Sunday, March 3, 2024

Does Depression Affect Your Stomach

Back Pain Or Aching Muscles All Over

Why does anxiety affect my stomach? | Carl Vernon

You might feel okay in the morning, but once youre at work or sitting at a school desk, your back starts to hurt. It could be stress, or it could be depression. Although theyre often associated with bad posture or injuries, backaches can also be a symptom of psychological distress.

A 2017 research study of 1,013 Canadian university students found a direct association between depression and backaches.

Psychologists and psychiatrists have long believed emotional issues can cause chronic aches and pains, but the specifics are still being researched, such as the connection between depression and the bodys inflammatory response.

Newer studies

Not Just Your Mind Here Are 5 Things Depression Can Do To Your Body

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  • Depression is perhaps the most misunderstood mental health ailment in India. Often considered just as a sad phase that will go away on its own, the ramifications of depression on the mind and body are more often than not ignored.

    But the truth is that depression is not just a phase and that it actually alters the brain, because of which it needs medical intervention. Not just that, did you know that major depression can also wreck your bodys functioning, right from your immune system to your heart.

    In fact, here is how having depression can impact your body:

    1. Depression can cause inflammation in the bodyDepression and stress share an intimate relationship. In fact, a 2010 study published in the journal Current Immunology Review states that chronic stress initiates a series of changes in the way the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal gland interactthus triggering depression and anxiety.

    Both chronic stress and depression, hence, are known to cause inflammation in the body and weaken the immune system. Many scientists are also trying to understand whether its chronic inflammation that causes depression or whether its the other way round.

    According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing, when your brain is distressedlike when you are suffering from depressionit can send signals to your gut and intestines, thus causing an upset stomach even though there is no physical cause for it.

    Meghna Kriplani

    Symptom #2 Aches And Pains

    Pain and depression often go together. Depression can cause pain and pain can cause depression. This means that for people with an existing condition such as arthritis or an injury, they may see their pain get worse.

    People who have depression can also often feel unexplained aches and pains, whether its in the abdomen, joints, neck or back or all over.

    Many professionals even believe that depression causes people to process and feel pain differently, as it affects a persons sensitivity to pain stimuli and reduces their coping skills.

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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.

    Residential Treatment Provides A Space To Heal

    Why Stress and Anxiety Can Cause Diarrhea

    One of the most important reasons to choose residential care for depression treatment is that it gives you the space, the time, and the opportunity to truly focus on healing. There are no distractions of home, work, and other responsibilities, only a safe place to get better. The damage that depression has done to your brain and body can be slowed, stopped, and even reversed with good care.

    The most effective treatment for depression is a combination of therapy and medications, both of which take time to work. This is another reason that residential treatment is a smart choice for depression care. It gives you time to develop a rapport with a therapist and to make positive changes. It also gives you a chance to try one or more antidepressants to find the medication that will adjust your brain chemicals in just the right way for maximum impact with fewest side effects.

    Getting relief from depression through treatment will immediately begin to help your brain, reversing the shrinking of certain areas, the inflammation, and the overflow of cortisol. This in turn will help you feel better overall, and you will begin to get relief for the physical symptoms.

    Bridges to Recovery offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with mental health disorders as well as co-occurring substance use disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles-based program and how we can help you or your loved one start on the path to lasting wellness.

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    Physical Symptoms And Outcome Measures

    In addition to choosing the most appropriate pharmacotherapeutic approach to treating the symptoms of depression, clinical management of depression should include the screening and monitoring of all symptom domains. All symptoms, including physical ones, must be measured in order to be treated fully. The symptoms still present in incomplete remission are important markers of vulnerability to relapse, and if all types of symptoms are not included in assessments, physicians cannot fully assess the treatment response and follow up on unresolved symptoms. Physicians and patients need to become aware of the broad spectrum of symptoms in depression in order to evaluate treatment effectiveness.

    Reliable and effective assessment of Axis I disorders often includes utilization of a variety of rating scales used for both diagnostic purposes and follow-up evaluation. Recently there has been a call for including on rating scales all the symptom domains and social functioning/quality of life measures in the requirements for remission, but physicians may not be aware that there are already numerous standardized scales that measure these aspects of depression.

    Eat Properly To Help Your Digestion

    It’s very easy to spend our working lives eating on the move or at our desks, gulping down food between meetings and then crashing out in front of the TV with a takeaway in the evenings.

    But eating this way can play havoc with our digestive system.

    Follow some basic rules to prevent problems:

    • Do not rush your food. Take the time to eat slowly. Try putting your fork down between bites and chew each mouthful well.
    • Do not overeat. Reduce the size of your portions at mealtimes, or try eating 4 to 5 small meals instead of 3 large ones.
    • Eat regularly and try not to skip meals.
    • Avoid eating a big meal just before you go to bed. Eat your last meal at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down.
    • Make sure you have plenty of water to drink.

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    Effects Of Anxiety And Depression On Your Health

    Almost everyone experiences some degree of anxiety or depression at various points in life. In the right circumstances, anxiety is actually a normal fight or flight response that helps you navigate a precarious or stressful situation with extra precaution or care. Its also perfectly normal to feel lonely, sad, or disinterested when faced with difficult, life-changing events.

    But when anxiety interferes with daily life and feelings of overwhelming sadness or emptiness persist, its no longer normal its a mental health disorder.

    Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million Americans, or almost 20% of the adult population. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand: Close to half of adults who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder also have some type of depressive disorder.

    Living with an untreated anxiety or depressive disorder can impact more than your daily life, it can also affect your physical health, either by making existing health problems worse, or causing serious problems to develop. Heres a short list of some of the ways anxiety and depressive disorders can influence your physical health:

    What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions

    Does Stress Or Anxiety Cause Pain

    Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.

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    Symptom #7 Irregular Weight

    Given the impact depression has on appetite and motivation, its no surprise that the condition can lead to weight loss or even weigh gain.

    Losing weight is quite common, as people simply lose interest in food. But for some people, they experience weight gain which is thought to be because they may not be as active, or they use food as a response to the emotional stress and sadness.

    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.

    Summary:

    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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    The Physical Effects Of Depression

    The most well-known symptoms of depression are emotional, including sadness, guilt, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness. Other frequent symptoms, like trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks, are also thought of as being related to ones state of mind.

    Although depression is a mental illness, it can also cause physical symptoms. Pain, stomach upset, fatigue, and restlessness are just a few potential physical effects of depression. People can have these physical symptoms for a variety of reasons, but they may not realize depression can be among the potential causes.

    Certain treatments used for depression, such as medication, can also have physical side effects like nausea, weight changes, and sexual dysfunction. If you have physical symptoms of depression, your doctor and mental health care provider can help you better understand and manage them.

    Symptom #5 Exhaustion & Trouble Sleeping

    How Does Stress Affect Your Sleep

    Because depression and fatigue are so intertwined, it can be really hard to separate them or work out which came first.

    Having no energy is a common complaint from people with depression. But theres a lot more to this than not feeling motivated.

    Experts say depression causes a complete lack of energy termed anergia which can be so severe that moving around becomes excruciating. Some people saying that even getting out of bed is a daunting task.

    This isnt tiredness that can be cured with sleep. This is fatigue which is a very different beast with people feeling exhausted from the moment they wake up.

    Another physical sign of depression is sleepless nights and insomnia. This could mean having trouble drifting off or waking up throughout the night. But on the flip side, for others, depression can actually cause them to sleep excessively.

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    Fatigue Or Consistent Lower Energy Levels

    Fatigue is a common symptom of depression. Occasionally we all experience lower energy levels and can feel sluggish in the morning, hoping to stay in bed and watch TV instead of going to work.

    While we often believe exhaustion stems from stress, depression can also cause fatigue. However, unlike everyday fatigue, depression-related fatigue can also cause concentration problems, feelings of irritability, and apathy.

    Dr. Maurizio Fava , Director of the Clinical Research Program at Bostons Massachusetts General Hospital, points out that depressed individuals often experience nonrestorative sleep, meaning that they feel sluggish even after getting a full night of rest.

    However, because many physical illnesses, like infections and viruses, can also cause fatigue, it can be challenging to discern whether or not the exhaustion is related to depression.

    One way to tell: While everyday fatigue is a sign of this mental illness, other symptoms like sadness, feeling hopeless, and anhedonia may also be present when you are depressed.

    Increase Your Risk For Heart Disease

    Many studies link anxiety to a higher risk of heart attacks and a higher risk of dying from one. One study showed that people with anxiety disorders had double the chance of having a heart attack as those without an anxiety disorder. If youre taking medication for a heart condition, research shows that its more challenging to follow a medication schedule if you have depression.

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    Life Events And Depression

    Research suggests that continuing difficulties, such as long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness or prolonged exposure to stress at work can increase the risk of depression.

    Significant adverse life events, such as losing a job, going through a separation or divorce, or being diagnosed with a serious illness, may also trigger depression, particularly among people who are already at risk because of genetic, developmental or other personal factors.

    How Do You Manage Stress

    Anxiety and Your Stomach

    The two extremes are that some people can handle major upsets without batting an eye, while others become distressed at the slightest deviation from their normal routine. It is important to remember that in small doses, stress can be a good thing. It can give you the push you need, motivating you to do your best and to stay focused and alert. Problems accumulate only when stress is constant.

    The specific signs and symptoms of stress vary from person to person, but the potential to harm your health, emotional well-being, and relationships with others is real. Stress affects the mind, body, and behaviour in many ways apart from the digestive tract, including weight fluctuations, head and muscle aches, mood changes, and altered mental function.

    You must find your own way to deal with stress in your life. Pre-planning some events might be worthwhile to reduce your overall stress level. By understanding how you deal with stress, you can make lifestyle changes that will lower your stress level, help you better cope with stress, and recover from stressful events more quickly.

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    How To Control Your Anxiety Upset Stomach

    Stomach upset can really put a damper on your ability to live a happy life. Ideally, you’ll need to treat your anxiety to experience a calmer stomach.

    Even though anxiety is causing your stomach to feel sick, many of the symptoms can be reduced with various medications. You should always consult with a doctor before taking medication and do not want to rely on medication to cure your upset stomach. However, many people have had success with basic medications that calm the stomach. Common examples include:

    • Tums
    • Pepto-Bismol
    • Rolaids

    Eating healthier can also help. Remember that your anxiety is affecting your gut, but it’s not causing the symptoms all on its own. What’s in your stomach has an effect on the severity of the symptoms as well. Eating healthier – especially on days you expect to experience anxiety – can be very helpful. Drinking water may also be useful since water is gentle on the stomach.

    You may also try distracting yourself. While your upset stomach may be severe, anxiety causes a tendency to focus on the experience, which causes further anxiety and exacerbates the severity of the stomach pain. A positive distraction, like a funny TV show, can actually make a big difference in the way you experience your upset stomach.

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    Ibd And Symptoms Of Depression

    Anyone who has IBD might find it beneficial to talk with a mental health professional, because the unpredictability and uncertainty associated with the disease can be overwhelming emotionally.

    When someone receives the diagnosis of IBD, they are typically flooded with emotions,” Sileo says. “One may be depression or just feelings of sadness.”

    A therapist familiar with IBD can help you process those emotions and address them as needed. If you do have depression, it’s very important to start treatment as soon as possible. According to NIMH, a delay in treatment can lead to greater impairment in the future.

    Patients with depressive symptoms typically have reported a lower quality of life and may be at an increased risk for relapses of IBD symptoms, Sileo says. Depression can directly impact the healing process for IBD because it affects the immune system, which can prompt an inflammatory response. Studies have found that when patients received mental health care, they spent fewer days in the hospital and took fewer sick days off from work, he explains.

    When diagnosed with a chronic illness such as IBD, people obviously focus on getting the best medical care,” Sileo says. “They often see depression as a byproduct of the diagnosis and ignore it. My recommendation is to seek mental health help early.

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