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542733 tn?1217719151

Could these stomach symptoms be anxiety?

Hi everybody, I posted about this on the gastroenterology forum as well, but I thought it is better if I post on here too since it is anxiety related question...and i do suffer with anxiety...
About 4 weeks ago now I have started getting stomach bloating (upper mostly) with a lot of burping to relive the pressure. This was making me feel really anxious, and I became scared of the episodes coz the pressure of my bloated stomach made my heart feel fluttery... It then turned into nausea for couple fo days and then this constant feeling of heavyness in my stomach, like I have a rock there, and heavy fullness after even smallest meal, i am still burping a lot, i have no idea where all the gas comes from. The first thing i do when i wake up is burp! I also get some gas at the other end too...(blush) Also I have the feeling of a tight knott, like tension around the sternum, sometimes i would feel like the food is gonna come back up...I can also get constipated. Oh I am so desparate about all this.
Seen 3 different doctors, first put me on Lanzoprazole (PPI) and said anxiety indigestion...the second put me back on me escitalopram and after palpating my tummy said also it is most likely anxiety...The third doctor told me also that the symptoms can often be associated with anxiety but for me this is hard to belive coz i feel so bad all the time with this...it is just hard to believe it is anxiety and i worry over it 24/7...He did order some blood tests which will be done sometime next week...but he did say he belives this is just anxiety and me feeling depressed at the moment...Anyone can relate to me? Please, really need some help...
32 Responses
Avatar universal
It is interesting that you posted to the gastroenterology site too because, it does sound like this is both an anxiety issue as well as an IBS issue.  Was IBS ever mentioned to you?  I suggest you get the book Eating for IBS or go to the website.  The book and the website is full of great recipes that aid your digestion whether you have constipation or diarrhea.  Anxiety and IBS often go hand in hand.  IBS can be as debilitating as anxiety but with the right diet, it can help relieve your digestive issues and help with your anxiety as well.  Good luck and let me know what you decide to do.
489725 tn?1280056153
what u describe does sound like ibs which barfer said is very common in ibs.our emotions play a big part on our digestive tract and as anxiety can speed things up other stressers can slow things down.i know for myself when stressed we tend to adopt sloppy eating habits and ignore what is good for us,we may eat lots of refined foods and ignore nutritious foods as fruit ,vegs etc.ensure what u eating is adequately absorbed by relaxing afterwards rem what  food u consume is the nourishment for the rest of your body and it will never get to the rest of your body if it is not absorbed efficiently. that would be the case even if u were on the best diet in the world.if u feel under pressure or anxious eat something that is easy at that time for your tummy like soup etc.i know i have anxiety and it lead me to ibs and have all those crampy feeling that u get ,that is just from spasms in the gut kinda like trapped wind and can be quite uncomfortable.if it is ibs there are lots of ways to control it with diet and such --allow your self plenty of time to eat for now until u find a pattern and if there is certain foods causing this keep a diary for a couple of weeks and note your symptoms.

keep posted on how u get on
Avatar universal
Just as soon as I started with anxiety  issues I started with stomach problems. I have had an upper GI normal and my gallbladder and liver checked via an ultrasound all came back normal. I am now waiting for a camera swallowing test to be done. My problem is a sense of fullness even after eating a small meal, I hate this feeling? Is this what you have? I can eat little amounts all day long, but as soon as I try to eat a full meal I'm in trouble. The Dr.'s also think all this is anxiety related but my GI Dr. wants to run the new test hoping it will give me a peace of mind if everything comes back normal. I am now on Prilosec which seems to help with some of the stomach issues. Let me know how you are doing, and if you have some of the same problems.

Take care! God Speed!
542733 tn?1217719151
Hi Suzzie, I have the same feeling of fullness, but I have a constant knotted feeling in my stomach or heavyness, just it gets worse after eating, which is even worse if i try to eat a normal meal...It's the fact it is always there for me that scares me so much, I can't stop thinking about it...I am in a very stressed period of my life right now and before this I had some different symptoms so I could in a way think this could be anxiety, it is just coz it is so uncomfortable and worrysome that I find it difficult...Other symptoms I get with my anxiety, it is easy to get reassurance with, tests are not so complicated, with this it is so difficult to get reassurance...So it just won't go for a month now :-( I find it impossible to continue with my life, I've just been sitting around, i don't want to go to work or do anything because I cannot cope with it anymore...It can't be food intolerance, that one I know, because I have done food tests, plus I never  had problem with eating anything and now my problem is there even if I don't eat at all...
Thank you all for replies...I really need some support right now, I feel like this is gonna drag me down...
Avatar universal
I posted at the Gastro section too last week.  I've been off Klonopin for 15 months, during this time, I developed digestive issues, mostly bloating & constipation.  I've had an upper GI & Endoscopy done Jan 08, normal results, but my bloating & constipation continued, no digestive medications worked.  

Visit my doctor last week and had a very long talk with him about my digestive system, and he said my nerves (anxiety) can trigger digestive symptoms, increasing bacteria growth.  

He said starting Klonopin again would help relieve my symptom, but Klonopin was the very med that began it all in the first place.

So from my experiences, yes anxiety & psych meds can cause digestive issues.  Now I just have to patiently wait for my digestive system to correct itself.  
Avatar universal
I can so relate to your stomach issues. That's all of us who have anxiety need ii to add worrying about our health to the list, which I to lately. Eating is what we do to socialize so whenever that kind of situtation comes up I already start having stomach issues. What's odd is this doesn't happen everyday but often enough. I'm so worried about getting that too full feeling that I won't go into a restaraunt for fear of overeating then getting sick, I even carry a plastic bag in my purse at all times cuz of this fear. Do you sometimes have it where you feel after you eat that there's something really heaving just sitting in your lower stomach, kind of like your food just dropped straight down and is just sitting there? I get that once in a while too. I have lost over 20 pounds since this all started have you lost weight? Isn't anxiety fun? I am now on Klonipin and is really does help with my anxiety alot. I'm only taking .05 in the AM and .25 in the PM. my phsyciarist said I could add in another .25 if I wanted to so I'm thinking about trying that to see if I feel better. Usually the minimum dose is 1mg a day I think and I've been on this since Jan. of this year and still am not up to that yet. I know mine is not what I eat it's how much I eat. Oh! To be normal again.

Lots of love get back to me when you get a chance.
542733 tn?1217719151
Thank you all for your posts.

Suzzie, yes when I eat it feels like my food just dropped there in my stomach, I can feel it there and it feels heavy...
I also can feel like there is some food in my throat and couple of times I had the food really come back up some time after eating, it was just food, it wasn't acidy at all!
I have just found out that some blood tests I have had were all normal. This should make me feel better, shouldn't it? I am seeing the doctor this afternoon to discuss how I feel, but I am still scared.

Avatar universal
Please let me know what you found out from your Dr. visit,as I'm still not sure what's causing this with me too. Would love to hear another opinion. Good Luck & thanks!

Not to sound disgusting but I do have another question regarding this stomach thing. Do you ever feel like you have to have a BM soon after eating? I know gross, was just curious!
542733 tn?1217719151
Oh don't worry about the question, when you need to know if you are alright no question is gross really...But I have never noticed that.
Well my doc told me I should give another 2 weeks to Lanzoprazole (like your Prilosec), it may need time to work, and also the other med I'm taking, domperidone and he gave me another med to try if domperidone doesn't do anything - mebeverine. If nothing work he may refer me to have the camera down like you. When are you doing that? But he says he believe it will just turn out to be anxiety in the end.
I get a lot of burping with the stomach heavyness. Do you get any gas?
The worrying about this affects me so much, I can't do almost anything, I stayed off work for a week, because i feel so depressed because of my stomach that i feel something is going to happen to me so what is the point...I know I am being irational but I can't help myself :-( Just hope my Lexapro is going to kick in soon and maybe make me feel at least a bit better.
Plus i keep looking online and when i can't find anyone or anything telling me listen this is definitely anxiety, i felt like that and it is just that, I start feeling doomed and feeling even worse...
Well I hope you don't feel as bad as I do about this :-)
Avatar universal
Thanks for getting back to me so fast! No I don't seen to have any gas, but I do hear that's commen with anxiety related stomach problems. My camera test isn't until August 18th. Part of me is nervous about it and part of me is just do this and find out if there is anything else wrong.

Another issue I have had since this anxiety thing started is not being very hungry. I have lost so much of my appitite. Also, foods that I loved to eat before all this I don't have a taste for now. Has this happened to you? Keep in touch, hope you start feeling better soon.
542733 tn?1217719151
Oh about the food, i miss the food so much, i can't eat most of the stuff i used to love, because i am scared how my stomach will react to it. I used to love eating, and when i feel down i would just have some chocolate and i'd feel better straight away lol i never could eat too much really, don't get me wrong, i wasn't overeating, but i ate anything i would feel like eating :-)
Now i feel so depressed about the whole thing even more because i can't really eat.
It's quite a while til 18th of August...maybe you'll even feel better before then. Hopefully. But if you don't, you think if the camera results show nothing you will feel better?
Oh I hope i feel better before i have to do that. Where is the heavyness you feel, is it above bellybutton?
I got this herbal tablets today, i will tell you how it goes with them.
548054 tn?1214653293
Hey there....I've been trying to find others on here with the same sort of symptoms. I was wondering if either of you get nauseas and feel the need to gag after you eat? I have major anxiety that seems to go hand in hand with nausea and diarrhea. After a severe stomach pain below my ribs sent me to the ER last week I had all the tests done to make sure it wasn't gallbladder, pancreas, etc. and everything came back normal. They gave me morphine and the pain went away...it was the first time I had ever had anything like it. I went to see a specialist and he said it's just IBS (the acute pain was an inflamed colon?) which I've learned can come about in those with depression/anxiety. I'll alternate between constipation with gas all the time and well, the opposite! I'm on Lexapro which def. helped with the depression and had no side effects unlike others I'd tried.....and helped with the anxiety at first. My anxiety then seemed to come back stronger than ever along with worse stomach problems. I've was put on Prilosec a year ago but I don't remember it doing much good. Xanax helps sometimes because I feel it relaxes my stomach muscles. Like you guys...I love food and miss going out and enjoying meals with friends...it ***** so much having to cancel dates, etc. I even had to take a break from school because I'd get sick in class and then really tired all the time. It makes me just want to stay in all the time and eat soup alone...so sad!! I'm already skinny and am losing more weight because of this which isn't good. Any tips anyone has would be greatly appreciated!!

:) Julia
Avatar universal
I have had this well over a year now. At first it was blamed on my medication. Changed medication which helped a little, but didn't complety take away the problem.NO!!!!!!!! I probably won't feel better if they don't find anything I'll just worry about what they didn't find. Sometimes my fullness is in my lower abdomen( like when I feel like the food just dropped there). Other times it feels like I ate Thanksgiving dinner and ate way too much without eating much at all. Like today I are a whole tuna sandwhich about 3 hours ago and it feels like I just finished eating it. Then I also have it where I feel full all the way up to just under my boobs. All this stomach thing does it make anxiety even worse a vicios cycle. I cannot go to a buffet or anything like that at all. So I stress about food, eating, not eating, eating too much, it's most of what I think about all day. Do you have it where there's times when you eat and this doesn't happen and you think you're past it, then within a few hours you know you did in fact eat too much? Let me know! Love getting your feedback.
549421 tn?1214823744
i had all those same syptoms last week iw as convinced i had a stomch ulcer but it was all put down to my anxitey nad the syptoms went within a day!!

our brains can convince us of anything and make us feel syptomsthat arnt actuali ther!!

so dont worry just anxtey so try not worry and u will be back to norma soonxx
542733 tn?1217719151
I do get some days that I feel a bit better, but not alright, just better, then it just comes right back with the same force...It's exactly how I feel now, like i ate an elephant and it doesn't get better for hours and hours after eating. I don't feel great even when i don't eat, but it is a bit more bearable. I am so scared i won't be able to eat normal ever again...Some moments i freak out, the weight of the food (or what it feels to be food, it might just be tension or god knows what) is just so unbearable, i just wanna run to the doctor again and tell him look please just figure out right now what is wrong with me...Than i start remembering so many logical reasons why this could be just anxiety...But i still worry. And meds don't make any difference at all!

Lozaluva, i'm glad your symptoms only lasted that little, i have been battling with this for the past whole month constantly...not sure what to do...
Avatar universal
OMG!!!  I'm not the only one!!  for the past two years (more than that, but it has gotten worse over the past two years) I have felt horrible with food.  I have all the same symptoms.  Full feeling even after eating small amounts. Sometimes it feels like I have to go to the bathroom (BM) right after, sometimes not.
And whoever posted about the urge to gag after eating - YES!!  Only sometimes if I'm full of anxiety.  I have social anxiety so eating out with people is practically impossible.  When I do go,  the minute I go into the restaurant,  I feel nauseous and then I just can't eat.  If I force it,  I know I'll be sick.
My therapist has suggested for me to take some ativan before I go.  But I've just been hiding from people.
I have all sorts of tests done and everything comes back normal.  I even ended up in the ER with BAD pain under my ribcage - I thought something was horribly wrong but they just said it was anxiety.  Anxiety is EVIL!!
I'm not on any daily meds yet but I see my doc on the 8th and I'm going to try Lexapro if she agrees.  My sister in law went on Lexapro and it helped with her depression/anxiety and her upset stomach issues have gone away.  I guess I'm just hoping for that too.
the only thing that takes away those symptoms right now for me is compazine.  Then I'm good for two days.  I can eat without those horrible full, gassy icky feelings.
When I have a full blown panic attack,  I can't eat or drink anything,  I gag, I get diarrhea and I just want to die.  LUCKILY, that hasn't happened in a long time.  If it does,  I have to take a compazine and an ativan.
I feel like I'm a prisoner.  I don't want to go on vacation because then I'd have to eat out and lord knows what anxiety that would bring.
I'm just hoping AD's will work.  it's amazing what our minds can do to our bodies.
Avatar universal
Oh and.... I am skinny to being with and I have lost so much more weight.  My clothes don't even fit any longer - they just hang on me.  I just want to be normal again!!!
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear you are going through this too, but am I ever glad to find out that I'm not the only one. I have had this well over a year, I don't go out to eat for fear I will get sick, won't eat anywhere except where I feel safe. I even carry a bag in my purse at all times, just in case. I had an upper GI ran a year ago May, the one where you drink that nasty stuff, what an awful test. That came back normal,had an ultrasound on my gallbladder and liver both normal. Now am waiting to have the swallowing camera test. Hate to put myself through all these tests just for anxiety, but what else do you do. You have to find out if there is a medical reason for all this. Has anyone explained to you why anxiety would make you feel too full? I don't understand the conection. Then there's those times I'm starving and can't get enough to eat so I think it's finally gone, then boom it's right back again. Take care and hope you start feeling better!
Avatar universal
All I know is that the stomach has a ton of receptors.
542733 tn?1217719151
Yeah, stomach is said to be like a second "brain"...It responds so much to our emotions...I can't quite connect the fullness we feel with it though...that's where i get lost and start doubting. If it was just nausea or pain or butterfliesi think i would believe it easier...It is this fullness after food that is driving me mad...and the way i feel full, i wish i was pregnant, at least if it would feel heavy i would know why...i could have 2 whole christmas dinners in my stomach how full i fell...((((crying))))
Avatar universal
Your comment about feeling like you ate an elephant is so true. There are times when I have eaten around 5 or 6 pm and when I go to bed at 11 or 12 the fullness is still there as if I had just eaten a huge meal. One Dr. explained that when you have anxiety you produce too much stomach acid and when you try and eat it chuns that acid around to make you feel full. Have you ever heard of that? At least I'm glad to hear there is more of us having this problem. I too had posted on more than one site and never got any feedback, so this has been really helpful me to not feel so all alone with my problems.
Avatar universal
I also see a holistic doc and whenever I get the full feeling real soon after eating along with nausea,  it's either been bacteria, or my diaphragm needs to be adjusted downward.  If I'm real nauseous and start the gagging reflex for no apparent reason, it's usually gall bladder.  Now this holistic doc does Dr. Brimhall's techniques and that's a whole other story.  It's thru kiniesiology but in any case,  he always fixes me right up.
I know my body so well, I pretty much know what is going on by my symptoms. I freaked out when my ribs were killing me - felt like someone was driving a knife thru them.  In fact, I went to the ER and they did all sorts of x-rays and I was normal.  And I couldn't breathe fully.  And of course, everything was normal.  They finally said - "anxiety".
When I'm anxious,  I tend to breathe shallow and tighten up my stomach muscles and side muscles.  If I really think and relax everything,  my rib area, doesn't hurt any longer.  Stupid anxiety!  If I take an ativan,  that helps me greatly.
542733 tn?1217719151
Yeah, Suzzie, I am so glad I have posted this and found you, understanding exactly what I mean. :-) I have heard about a similar explanation. But anti-acid meds didn't help me. Actually meds never help me if it is anxiety lol I can't wait to see a gastro doctor, to get my reassurance.
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