Do you suffer from sudden chills when you have an IBS attack?
If it seems that you feel shivery cold when a flare of irritable bowel syndrome occurs, you’re not imagining this.
The chills may come immediately after sitting on the toilet as you also feel the cramping and then the diarrhea coming out.
Feeling cold may also occur as you’re straining with constipation.
There may also be goose pumps.
Even if your house is warm, this odd feeling of chills may still occur – and is clearly associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
Can IBS directly cause chills?
“Chills associated with IBS episodes is commonly related to stress and anxiety,” says Lawrence Hoberman, MD, a board certified gastroenterologist and creator of EndoMune probiotic products.
“The body senses the need to prepare for flight or fight.
“This can lead to a change to the blood supply to our extremities and heart and lungs.
“The result is the sensation of chills.”
Here’s how that happens.
For some people, an IBS attack is unsettling or embarrassing.
This stresses them out or causes anxiety, especially if they’re in public.
When there’s a perceived threat (in this case, the IBS flare-up), the body goes into its famous flight or fight mode.
As far as the fight or flee mode, the body can’t tell the difference between an IBS attack and a saber tooth tiger attack.
Changes in the body occur to help carry out either a fight or escape.
One of these changes is increased blood flow to the organs. This means constriction of blood vessels that feed the extremities – which is why during moments of anxiety, your hands may get cold, and you may feel a sudden chill all over.
If IBS attacks leave you feeling vulnerable, practice deep breathing when they occur and imagine your favorite music to help ease the stress.
With 40+ years’ experience, Dr. Hoberman is an expert in probiotics. He has extensive first-hand experience treating a variety of digestive health issues and has seen the dramatic results probiotics have had on his patients.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.