty bout of D, now and again it flares. I do get the panics but its such a vicious circle trying to keep everything at bay.

Hope you are faring well.

BW Carole
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