View Full Version : IBS
05-18-2007, 04:14 PM
Hello all, I'm completely brand new to this forum, but not to agoraphobia. I'm a 20 year old student from Washington state, who has suffered her entire life with anxiety problems, and irritable bowel syndrome (the diarrhea kind, not constipation, ha I wish!). I had small boughts of being down and fearing certian activities, but in the past I always seemed to pull through them and live my life.
Until about 10 months ago...
They symptoms started as usual, and I generally delt with them well, but something happened this time and I could not control myself. I pulled an "office space" on my job (aka just stopped going, no call or anything). I was going to college durring the evening, and stopped showing up to my campus classes. I withdrew to a major degree, over a period of about four months (from july to November) and that is when I completely gave up all hope.
My dreams and hopes feel so far from me now. My comfort zone is about a block long, and it took 7 months to get to that! I used to confine myself to my room and the bathroom (that was the worst). I had never heard of a comfort person, but I have one, my boyfriend, who moved in with my mother and I in December.
I had a therapist through a majority of this time, who would call me and talk to me. I started being able to show up to her office which is 5 or so miles away from my house, but really that's the extent of my travels. I have better days, where I have been able to run to an appointment, or possibly visit a friend up the street, but right now it all seems so bleak.
I was wondering if anyone suffers from severe agoraphobia, where they quit their lives basically like I did. If so, and you've made improvments, what kind of steps did you take?
I'm deathly afraid of medications, for fear they will spike my IBS (which is where my phobia started in the first place, fear of going to the bathroom outside... yuck right?)
But I know that I'm not hopless, theres got to be something.
05-29-2007, 11:25 AM
I can relate to you. I just started getting help and my dr. put me on Lexapro. It is somewhat helping with the agoraphobia but it is helping me to have less IBS. It's a side effect. I welcome it. I also take Pepto before I go anywhere. This may sound funny, but I'll share it anyway, I also keep a portable camping potty chair in my van. It provides great comfort to me to know that I can just go in my van anytime. It really helps to get me out of the house more often. I also started seeing a bio-feedback specialist. It's $75.00 a session. I can't really afford it right now, so I just go when I get some extra cash.
Don't be afraid of medications. If someone that you loved was suffering from asthma, wouldn't you tell them to use an inhaler or someone was dying of cancer, wouldn't you tell them to get treatment right away??? Same with you. Take care of yourself. For a long time I refused to get on medications that would help me. Now, I'm so glad I did. Im starting to make progress to get back on the path of "living". Also, remember, the longer you let agoraphobia go untreated, the worst it can get. My agoraphobia started because of IBS. I was afraid to go anywhere because I might have a diarrhea attack. The agoraphobia started from this fear.
Hope this helps.
06-01-2007, 02:30 PM
Thank you for the information. I actually ended up seeing a psychiatrist yesterday who prescribed cymbalta to me, but I'm not sure if it's the right drug... Everyone was telling me Lexapro would be my best bet. The psychiatrist said Cymbalta would help decrease any symptoms like IBS and what not, but I was reading the withdrawl symptoms of Cymbalta and it just scared the crap out of me (haha literally).
Yes my IBS is what triggered my agoraphobia as well, so maybe I'll have to talk to the Doc about going on Lexapro instead.
06-30-2007, 03:14 PM
I feel for you. I don't have agoraphobia but lived with terrible IBS. Of course I don't know what is causing your IBS but learned so much about it that might be an added help.
Besides the basics. MILK, butter, ect (if you are lactose) The problem with that is it can hit even days after you eat dairy. Irritation can trigger prolonged IBS for days or weeks. And specific foods keep it irritated. I have IBS so bad if I eat specific foods I bleed. Gross sory.
I take vitamins to supplement nutrition from the foods I have to stay away from.
I can't eat most foods, but I will list what I do eat. When my stomach acts up I eat boiled chicken plain with baked potatoes. Whole grain waffles with syrup or jelly. Low fat peanut butter and jelly. Lots of breads. Pasta with Maranara. (Only blan sauces) I don't eat any veggies except corn and carrots. Brown rice, deli- ham and turkey low sodium unflavored. I don't eat any snacks other than dry popcorn. Bagels. You can see a trend here that is pretty boring. Absolutely no junk food or candy. After 2 weeks of eating like that my IBS is almost gone. If I eat a few french fries, I set my self back 2 weeks. Once you are irritated you have to allow it to heal. Your stress might start it and food my then finish it. If you eat super blan and fat free, low salt, spice free, no chips or cookies your stress might not be able to trigger it. It's no fun way to eat, but if it works, it's better than living by the toilet.
I recommend a nutritionist to help pick foods for you. If you are unsure if you are lactose with milk, you can easily buy the sugars "Product Lactose Ultra" (which has a sugar naturally produced in 60% of people at the drug store. If you are the 34% that gets IBS from milk these pills provide the sugars your body is not producing) I don't think I would call it medication since it is just a sugar that people are missing if they can't eat dairy. But before you take anything ask your doctor or pharm.
I understand you fear of meds. I am the same way. I could have a better way of life if I took more meds. I just worry that if I take too many my body will get used to them and then they won't work as well when I need them. For fears of meds... Learn what they do and how they work. Understanding them takes away the fear, and sometimes you might lean it just isn't for you at all. But learn about them. They can in some cases get you out of your problems.
Interesting someone said something about asthma. I have asthma. It took so long before I started using my meds for it. It got to the point where I had to take them if I wanted to breathe. I was so dumb for not using them all this time. They almost completely fixed me. Now I take my meds. I have my life back. But I learned about the meds before I felt comfortable taking them. Some I still won't take because of what other people have said about them. I also take meds for my IBS. No meds, I can't go out anywhere. With meds, my IBS hurts much much less.
If you are very worried about meds, that your doctor gave you, take smaller amounts to start. See how they effect you. If all goes well, take more. Meds can probably stop your IBS. But I would recommend changing diet first if you have not already done that. No cheating on foods. One bad food is all it takes for me to set me off for 2 weeks.
Dear. I hope this helps you. I know more than anyone how IBS can destroy a life. I just wish I knew what was causing it years ago. My life would be very different. But it changed, I know how to treat it and what triggers it. My life is changing now. It can for you too. Maybe if you don't have IBS to worry about your stress level will drop too.
07-04-2007, 10:39 PM
I can completely relate. I have IBS really bad and I can't use public restrooms. I also feel nauseous whenever I am in public and am afraid I might get sick. I end up having to go to the bathroom four or five times a day because of my ibs, and more and more have started to fear leaving the house. Now I am twenty and am going to school but am in so much pain from it that I don't know what I'm going to do. My family thinks I'm making all this up too, and that makes things even harder. I might go see a psychiatrist but like you am really afraid of what medication will do to me. I really hope you find a solution to your problem and get the chance move on from this horrible affliction.
11-24-2007, 01:28 PM
Thank you for all of your replies. Well I actually did decide to go onto medication, Cymbalta, and it has really helped me calm down. My IBS has gotten much better, and I with excercise and a daily dose of vitimins, I have been able to start encorporating less bland foods into my diet.
This summer I started going out again, and I feel with the slow and steady steps I took to get further and further away from my comfort zone, the healthier I became.
It's been 5 months now of feeling groovy and "back to normal", allthough my 8 months of practiced agoraphobia will have forever changed me, and reading these topics has also made me aware of the reoccurance level of it.
If anyone would like to chat, I'm here to help.
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