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Is anxiety the cause of my erratic bowel movements?

Q: I am 22 year old boy. In 1998 I had surgery for piles. The piles problem has not recurred after that but my digestive system seems to be totally upset. I have been getting discharge of mucous, my bowel movements are totally uncertain. I have to go to toilet more than once. I have since been suffering from flatulence (gas). I had been through endoscopy and colonoscopy and a lot of blood tests to see anything wrong. The tests showed everything perfect (no disorders). I am totally confused, worried, disappointed over my health and I have almost lost hope for the remedy. I have tried homeopathic, ayurvedic treatments also. One thing I must admit is that I am worried about everything starting from my studies, career etc. I also feel a bit inferior to others over my personality. Can that (my thinking) be responsible for my health?

A:I understand that you had an operation for piles 5 years ago and since then have had erratic bowel actions with mucus. You also say that your colonoscopy was entirely normal. This means that you are probably suffering from the irritable bowel syndrome. In this condition there is no inflammation or infection - in fact - nothing is actually wrong pathologically. However people often have to rush to the toilet and pass motions that can be loose or hard or pellet-like with mucus. They feel bloated and pass a lot of wind - both from the mouth and also from the rectum. Anxiety can often make these symptoms worse and it appears that you have been very anxious and worried and have lost confidence in yourself. I think you need to be more positive about yourself and try and get on with life. Remember there are other people worse than you! You could ask your doctor for some tablets to control your diarrhoea. Wind is very difficult to treat as it is mainly wind that you have swallowed - and if you are anxious then you swallow more wind unconsciously.

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