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Can anxiety cause digestive issues?
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Can anxiety cause digestive issues?

Hi, I've been having anxiety a lot of anxiety recently...for almost 3 weeks now I've almost consistently been feeling anxious.  Up until just 1 year ago I would have panic attacks everyday but the last year I finally was able to control my anxiety to only getting a panic attack about once a month and anxiety had not been an everyday thing.  However recently (past 3 weeks about) I've been experiencing anxiety a lot more.
When I get anxiety, for me it's very physical.  My most prominent and debilitating symptom is nausea.  I'm wondering if, because my anxiety symptoms are so physical, it can actually cause damage or at least strain my digestive system? Last summer I was having digestive issues, but no doctor could find something actually wrong.  I've been feeling the same way the past couple days...like my digestive system is off.  It feels like there is a rock in my stomach or something.  I can eat fine but it's uncomfortable (especially because I have a phobia of throwing up).  Would it make sense that my body could be strained from all this anxiety I've been experiencing? Has anyone felt similar?
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, you can have stomach issues when you have anxiety. Many of us anxiety sufferers have all kinds of stomach problems.
I would recommend seeing your Dr again to make sure nothing else is going on other than your anxiety. If it is your anxiety then the Dr may have you take something for your stomach to keep the excess acid down.
I would also recommend trying aloe vera juice and eating yogurt. I've found that honey is really good too. You can add it to your yogurt. These things could help get your system back in balance. You really should get back in to see your Dr to see what they have to say.
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Avatar_m_tn
You might try a Bifidus based probiotic -- much stronger and more effective than yogurt, especially given the prevalence of dairy problems.  For me, it's diarrhea, so yes, anxiety definitely messes up the digestive system.  So do meds, by the way, so if you're on any, they can also cause problems.  You might want to look into meditation or some other regular relaxation practice that might make these bouts less frequent by slowing down the body even if the mind is racing.  Good luck.
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Thank you both for your suggestions.  I'll definitely try yogurt and pick up a probiotic.  
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Anxiety showed itself first to me in the form of digestive upsets....For years I lived on mostly  French Bread and water, certainly not a well balanced food group, but it was all I could eat without nausea or vomiting.  I was a motivational speaker and as soon as I booked my next talk, the anxiety raised its head and played havoc with my digestion.  It took a couple of years before other symptoms started and it wasn't too long before I could not drive and thought I was having a heart attack.

I would like to suggest that you have a check up and then talk to your doctor about seeing a counselor or therapist.  You do say that you have had panic attacks in the past but have not had any except for the past 3 weeks...This is very normal for anxiety, it does go into a hiding or into a remission of sorts but is always only a footstep away from
going back into more severe symptoms.  I do hope you come back and tell us how you are doing...

Good luck to you and wishing you the very best

M

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i was diagnosed with GERD that is not made worse by my anxiety, however i was told before undergoing an upper GI endoscopy that my anxiety could be causing my acid reflux symptoms. of course it ended up being a separate issue, but the fact remains the same.
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