Can thoughts cause IBS flare-ups?

Anxiety is the name of the game for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Anxiety is the name of the game for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

by Dr. Jennifer Burns — 

The above question can be answered with a big “Yes!” Anxiety is the name of the game for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). People with IBS experience anxiety when leaving the house, going out to public functions or just going shopping. They first must locate the bathroom any place they go, due to the constant worry about having an IBS flare-up.

How do you take the anxiety out of having irritable bowel syndrome flare-ups in public places?

  1. Leave the house prepared with the medications you may need.
  2. Do not be too hard on yourself if you have to use the bathroom and you miss a few minutes of a movie or other event.
  3. We often spend more time worrying about what other people are going to think about us rather than just doing what we need to do. If you have IBS, it is a part of your life. Stop wondering what other people are going to think. Most of the time, people are more supportive than we give them credit for.
  4. Monitoring food intake and getting enough exercise actually helps decrease anxiety, which in turn decreases the flare-ups.
  5. Looking for the positive helps control the flare-ups. This might sound crazy to a lot of people, but looking for good in the midst of a flare-up is better than looking at the negative, as it helps with the stress.
  6. Be honest with yourself. It is OK to have a bad day; we all have them. Give yourself a break.

 

Dr. Jennifer Burns is a naturopathic medical doctor, life coach and founder of The Bienetre Center in Phoenix. Her practice ranges from family care to antiaging and specializes in IBS. She is a member of the Arbinger Professional Network. www.thebienetrecenter.com or 623-223-1346.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 3, June/July 2013.

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