Can diarrhoea cause anxiety?

anxiety and diarrhoea

Many people who suffer with regular IBS-D wonder if diarrhoea can cause anxiety. The IBS sufferers I talk to tend to experience diarrhoea when they are anxious. So is there a link?

When can diarrhoea cause anxiety?

The biggest fear of anyone suffering with diarrhoea is for them to experience it outside the home – especially at work or in social settings. And understandably, that alone ramps up anxious feelings.

Worrying that you will have to suddenly rush off

For some people, the thought of going out anywhere where they may be “caught out” understandably raises stress levels and anxious feelings.

At work, there can be the worry of having to rush out of a meeting, or away from your desk- and feeling awkward and unprofessional.

And at any social event, or even out for a meal, the threat of having the next mouthful setting off an immediate flare can understandably make a person want to just stay at home.

Dealing with the noises and smells

Another part of diarrhoea that can make someone feel anxious is dealing with the noises and smells that go with it.

Going to another person’s house and having to use their bathroom.

Using the bathroom at work, conscious of the next person that will come in next.

Or the person who is waiting outside – or in the next cubicle.

Dealing with the aftermath if you did not reach the bathroom in time.

Although wearing dark clothes can cover up minor accidents, having to deal with major flares is awful.

What if anxiety is causing the diarrhoea?

anxiety and diarrhoea

In my coaching practice (and personal experience) there is often a link with diarrhoea and feeling anxious.

Often feeling anxious started in childhood. At home. At school. For some, this underlying anxious feeling feels as if it has somehow always been there.

And the anxious situations someone can be trying to avoid, like the examples above, can become triggers for diarrhoea and IBS flares. Which can create a spiral of:

Is there a way out of long-term diarrhoea?

Happily there is a way out of long-term diarrhoea. If you are willing to examine the root causes, and the patterns keeping it in place.

I have sucessfully coached wonderful people who used to suffer with seemingly regular random diarrhoea.

They don’t have to deal with diarrhoea any more. And feel so much more confident and in control.

Imagine what that could look like for you…

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