Does ibs cause panic attacks?

Have you ever had a panic attack while sitting on the toilet? If so, you may be wondering if there is a connection between Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and panic attacks. Well wonder no more my friend! We are here to investigate this question using science (and maybe some silly anecdotes).

What is IBS?

IBS is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. It can cause all sorts of symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea (oh joy!). While the exact causes of IBS are not entirely understood, it’s thought to be related to problems with muscle contractions in the colon or oversensitivity to stimuli.

What are Panic Attacks?

Panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear or anxiety accompanied by physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, and heart palpitations (fun times all around). They often come out of nowhere and can leave individuals feeling completely overwhelmed.

So…Do They Have Something in Common?

The short answer: Yes!

Several studies have shown a link between IBS and anxiety disorders such as panic disorder. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that those with co-occurring anxiety were three times more likely to develop severe bowel symptoms than those without (yikes!). Another study found that patients with both conditions reported an increase in severity of their IBS during periods when they also experienced high levels of stress.

But which comes first – chicken or egg situation? Does having IBS lead to increased risk for panic disorder or vice versa? The research suggests that it’s complicated(as expected) . Most likely it’s because these two conditions share similar risk factors like genetic predisposition as well as environmental stressors like emotional trauma.

Can You Treat Them Together

Fortunately for us sufferers (if you’re reading this then we’re comrades) , treatments for anxiety and IBS often overlap. For example, relaxation exercises like deep breathing and meditation are effective for both conditions. Also, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a proven method in treating panic and anxiety disorders as well as helping individuals manage the symptoms of IBS.

There’s also a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that have been shown to be effective in treating both conditions (genius).

Preventative measures

While we can’t control our genes or all environmental stressors, there are some ways to help prevent either condition from developing (surprise!). First up – exercise. Not only does physical activity reduce overall stress but it also helps regulate bowel movements (what more could you want?). Eating healthy: try cutting back on caffeine, alcohol or spicy foods which can exacerbate IBS symptoms . Stop smoking because regular smoker tends to experience higher rate of irritable bowel issues.

Finally…choose happiness! Mental health has a huge impact physical wellbeing so find time for hobbies that bring joy and practice self-care regularly (you deserve it).

The Verdict:

So the next time you’re stuck with your stomach feeling twisted while simultaneously experiencing intense heart palpitations just remember – these two may indeed share an annoyingly co-dependent relationship but they don’t have to get the best of you (mic drop).

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