Could Your Digestive Issues Be Causing Your Anxiety?

Two new studies shed light on the link between digestive irritation and anxiety, suggesting that physical digestive problems may cause psychological distress, rather than vice versa as commonly assumed:

Early Gut Problems Linked To Anxiety, Depression

In a study published recently in PLoS ONE, Dr. Pankaj Pasricha of Stanford University School of Medicine and colleagues found that gastric irritation early in life may change the way the brain is wired and raise sensitivity to stress later in life. Their study on newborn rats suggests that some disorders commonly associated with anxiety, such as irritable bowel syndrome, may be the cause rather than the result of conditions like anxiety and depression. According to Dr. Pasricha, “A lot of research has focused on understanding how the mind can influence the body. But this study suggests that it can be the other way around. Gastric irritation during the first few days of life may reset the brain into a permanently depressed state.”

Bacteria In The Gut Influences Brain Chemistry

Researchers at McMaster University have determined that bacteria residing in the gut influence brain chemistry and behavior in adult mice. When they changed the normal bacterial content of the gut in healthy mice, they found that the mice became less anxious and had an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein which has been linked to depression and anxiety. To confirm their conclusion that bacteria can influence behavior, the researchers then colonized germ-free mice with a passive genetic background with bacteria from mice with more exploratory behavior. The result? The passive mice became more daring and active. When the process was reversed, normally active mice became more passive.

Source: Medical News Today
Photo: Px Here

More Articles

The good news for anyone suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is that there are a number of effective treatment options available....

Who we spend our time with is just as important as what we spend our time doing; maintaining close relationships is a necessary and wonderful part...

If you have any of the physical symptoms of anxiety listed below, please don't suffer any longer -- seek help immediately. Your first step is to...

Experiencing anxiety is not a mental health problem. Having what is sometimes called abnormal (neurotic) anxiety can indicate several things,...

A new study reports that computer programs are able to use brain scans to distinguish between healthy individuals and those at risk of developing...

SITEMAP