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Can anxiety cause an ulcer?
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Can anxiety cause an ulcer?

26 male. Suffers from anxiety from time to time. And when I do, it's atleast 2 weeks of full blown anxiety... and up to 2 months! Yikes! haha.

Anyways, the week of Christmas, I started feeling nauseous. And it happened through Christmas, it sucked. I had no appetite, LOTS of acid reflux symptoms... and just felt terrible. I thought I had a bad stomach bug... but I did not vomit. I felt like it at times, but didnt. A week or 2 before this... I was very stressed out at work. I was doing MANY projects.

Well, with this acid reflux.. I started getting a pain in my lower left abdominal region... like 4 inches to the left of the belly button, and about an inch down from there. I'd call it my lower left gut? It's a shooting type pain, that comes and goes... but its usually always there... its kinda dull.. but annoying... My actual stomach doesnt hurt... and my acid reflux issues have been gone for about a week now... but i'm left with this pain in the lower left abdominal area.

Now, LAST YEAR... I had this EXACT same pain, in the EXACT same spot.. except I don't recall having acid reflux with it... however, I was having HIGH anxiety and IBS symptoms...

I thought It could be an ulcer? My cousin said he had one, and his pain was in the same area.

I didnt know you could have an ulcer in your intestines... but I researched it and it said, they are actually MORE likely to form in the small intestines before the stomach at my age.

Anyways, I havnt gone to the Dr. b/c I'm not that scared... b/c I'm having regular bowel movements, no blood in stools, no vomiting... just that dull pain. But it stinks.

My Dr. wasnt worried about it last year... and it did go away...

So I have to just keep positive that it will go away. =)

My wife went to see our Dr. a few days ago, and he asked how I was doing with my anxiety, she told him good, and she told him about my symptoms.. and he said that it could be an ulcer... but all he would tell me to take is pepcid, and that the ulcer shall heal over time.

So, I do have a regular check up with him Jan. 14th, and I'll mention it to him. But hopefully by then it wont be bugging me anymore.

So my questions are...

1. CAN stress/anxiety cause an ulcer?  Or does stress/anxiety cause too much acid production which causes the ulcer? lol. I know some Doctors will say "stress doesnt cause ulcers, it hasnt been scientifically proven." But I sure know a lot of stressed out people who get them. lol.

2. Do you think what I am describing is a possible peptic ulcer?


PS: I'm doing GREAT with dealing with my anxiety. =) This is the FIRST time I've actually NOT FREAKED out and put myself into FULL panic mode over this pain and acid reflux issue. I usually assume its a TUMOR or CANCER. HAHA.

I give myself a pat on the back for not jumping to irrational thoughts. =) Plus I'm not taking any meds!! Whoohoo!
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C, this is why I keep telling you to start drinking aloe juice regularly and take digestive enzymes.  Now I'd add DGL, a form of licorice.  These will help to heal any damage to the mucousal lining that might have occurred, but will also help with the underlying symptoms.  My own opinion on this is that stress does make it more likely to get an ulcer, as it makes it more likely to get digestive problems.  I had an ulcer when I was 22, but the doctor told me, ah, you're too young, it'll go away.  It didn't; it started bleeding a few months later.  Now, it wasn't a big deal; they gave me some antacids and it healed.  But my doctor gave me this Rx:  Do Transcendental Meditation, which was the only meditation anyone at that time had heard of.  I also suffered from migraines.  Well, it's been over thirty years since, and I not only who no evidence of ever having an ulcer, but my migraines went away -- I've had three since, all minor.  And all this despite later developing agoraphobia and now the complete anxiety and depression caused by my bad experience with Paxil withdrawal.  Taking Pepsid or any other pharmaceutical antacid will help in the short term, but will cause the stomach to produce more acid because the stomach must produce acid for it to digest protein.  This is called the rebound effect of pharmaceutical antacids.  So again, I urge you to consider taking the aloe juice, digestive enzymes, and now DGL and get this symptom under control.  And consider meditation.  Now, as to the cause of ulcers, the actual cause seems to be a bacteria called H pylori, or heliobacter.  The cure is either to use antibiotics or you can try natural treatments such as mastic gum, DGL, and manukka honey.  But because of my experience, I think stress can provide the weakened opportunity for H. pylori to move in and take over.  By the way, my symptoms of my duodenal ulcer, which is the kind in the intestine, was a bloated feeling with some stomach pain relieved by lying on my tummy or eating.  And don't follow the folk tale of using milk to mitigate it; milk aggravates it, as does alcohol.  Good luck.

      Thanks again for responding so quickly. I started looking back at my journal from last year, and It showed that I was having this SAME left side abdominal pain for 2 months and 2 weeks! Also combined with anxiety and diarhea (diarrhea), bloatedness, acid reflux, depression etc. But, it went away! Yeah, 2 months is along time.. but it's the same stuff it seems like.

The Dr. even did a stool sample on my last year, and found nothing wrong. He also "assured" me it wasnt cancer or anything. He said it's anxiety related and possible IBS.

Now, my question is... Now I'm doubting its an ulcer... b/c I remember the pain being like this last year, and he didnt say anything about it being an ulcer.

The symptoms Im having NOW compared to last year don't seem to be as severe.. but they are annoying..

Lower left abdominal pain - YES (for 2 months)
Anxiety - High (daily for 2 months)
Diarhea (diarrhea) - High (almost daily for 2 months)
Nervous Stomach - (Almost daily for 2 months)
Bloatedness/Nausea - Mid to High
Acid Reflux - Low to Mid (just sometimes)
Tight Throat/Easy Gag Reflex - High (for almost a month)
Crying spells - Lots of them
Appetite - ZERO!
Gassy - Yes
Sleep - Not very good

Lower left abdominal pain - Yes (for the past week and a half)
Anxiety - Medium (daily off and on)
Diarhea (diarrhea) - None
Nervous Stomach - A little bit
Bloatedness/Nausea - Mid to High (depends on time of day)
Acid Reflux -For one week it was bad! Not so much anymore.
Tight Throat/Easy Gag Reflex - None
Crying spells - One or 2 maybe.
Appetite - Pretty good
Gassy - Yes
Sleep - Not so good. I wake up early in the mornings and my mind just goes and goes, and none of the thoughts make since... its like im dreaming but im just laying there telling myself "go to sleep, relax, you can fall back asleep" ... and i just don't fall back asleep.. so i just get up...

So my symptoms don't seem to be as severe as last years... and hopefully won't stick around as long.. I'm going to the Dr. for a regular check up the day after tomorrow. I will tell him what's been going on... he'll probably just put me on a special IBS diet or something.

I'm concerned I may have diverticulitis?... or a something TERRIBLE!!! AHHH!!! LOL.

But that's me self-diagnosing myself. lol. And I'm NOT A DOCTOR! lol.

And me worrying so much about it probably isnt helping.

Thanks again for listening!
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