Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Community
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1342745 tn?1276187960

How to handle stress-induced IBS?

I was diagnosed with IBS 10 years ago and I am accustomed to suffering more intense bouts of it from time to time.  It seems like I suffer the most when I am stressed out.  (For a few weeks before my wedding, I was on low dosage Valium to get me through.)  I haven't taken medication at other times because it usually settles down into something more manageable after a few weeks, but lately I've noticed a change.  I started a new job about two and a half months ago.  It's not a stressful job at all but every day while I'm at work, I have diarrhea about 3 times over the course of 4 or 5 hours, usually accompanied by stomach cramps and bloating.  I don't suffer symptoms at home or on the weekends, just right in the middle of my workday.  It seems odd to me because I find my job tolerable.  I thought maybe it could be caused by what I'm eating for breakfast, but I eat the same food on Saturdays and Sundays and have no problem with it.  I eat gluten-free cereal with almond milk every day.  I avoid trigger foods and beverages and generally try to eat low fat foods high in insoluble fiber, I exercise, I drink lots of water, and I sleep pretty well.  I have a supportive husband and my personal life is low-drama.  The only slightly stressful part of my day is usually my commute, but I'm typically only on a crowded train for about 15-20 mins at a time.  (And that's not something I have the ability to change, as I work in Manhattan.)  Usually there's an obvious cause when my IBS flairs up (stress, travel anxiety), but lately it has been completely unpredictable.  Be grateful for any advice if you have encountered something similar with IBS.
2 Responses
1386740 tn?1279635351
i go through the same thing when in stressful situations....but eating yogurt and taking probiotic pills seems to help...
489725 tn?1280052553
stress and ibs is there a connection most will say yes but then stress seems to be connected to almost everything except a warm smile i too would have ibs a long time now and like u in a way would have some days up and others down and be on the same diet etc ....and u start thinking what the i ate that the other day and i was fine and now i have diarreha/constipation etc whats up ...and this is where a simple form of stress comes in ibs the food factor we get into habits with foods and allthough we think we dont we do the biggest factor in ibs is anxiety be it small or chronic and at some point in our lives we will all look it in the mirror so for instance on the mornings u go to work do u rush your breakfast some gluten free foods are loaded with sugar and allsorts to bulk them up sugar feeds yeasts and so on
a good supplement to take is l glutamine it helps line the gut tract also maybe trying an anti diarrhea med for a while to see if it helps i too still feel nervous going places sometimes why i have no idea because when i get there all is good but having ibs is always unpredictable and therefore our guard seems to be always up
learning ways to reduce that guard should help in the long run
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