The Connection Between Anxiety and Stomach Problems
The Connection Between Anxiety and Stomach Problems
There’s a bidirectional relationship between gastrointestinal disorders and anxiety. This relationship is thought to be controlled by a gut-brain connection. Research studies have concluded that there is signaling between the gut and the brain that affects the way we think and behave.

So what does this mean? It means that having a disorder like GERD or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and perhaps even colitis can cause anxiety as well as depression.  

Why does this matter? It matters with how you handle the anxiety. The usual medication treatment for anxiety is serotonin enhancing antidepressants like Prozac or Zoloft. But one of the main side effects of those drugs is gastrointestinal distress like nausea, diarrhea or constipation. So they can make your gastrointestinal illness worse. It may not, some people with GERD who take acid reducing medication can do okay with one of these antidepressants. But not all do.

So knowing that the anxiety medication can worsen your symptoms, an alternative approach may be to focus on getting the optimal treatment for your gastrointestinal symptoms first and then using cognitive behavioral strategies to address your anxiety. 

The microbiome is the trillions of microorganisms, called microbes that inhabit your body. The microbes include bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses and most of them live in your small and large intestines. 

There are some preliminary studies suggesting that probiotics that contain certain bacteria like lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium could help treat mental disorders. But the research into this intervention is still in the early stages and we are not able to say take this much probiotic to treat this disorder.

Healthy food produces good microbes. A good place to start with building a healthy microbiome is eliminating sugar and processed food and eating a clean diet. This would be food that reduces inflammation. 

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The take home - if you have gastrointestinal problems like GERD or Irritable Bowel Syndrome – these illness can cause anxiety. So make sure you prioritize having the gastrointestinal problem treated – don’t ignore it thinking it’s probably just stress. Because ignoring it could then trigger a bigger problem of anxiety for you. Also, you want to take a serious look at your diet. It could make it big difference with how you feel without the need for taking another medication to get rid of your anxiety.

Disclaimer: All of the information on this channel is for educational purposes and not intended to be specific/personal medical advice from me to you. Watching the videos or getting answers to comments/question, does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you have your own doctor, perhaps these videos can help prepare you for your discussion with your doctor.

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