The majority of people who work with me suffer with IBS and diarrhoea (IBS-D). They have often been suffering with it for a long time, even a lifetime, and just cannot find what causes their IBS-D.
They finally decide that they’ve had enough of never knowing when “the worst” will happen. IBS-D is the most explosive of all IBS symptoms, and can literally ruin a person’s life.
What causes IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D)?
IBS research traditionally links diarrhoea to food and dysbiosis of the gut.
There is so much information on diet and how what you eat causes diarrhoea. While food intolerance can certainly contribute to IBSD, in my experience there are deeper unconscious triggers running the show.
In my experience, IBS-D is often linked to much deeper coping mechanisms, essentially something a person wants to escape. This can be something that they want to get away from in their present life (job pressure, responsibilities weighing on them, for example). Or diarrhea triggered by specific experiences growing up (read on for more details).
The trigger can set off the fight, fight or flee response. In my experience, diarrhoea tends to result from the flee response when it is directed inwards rather than outwards. (Physically running would be the external response. But when this is not possible, it can be directed inwards instead.)
My own journey with IBS-D
In my own IBS journey, I started out with IBS-D. Of all the IBS symptoms I have experienced it was the worst (along with food intolerance) simply because I couldn’t go anywhere without the feeling it might happen at any moment.
It was really hard to feel self-confident and deal with IBS-D.
Luckily for me when I moved out of the situation causing diarrhoea, it stopped. But it would come back very occasionally in situations I wanted to get out of or that felt overwhelming at some deeper level.
I really feel for anyone who experiences diarrhoea in their everyday lives.
Every day IBS with diarrhoea
I have worked with lovely people who suffer with diarrhoea on a regular basis, or every day even. They come to me either when they can’t stand it any more and have tried everything else, or when they become scared to eat.
They notice that when they don’t eat they have less diarrhoea.
But they are losing weight and getting scared.
The deeper triggers are what I focus on with clients and what turns IBS-D around for them.
Where to start with IBS-D
If you have been suffering with IBS-D for some time and have no idea why, ask yourself the following questions and see what you notice:
- Do you feel stuck in a situation in your life, or under pressure, and want to get away from it?
- Did you have any situations that gave you similar feelings growing up?
- What is making you feel overwhelmed and awful (apart from the diarrhoea itself)?
Often the answers don’t seem logical. For example, running for the train and going to a trade show didn’t seem logically overwhelming to me. But at some level it was to my nervous system and set off diarrhoea. So you may need some time to notice what is going on.
If you are serious about reversing your IBS-D, why not work with me and get my expert eyes on your IBS triggers.
If you suffer with alternating diarrhoea and constipation, this article may give you the insight you have been looking for.3