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Readers Respond: How Do You Deal with Panic Attacks with IBS Symptoms?

Responses: 20


Updated October 22, 2012

From the article: IBS and Panic Disorder
Some people find themselves dealing with the symptoms of IBS and panic disorder and attacks at the same time. The silver lining to this dark cloud is that strategies for dealing with the symptoms of one disorder are generally helpful in managing the symptoms of the other disorder. What helps you get through a panic attack with IBS symptoms? Share your tips and find out what others due to get through these uncomfortable anxiety episodes. One caveat, please don't discuss your medications, just your self-help tips! Share Your Tips!

ibs and panic attacks

Since I was a child, I have experienced panic attacks with ibs. Luckily, they occur during a calm time when under stress (usually at home). I have been on Zoloft for numerous years and this has significantly curbed these attacks. I find if I just breathe through the attacks while in the bathroom, and remember they will be over soon, the attacks are manageable. For whatever reason, this is my body's way of dealing with stress.
—Guest sammy

IBS & Imipramine

It's only now at the age of 55 that I was diagnosed with IBS. Years ago I used to suffer from anxiety for which I was given Imipramine and a benzodiazepines. I had underlying gut issues. Today I realize that my gut problems had completely disappeared during these years. Every time I tried to get off these medications, gut problems started again. Took me a long time to realize that. This year I was twice in ER, had a colonoscopy, scanners ,etc. Conclusion is IBS. I ma now considering staying on Imipramine, a very low cost medication.
—Guest John

Try and pull through

I was diagnosed with anxiety a year ago after I overdosed. then I started getting a hold on it. then end of last year got diagnosed with ibs and now when I panic it goes straight to my stomach. I end up with diarrhea/panic attacks. if I can overcome my stomach, I can beat anxiety. but it seems impossible and I forced to work full time. luckily I only have stomach issues when I'm home, apart from one time in work when I needed to go then panicked then ended up trapped on a bus trying to get home, nightmare! but so glad I'm not the only one with it, so much harder when you are alone. A lot though is what you eat. if I eat something my body can't handle then hear stomach noises then end up bad. good advice guys! still learning to get handle on it but what keeps me going is knowing for a FACT the next day after a bad episode I will be fine, that's what pulls me through bad times :)
—Guest Robbie93


i have ibs. i try make sure i go the toilet before i leave the house. i don't like going the toilet in work so if bowel acts up i would rather take an immodium than go. does anyone feel same ???????
—Guest ibs help!!!!!!

panic IBS

upper g i and abdominal gas and distress makes me panic and i am not sure if it is IBS or more serious problem.
—Guest jean anderson

ibs and panick disorder

I have IBS since I was 8 years old. I would have terrible diarrhea attacks where the pain was so unbearable that I fainted. As we might all know IBS its not constant, it might go away and come back. I have mixed symptoms, i go from diarrhea to constipation. For me it's on the mornings, before going to work. I also have anxiety and panic attacks since i turned 18. The fear of having a bowel movement on the bus would me enough for me to start sweating an feeling numb. I have my own security blankets and they are the way i have found to deal with all this. Panic attacks= plastic bag. Carry a plastic bag with you, breath into it if you start hyperventilating. IBS= deep breathing and self-comfort. Talk to your self, you just need to be rational about it. If you are driving you just need to get down at a gas station and you have a toilet. Rationalizing your fears is actually very helpful for both situations. I hope my advice helps. Also, talk about it, get it out of your system.
—Guest prl

What about all the gas?

Does anybody have gas all the time? Grocery shopping, dressing rooms and sexy times? Is there anybody out there?
—Guest Laura

Im 90% better than in the past..

I know what you are suffering. I used to have serious problems with IBS & Anxiety Disorder a couple of years ago. When I was 18 I used to received plenty of pressure from my family to achieve good notes. I assumed all that pressure made myself be so strict concerning everything I do in a daily basis. That was the point when I started having problems with IBS. Three years ago I had the chance to study my Master Degree in Manchester and having a lot of pressure to get good notes and comply with my scholarship requirements made me fall into Anxiety Disorder. I used to suffer the effects of having both syndromes however, I received help from a psychiatrist and get 1 year treatment for antidepressants. It really helped me a lot. These guys (psychiatrists) know how to take you out of the hole. I really suggest you to go with specialized people on the matter such as psychiatrists and psychologist. I still have 10% of the issues I had before and research suggests that I try CBT - that's my next step.
—Guest OG


I recently feel like I'm getting ISB!! and i need help coping with it!!! i noticed when i think about it more i have to go to the toilet which sucks! I'm even scared to go out because I'm constantly thinking when will i need the toilet?? but relaxing has helped me a lot!
—Guest _Hope

My Advice and Experience

Hi, I'm 24 years old and I've lived with IBS since I was 15 or probably longer but didn't have bad symptoms until that time. I've also experienced panic attacks since I was 13. I feel that this was a direct result of being attacked and bitten by a dog when I was 11 years old. I dealt with IBS all through high school and though it was difficult I managed ok. The biggest setback was when I was 22 years old I suffered a major panic attack that made me go to the ER thinking I was actually dying. I saw many doctors that all misdiagnosed my symptoms and tried putting me on medication. Eventually I sought help by purchasing the Midwest Center Anxiety Program which has helped me tremendously. I would recommend it to anyone. I'm now completely off of all medication and I'm not turning back!Overall, I still experience anxiety but have done more to reduce it and I now know how to deal with it and realize that it is harmless and will eventually past. Don't let anxiety or IBS take over your life!!!
—Guest Ron

Panic attack nightmare

I have been experiencing panic attacks for about 10 years now. I have been to countless doctors hoping to find a solution. I had turned to alcohol for relief but that only worked while under the influence and made matters worse the next day with the hangover. I had been prescribed valium during alcohol withdrawals and that helped keep me calm. But when the valiums ran out I was constantly worrying about having a panic attack. I developed a bit of an obsessive compulsive disorder where there were certain personal items that I had to have at hand or I would freak. I began doing things methodically, especially with cleaning the house. I still have a problem with leaving the house and going for walks because the house is my comfort zone and if Im half way around the block and have a panic attack I feel as though I'm going to run out of breath and have a heart attack before I make it back to the house. I found slow deep breaths work and talking aloud to myself to relax, I'm ok, it will pass.
—Guest Kez.M


I am 23 years old and have an IBS since I was a very young child ( before I remember ) I overcame the IBS for the most part and get minor flares here and there. I however have never struggled with panic disorder until the last 2 months. They came out of nowhere and knocked me down. I have learned that when I get one to go for a walk or exercise lightly... The doctors wanted me on medications that would alter my goofy personality and or cause worse symptoms then what I began with so I struggle through them daily. I read an article about breathing and confronting them. The VA hospital is helping me through them as they may have been brought on by my service time. If anyone has further advice please let me know. I have them severe they are so frightening.
—Guest Desiree

Don't Panic!

I've been suffering with IBS for years. I used to panic when I felt those first cramps and twinges...like I am now. I used to start pacing and hyperventilating; scrunching my body into an accordian to stop the cramps. Now I BREATHE! When I feel it coming, I rest as well as I can with two young kids. They are not allowed to climb on me when I feel like this, which helps because my stomach becomes so tender. Mainly, keeping myself calm, breathing in through my bellybutton, out thru' my nose, and techniques I've learned thru' stress management. Interestingly, if I'm on an antidepressant (as I usually am), I have less issues with IBS. So, it goes without saying that if I'm taking mental care of myself, it's easier to feel in control of myself when the pain hits...and it doesn't hit as often when I'm less stressed. I also don't panic when I know I have my antispasmodic medication handy...I panic when I'm out!!!
—Guest MissChris

ibs causes panic

i am convinced ibs causes panic attacks. i find it very difficult to deal with both and have not yet found a solution. i try to take deep breaths but sometimes i am too upset and can't seem to calm down. i find going out is the best help for me, but i do understand that not everybody can manage to go out.

ibs panic attack

I am just noticing that when I have a flare of IBS, a panic attack occurs at the same time. I take deep breaths and immediately go outdoors for some fresh air. I continue to take deep breaths to calm myself down.
—Guest deloris

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How Do You Deal with Panic Attacks with IBS Symptoms?

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  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  4. IBS Symptoms
  5. Overlapping Conditions
  6. Tips for Dealing with Panic Attacks and IBS Symptoms

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