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Anxiety & Bloating?


Posted by inkedchef

I have bloating(very noticeable) right in the middle of my stomach no pain ..when i push on the bloated area it feels better. Ive been to the doctors but he just sums it up to something im eating. Ive kept a food journal for a month now its happened 3 times and I cant find a connection food wise. Are there any other possibilities?

Ive had some anxiety issues as well. This is when the bloating started. I asked my dr if they were connected he said no. But when I get the bloating and the anxiety it puts me out of commision for at least 2 weeks. Any information would be appreciated.

 
Answers (1)
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Ian Health Maven
I can't comment on the cause of the bloating you experience. There are many factors that could account for it, and anxiety wouldn't be at the top of the list.

However, there may be a connection. While the serotonin 'chemical imbalance' theory of anxiety and depression is deeply flawed, serotonin, and its receptors, play a role in these disorders. The brain makes and utilizes only around 2% of the body's serotonin, most of the rest occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, plus in blood, blood vessels and the skin. 

Furthermore, the enteric nervous system which contains the gut's serotonergic neurons is directly linked to parts of the brain involved in anxiety via the vagus nerve. You may be aware that stimulation of the vagus nerve is being used to control treatment-resistant OCD and depression. 

While treating the bloating probably won't ease your anxiety, it is possible that treating the anxiety will influence the bloating, assuming no organic cause. The downside of this is that some antidepressants may worsen gastrointestinal problems, at least initially.

You may find this NY Times article interesting: The Other Brain Also Deals With Many Woes

Best wishes

Ian

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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