Symptom #7 Irregular Weight
Given the impact depression has on appetite and motivation, its no surprise that the condition can lead to weight loss or even weigh gain.
Losing weight is quite common, as people simply lose interest in food. But for some people, they experience weight gain which is thought to be because they may not be as active, or they use food as a response to the emotional stress and sadness.
Youre Not Using The Right Delivery System
It could simply be the way the vitamin is deliveredi.e. is it a chewable, a gummy, or a coated capsule? Coatings keep the vitamin from dissolving as fast, which can cause irritation in your stomach. If you take a coated vitamin and are still feeling nauseous with food, check with your doctor to see if theres a different formula you can take, suggests Sonpal. If coated capsules are a problem for you, chewables or gummies could be a good alternative.
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What Does A Stress
Just as everyone experiences stress differently, they may experience the stomach discomfort it causes differently.
People with stress- or anxiety-related stomach pain most often complain of a knotted feeling, cramping, churning, bloating, indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea.
Broadly speaking, stress increases the movement and fluid secretion of your gut, which can leave you feeling like your stomach is either unusually blocked or extra active.
While acute or chronic stress has the potential to exacerbate the symptoms of any digestive condition, there are a number of specific stomach complaints that have been linked to stress, each with its own symptoms.
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Personal Factors That Can Lead To Depression
Personal factors that can lead to a risk of depression include:
- family history depression can run in families and some people will be at an increased genetic risk. However, this doesnt mean that a person will automatically experience depression if a parent or close relative has had the condition.
- personality some people may be more at risk because of their personality, particularly if they tend to worry a lot, have low self-esteem, are perfectionists, are sensitive to personal criticism, or are self-critical and negative
- serious medical conditions these can trigger depression in two ways. Serious conditions can bring about depression directly or can contribute to depression through the associated stress and worry, especially if it involves long-term management of a condition or chronic pain
- drug and alcohol use can both lead to and result from depression. Many people with depression also have drug and alcohol problems.
Reducing The Causes Of Low Stomach Acid And Bacterial Overgrowth
H.pylori. is a common bacterial overgrowth that can suppress the production of stomach acid. Unfortunately, this creates a vicious were both low stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth exacerbating each other into a downward spiral of digestive dysfunction.
Although more testing needs to be done a low-carb diet has in two studies proved very effective at not only reducing the symptoms of GERD but in some cases eliminated them completely.
It isnt necessary to stay on a low-carb diet permanently. As soon as the symptoms disappear and normal digestive function returns a low to medium low-carb diet should be enough to prevent the symptoms coming back.
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Six Signs Your Heartburn Could Be Something More Serious
That burning, uncomfortable sensation in your chest? Itâs probably heartburn. Heartburn is a very common ailment that affects many people for many reasons. It occurs when digestive acid escapes the stomach and irritates the delicate lining of the esophagus.
Usually, itâs the result of eating certain foods, or simply overeating, and can be treated with over-the-counter antacids. But sometimes, heartburn is a symptom of bigger problems, that require other solutions. Hereâs when to call a doctor:
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Other Tools In Your Pillbox
Antidepressants arent the only medications that can help.
Consult your doctor to see if over-the-counter pain relievers are right for your symptoms. Your doc can prescribe a muscle relaxer if the discomfort is really intense.
There are both prescription and OTC options that can help with GI symptoms including GERD and IBS.
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How To Calm An Anxious Stomach: The Brain
Ever wonder why you get butterflies in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is tied in knots after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasnt caused by anything you ate? Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.
Whether its a single nerve-wracking event or chronic worry and stress over time, stress can exact a physical toll on your digestive system. When you are anxious, some of the hormones and chemicals released by your body enter your digestive tract, where they interfere with digestion. They have a negative effect on your gut flora and decrease antibody production. The resulting chemical imbalance can cause a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- and peptic ulcers
Six Tips for Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Diarrhea Upset Stomach And Ulcers
Your brain and gastrointestinal system are directly linked. Depression, anxiety, and stress have been shown to affect the movement and contractions of the GI tract, which can cause diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
Your emotions also appear to impact stomach acid production, which can increase the risk of ulcers. Theres some evidence that stress may cause or worsen acid reflux.
There also appears to be a link between gastroesophageal reflux disease and anxiety. Depression has also been linked to irritable bowel syndrome .
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Techniques For Calming Down
Here are some of the techniques clinicians teach anxious children, adapted from CBT and mindfulness training:
Deep breathing: Drawing in air by expanding the belly, sometimes called belly breathing, helps kids relax by slowing breathing, and reducing the heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones. It can also help relax tense stomach muscles.Mindfulness exercises: Techniques such as focusing on whats around them, what they see and hear, can help pull children away from the anxiety and ground them in the moment.Coping statements: Children are taught to talk back to their worries, Ms. Greenspan explains. They can say, Im feeling scared and I can handle it. Or something along the lines of, Im bigger than my anxiety.Coping ahead: Children are taught that when you have to do something that makes you nervous, it helps to anticipate that you might have some discomfort, and plan what you can do to counteract it, knowing that if you can push through it, it will get easier.Acceptance: This involves acknowledging the discomfort without fighting it. Instead of trying to push the feeling away and get rid of it, Dr. Domingues explains, we ask you to hold onto it and tolerate it and get through it.
Stop Smoking To Prevent Reflux
Smoking can weaken the muscle that controls the lower end of the food pipe and allow acid from the stomach to travel in the wrong direction back up, a process known as reflux.
Reflux causes the symptoms of heartburn, and can bring on or aggravate stomach ulcers and inflammatory conditions of the bowel.
Smoking is also an important risk factor for stomach cancer.
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Ibd And Symptoms Of Depression
Anyone who has IBD might find it beneficial to talk with a mental health professional, because the unpredictability and uncertainty associated with the disease can be overwhelming emotionally.
When someone receives the diagnosis of IBD, they are typically flooded with emotions,” Sileo says. “One may be depression or just feelings of sadness.”
A therapist familiar with IBD can help you process those emotions and address them as needed. If you do have depression, it’s very important to start treatment as soon as possible. According to NIMH, a delay in treatment can lead to greater impairment in the future.
Patients with depressive symptoms typically have reported a lower quality of life and may be at an increased risk for relapses of IBD symptoms, Sileo says. Depression can directly impact the healing process for IBD because it affects the immune system, which can prompt an inflammatory response. Studies have found that when patients received mental health care, they spent fewer days in the hospital and took fewer sick days off from work, he explains.
When diagnosed with a chronic illness such as IBD, people obviously focus on getting the best medical care,” Sileo says. “They often see depression as a byproduct of the diagnosis and ignore it. My recommendation is to seek mental health help early.
Bloating And Acid Reflux
Because bloating leads to increased abdominal pressure, it can cause acid reflux as it pushes stomach contents back up into the esophagus. More frequent swallowing to get rid of stomach contents that have entered the esophagus could make you swallow more air and cause more bloating. When you feel bloated, you may even try to relieve some of that pressure by belching intentionally, which can also cause some reflux of the acidic stomach contents up into the esophagus. This may be more likely to occur if your bloating is due to consuming a large meal or is a result of delayed stomach emptying, which can be related to certain medications or conditions.
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How To Relieve Stomach Pain Symptoms
There isnt necessarily a cure for the stomach pain symptoms themselves. When your body is under stress, your stomach tends to hurt based on the acids in your stomach and the foods youve already eaten. If you have stomach pain as a result of an anxiety attack, you may need to wait it out.
Water can help a little, however. So consider sipping cool water. Antacids may also be beneficial in some cases, but if you have stomach pain often, you may not want to depend on antacid treatments.
Stomach pain from anxiety can be caused by several stress-related issues, including abdominal tension, digestion issues, and irritable bowel. Although the stomach pain may be caused by anxiety, the acids in the stomach are still very real. There are ways to treat both your stomach discomfort and anxiety.
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Different Types Of Depression
There are different types of depression, and there are some conditions where depression is a symptom. These conditions include:
- Bipolar disorder people with bipolar disorder, which is also known as “manic depression”, experience times of depression, where the symptoms are similar to clinical depression. They also go through phases when they have excessively high moods . Bouts of mania can include harmful behaviour like unsafe sex, spending sprees and gambling.
- Seasonal affective disorder is also called “winter depression”. It’s depression that is related to weather, usually winter, so it happens seasonally.
- Postnatal depression happens to some women after they’ve had a baby. It’s treated similarly to other types of depression, with antidepressant medication and talking therapy.
Learn more about how depression is diagnosed here.
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What Are The Treatments For Depression
Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.
- Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapyalso called therapy or counseling.7,8 Most therapy lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts feelings and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases understanding your past can help but finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and prepare you for challenges in the future.With therapy, youll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better.Some common goals of therapy include:
- Getting healthier
- Making sense of past painful events
- Identifying things that worsen your depression
- Having better relationships with family and friends
- Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
How To Handle It
Because the GI tract and anxiety are so closely related, its not always obvious what physical symptoms are caused by IBS, or anxiety, or IBS as a result of anxietyso it can be useful to take a two-pronged approach.
Reiner urges her clients to tackle the problem not just psychologically, but medically, as well. When someone is reporting debilitating stomach issues, I will first direct them to a gastroenterologist or primary care physician to rule out any underlying issues, she says. Even if your symptoms seem to be spiked by anxiety, there might be a physical cause that therapy or psychiatry alone cannot treat.
But if symptoms cant be fully treated through other means, there are practical ways of dealing with anxiety-induced GI discomfort when it arises. For some patients, Reiner suggests breathing exercises as a way to manage the physical symptoms, as well as the feeling of anxiety itself.
Diaphragmatic breathing relaxes your stomach, she says. Breathe in really slowly for about five counts, hold it in, and breathe it out for somewhere between six and eight counts. This can help turn on the rest-and-digest response, the bodys natural recovery mechanism to fight-or-flight, Reiner says.
Jodorkovsky says that hypervigilance is one pitfall you can try to avoid. When we are anxious, our bodies become hyper-aware of our symptoms, as if the nerve signals are amplified. This makes the symptoms even more distressing than they would otherwise be.
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Your Stomach Ache Goes Away When You Avoid A Phobia
You might even know the types of things that make you uncomfortable, or even particular things that you fear big time. Dr. Zarnegar says that if your stomach feels better when you avoid an anxiety-provoking situation such as flying, dating, or public speaking, that might be a hint these things are connected. But avoiding your fears can cause problems, too.
For example, you might really want a romantic partner, and have intense fear and emotional challenges around intimacy that could lead to a physical symptoms like stomach aches, she says. Then when you avoid that fear, like canceling a date, you feel better.
Unfortunately, many of the things we fear the most are things we have to encounter frequently, or are things we want to do to move forward in our lives. These are all issues you might want to tackle with the help of a professional, but things like journaling and meditation can also help you connect to and understand your feelings.
What Does Depression Look Like
Well raise your question with a few Qs of our own: Are you female? Are you a teen? Depression can also affect different ages and genders in unique ways:
Women are more likely to ruminate . This can look like negative self-talk, sudden crying spells, feelings of guilt, or blaming oneself. Women are also more likely to have depression at the same time as an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, eating disorder, or obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Men with depression are more likely to show signs of irritability, anger, apathy, escapist behavior , or reckless behavior .
Younger people can struggle with depression and MDD . Children and teens may sometimes exhibit oversensitivity, social withdrawal, poor school performance, frequent physical complaints , or feelings of incompetence and despair .
Older adults and the elderly are often misdiagnosed or undertreated for depression because their symptoms can be mistaken for other disorders , or they may assume their feelings are just an inevitable part of aging. For many, sadness isnt the biggest indicator of depression instead, physical complaints are often the predominant symptom. Sleep trouble, low motivation, neglect of personal care or hygiene, and fixation on death are other signs of depression in older adults.
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Stones In The Gallbladder
The gallbladder is a small organ that sits below the liver. It is responsible for storing and dispensing bile. Gallbladder stones are most common in women 40 or older who are overweight. When the stone moves from the gallbladder into the small intestine, or if the stone becomes stuck in the biliary duct, it can cause pain and other symptoms. High-fat foods often exacerbate gallbladder stones because a high volume of bile is needed to digest fat.
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What Causes Depression
The exact cause of depression is unknown. It may be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.2 Everyone is different but the following factors may increase a persons chances of becoming depressed:1
- Having blood relatives who have had depression
- Experiencing traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one, or financial problems
- Going through a major life change even if it was planned
- Having a medical problem, such as cancer, stroke, or chronic pain
- Taking certain medications. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether your medications might be making you feel depressed.
- Using alcohol or drugs
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