Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Can Anxiety And Depression Cause Stomach Issues

Acid Reflux In Depression: The Egg

The Connection Between Anxiety and Stomach Problems

Apart from anecdotal evidence, several research studies have also reported the occurrence of acid reflux symptoms in Major Depressive Disorder.

Patients with depression have reported the occurrence of GERD symptoms such as belching, regurgitation, fullness after meals, nausea, gas and flatulence. Lets explore the research on this.

The Potential Benefits Of Probiotics

One area of great interest to researchers looking at IBS, mental health disorders, and links between the two, is the human microbiome, or the diverse population of gut microbia that lives in our gastrointestinal tract, which appears to play an active role in many areas of health. Normally, a balanced population of good bacteria keeps our digestive system healthy but when that balance is disrupted, as it can be for a variety of biological, psychological, medical and environmental reasons, an overgrowth of bad bacteria can result. Studies are showing this imbalance can have profound negative effects on both physical and mental health.

Physical Symptoms Of Depression


One of the most common symptoms of depression is the feeling of being constantly tired and drained.

While depression exhaustion can be mental, it often presents as a lack of physical energy.

This may occur as a result of low-quality sleep, especially for those that attempt to manage their depression with drugs or alcohol.

For some people, low quality sleep means insomnia and sleep deprivation, while for others it might mean sleeping constantly without ever feeling rested.

Alcohol adds to this effect by interrupting the REM cycle, causing the brain to miss out on the most restorative periods of sleep throughout the night.

Incessant fatigue makes working and socializing especially difficult, and can contribute to the sad and hopeless feelings that often accompany depression.

Fatigue may also cause a depressed individual to abandon their workout routine and become less active, which can exacerbate depression over time.

Aches and Pains

Depression can quite literally hurt. Just as when you have the flu and your body seems to ache all over, depression can cause mild pain and discomfort to amplify, becoming severely distracting and debilitating.

Because our brains are responsible for producing the sensation of pain, poor mental health can cause inappropriate responses to varying degrees of pain.

Research has confirmed that depression lowers pain tolerance, intensifying pain that would otherwise be manageable.

Digestive Issues


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Youre Lacking In Vitamin D

If youve got a job that keeps you indoors most of the day, chances are you may be part of the 42 percent of Americans with a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is created by your body when sunlight hits the skin and is found in fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, eggs, and mushrooms.

Most people associate low vitamin D with wintertime and seasonal depression, but it can hit at any time of year. A thorough review of studies analyzing depression and vitamin D concluded that lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared to controls.

Scientists also found that when depressed individuals received vitamin D supplementation for one year, they had significant improvements in symptoms of depression compared with depressed people taking a placebo. The area of the brain associated with depression is also a site of vitamin D receptors, posing one possible explanation for the link between the two.

Pain Is Another Way Your Brain Communicates

Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Problems? 9 Ways It Can Impact ...

If you feel discomfort identifying and talking about distressing emotions, like sadness, anger, and shame, this could cause feelings to manifest differently in the body.

If youre experiencing any of these physical symptoms for a prolonged period of time, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or nurse practitioner. If you dont already have a provider, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area.

According to the American Psychological Association, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting 14.8 million American adults each year.

Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, exposure to childhood stress or trauma, and brain chemistry. People with depression often need professional help, like psychotherapy and medication, to fully recover.

So at your appointment, if you suspect these physical symptoms might be more than surface level, request to be screened for depression and anxiety. This way your healthcare provider can connect you with the help you need.

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Stop Smoking To Prevent Reflux

Smoking can weaken the muscle that controls the lower end of the food pipe and allow acid from the stomach to travel in the wrong direction back up, a process known as reflux.

Reflux causes the symptoms of heartburn, and can bring on or aggravate stomach ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the bowel.

Smoking is also an important risk factor for stomach cancer.

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You Feel Pain Almost Everyday At The Same Time

You might wake up every morning and feel anxiety before you go to work because your boss really stresses you out, or maybe you only feel anxious when you come home for the night because you live alone and feel uncomfortable being with your own thoughts.

If you are feeling anticipatory anxiety at the same time every day, Dr. Zarnegar says, chances are that there is something in your daily life that is triggering a lot of emotional distress.

âAdopt a non-judgmental attitude about your pain and develop a compassionate stance for your suffering,â she says. Basically dont shame yourself because you have this pain. A kind attitude to yourself is the first step to long-term solutions.

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Why Does Stress Cause Stomach Pain Or Gi Discomfort

We know through research there is a strong connection between our brain and our gut through the central nervous system. The enteric nervous system an out-branching of the central nervous system serves the GI tract, making a direct connection between our brain and gastrointestinal system. That connection can cause normal physiologic processes to be interpreted as painful under stressful or anxiety-provoking situations.

When were stressed, hormones and neurotransmitters are released in the body. This can negatively impact gut motility, or the way our intestines and stomach squeeze and move waste through the body. Also, stress can affect the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut, causing GI discomfort.

People experiencing chronic stress may also eat more or eat unhealthy foods with a higher amount of natural and artificial sugar that is poorly digested and causes GI distress. People may also smoke and drink more alcohol or caffeine than normal which can cause symptoms.

Beat Stress To Ease Tummy Troubles

How can Depression affect stomach? Can Stress Cause Stomach Problems? |

You may have noticed a feeling of unease in your stomach during times of stress. That’s because anxiety and worry can upset the delicate balance of digestion.

In some people, stress slows down digestion, causing bloating, pain and constipation, while in others it speeds it up, causing diarrhoea and frequent trips to the loo. Some people lose their appetite completely.

Stress can also worsen digestive conditions like stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

A solution is to avoid eating when you’re feeling very anxious, stressed or unhappy.

It also helps your digestion if you avoid arguing at the dinner table, as getting angry can put you off your food or make eating harder. Try to keep mealtimes happy and relaxed.

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Physical Symptoms You Didnt Realise Depression Could Cause

Many people dont realise that depression can have a very real affect on your whole body – not just your mind.

Most people will agree that depression can cause emotional symptoms feeling sad, low, down, numb But what many dont realise is that depression can have a very real effect on your body as a whole.

We are taking a look at seven common but surprising physical symptoms of depression.

Prevalence Of Anxiety And Depression In Ibs And Uc

Two studies of IBS reported the prevalence of depression and anxiety based on HADS or the Beck Anxiety and Depression Inventories . In Hartono et al, the excess prevalence of depression and anxiety was 38.7% and 6.5%, respectively, in IBS patients relative to healthy patients , based on diagnostic criteria of a HADS rating greater than eight . In Uz et al, the excess prevalence of depression or anxiety relative to healthy controls was 34% and 2%, with 4% and 8% of the healthy population reporting scores consistent with depression and anxiety . Pooled data are reported in and .

Portion of psychological condition attributable to gastrointestinal disease . Prevalence of concomitant psychological illness for irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis . Scores for depression and anxiety are reported for both IBS and UC . There were no studies reporting average STAI scores for IBS and no studies reporting average BDI scores for UC

HADS, hospital anxiety depression scale STAI, state-trait anxiety index BDI, beck depression inventory

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Dealing With Anxiety Symptoms: Stomach Problems

by Health Writer

Virtually all types of anxiety, from Generalized Anxiety Disorder to Panic Disorder, include physical symptoms, such as stomach problems.

Stomach problems can include:

  • Nausea

  • Indigestion

These problems can be mild to severe. For some, a feeling of butterflies in the stomach may precede social events or situations that may produce anxiety. For others stomachaches and nausea may interfere with the ability to carry out daily tasks, rendering someone incapacitated.

Obviously, treatment to help would first and foremost include treatment for the anxiety disorder. By effectively treating the underlying cause of stomach problems, symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea should be reduced or disappear. However, beginning treatment for anxiety does not immediately relieve symptoms and stomach problems may continue for months.


Diarrhea is characterized by loose or watery stools. It can also include abdominal cramping, bloating, and an urgent need to use the bathroom. If diarrhea is accompanied by a fever, blood in the stools or black stools or lasts more than three days, you should contact your doctor. Because diarrhea can cause dehydration, it is important to treat it.

The most important factor in treating diarrhea is to replace fluids in the body. This can be accomplished by drinking plenty of clear fluids.

Foods to eat during bouts of diarrhea include: bananas, plain rice, boiled potatoes, and baked chicken, with fat and skin removed.



Researchers Are Exploring The Link Between Ibs And Psychiatric Disorders Including Anxiety Insomnia Depression And Bipolar Disorder

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Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gastrointestinal disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurring abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and gas. Even though IBS is frequently diagnosedreportedly affecting up to 23% of people around the world, and more women than men the exact cause remains unknown, and medical experts do not fully understand how the disease process works. Unlike ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, and other inflammatory bowel diseases with similar symptoms, IBS is considered a functional disorder, which means symptoms are caused by a dysfunctional digestive system, rather than by chronic inflammation, growth, or permanent damage along the gastrointestinal tract that can identified in a physical examination. This dysfunction interrupts the normal movement of food through the GI tract, causing the related symptoms. IBS can produce different symptoms in different people, and multiple factorsboth physical and psychologicalare thought to be involved in its development.

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If You Suffer From Fatigue Anxiety Depression Or A Combination Of The Three Youve Probably Been Told By Your Doctor That Its Due To A Chemical Imbalance In Your Brain

Many doctors jump to prescribe antidepressants, with 13 percent of Americans over the age of 12 reporting they took an antidepressant in the last month, according to the latest report from the National Center for Health Statistics. In some cases, antidepressants might be beneficial, but in other cases they may be masking the underlying cause of your symptoms.

Unfortunately, most doctors dont dig deep enough to find out what may be the real cause. At Parsley Health, we use advanced testing to look at several variables that have been associated with anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Once we determine the root cause and develop a personalized treatment plan, were often able to reduce or eliminate the need for medications that treat these conditions.

Symptom #6 Youre Never In The Mood

For many people, depression has a marked impact on sexual libido whether its due to emotional reasons or physical reasons . Even anti-depressants can affect peoples sex drive.

Whatever the case, its worth talking to your doctor about a change in sex drive, to pinpoint the cause and find a solution sometimes a simple change in medication or treatment can help. It might feel awkward, but remember, doctors are professionals and its their job to help.

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How To Overcome Bowel Issues

Dealing with the bowel issues connected to stress and anxiety can be very difficult, as bowels function automatically. Seeking medical attention, exploring how different foods affect you and identifying ways to manage stress and anxiety are all helpful ways to begin to manage bowel issues.


Anxiety can cause everything from gas problems to yellow stool to constipation and more, all of which are caused by different issues that both directly and indirectly stem from anxiety. Some behavioral changes can help, but an anxiety treatment is going to be the only way to stop them from recurring.

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Some Antidepressants Reduce Acid Reflux

Can Stress Cause Stomach Problems? | Stomach Problems

Contrastingly antidepressants are also prescribed for treating acid reflux and GERD when patients do not respond to proton pump inhibitors.

A low dose of antidepressants such as trazodone, nortriptyline, imipramine, citalopram, fluoxetine is found to reduce oesophagal sensitivity to acid reflux.

A systematic review study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2015 reported that antidepressants can modulate oesophagal sensation and reduce chest pain in GERD.

However, there is limited evidence whether antidepressants benefit a subset of GERD patients.

Quick Gist: Clinicians prescribe low dose antidepressants to GERD patients who do not respond to acid-suppressing medications. They are said to benefit in case of oesophagal sensitivity.

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Why Does Stress Upset My Stomach

Your digestive tract has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system . It contains 100 million neurotransmitters, neurons, and nerves that are located throughout your entire gastrointestinal system. Have you ever been excited or nervous and felt like you had butterflies in your stomach? Or gotten bad news that made you feel sick to your stomach? Or maybe youve gotten a gut feeling about someone after first meeting them. These are all examples of how your emotions can physically affect your digestive tract.

Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Problems

When we think of anxiety and our stomach in a single sentence, it is difficult to fathom the connection between the two. One is an organ where the other is an emotional state of mind . However, the reality, which many may be surprised to know, is that Anxiety and Stomach Problems often go hand-in-hand. Studies reveal that in some individuals, anxiety is directly related to or is the direct cause of stomach problems. Many a times, the stomach problems caused due to anxiety become chronic in nature and become a source of frustration for the patient. Stomach problems caused due to anxiety can be difficult to diagnose and manage.

According to medical professionals, mind and the stomach have a robust linkage as both are affected by similar neurotransmitters and hormone and both our mind and stomach are highly sensitive to changes in the chemical patterns and to stress. This is the reason why Anxiety and Stomach Problems frequently go hand-in-hand. Given below are some common stomach problems caused due to high level of stress and anxiety and some methods to cope up with the stomach problems and other symptoms.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors May Cause Depression

Few studies have noted an increased risk of developing Major Depressive Disorder with use of proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole, esomeprazole.

Chronic proton pump inhibitor use may cause magnesium deficiency and magnesium is known to have an antidepressant effect.

PPIs may also increase the risk of severe cognitive impairment and dementia.

Quick Gist: Chronic use of proton pump inhibitors is associated with increased risk of depression. A few reasons to explain this could lack treatment response to PPIs or persistent reflux symptoms may be responsible for increased depression risk.

Sleep Disturbances Aggravate Both Acid Reflux And Depression

What Causes Anxiety?

Sleep deprivation is associated with an increase in acid reflux symptoms. Schey et al. have observed that sleep deprivation increases sensitivity to acid reflux.

Sleep deprivation may lower our pain bearing threshold and increase pain sensitivity.

Reduced pain sensitivity or disturbance in pain processing pathways can cause increased severity of acid reflux symptoms.

Sleep disturbances are a common complaint in patients with anxiety and depression. Also GERD patients experience sleep issues due to bloating or night time reflux.

Quick Gist: Sleep disturbances are a common factor in the pathogenesis of both GERD and Major Depressive Disorder. Sleep disturbances worsen acid reflux symptoms and are also associated with an increase in depression and anxiety symptoms.

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Here Are Two Signs Your Abdominal Pain Could Be Mental

Whether your stomach cramps strike every time you have to take a flight or before big work presentations, it could be a sign that youre so stressed its affecting your gut.

Theres a clear connection between the brain and our emotions and how our body feels, says Sperling. Realizing that your abdominal pain always crops up around moments of fear, stress, or anxiety can help you figure out that your emotions are behind the discomfort.

If you already know you have anxiety but are having a hard time managing this symptom, talk to your doctor or therapist to see if any tweaks in your treatment may help. If youre not sure your abdominal pain is connected with changes in your emotions, consider keeping a journal for a few weeks to chart how you feel and how your pain comes and goes in response.

In the event that your GI issues do seem tied with mental health concerns like anxiety, a mental health professional may be able to help you through methods like cognitive behavioral therapy . This form of therapy aims to help people identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors to live healthier, happier lives. If youre interested in trying it, heres a guide on how to find an affordable therapist.

While undeniably horrible in the moment, panic attacks are highly treatable with medication, therapy such as CBT, and coping mechanisms like deep breathing, according to the Mayo Clinic. See your doctor or therapist for help if you think youre having panic attacks.

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