UC and anxiety

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laurar
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 2/28/2008 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I'm sure there have been posts on this before, but how many UC sufferers out there also have bad anxiety? I've had anxiety on and off throughout my life, but over the past few weeks it's been at it's all time worst. I even had an anxiety attack, which freaked the crap out of me. The most interesting part is that my symptoms started on a day when my stomach was acting up. My stomach has been "off" ever since, and the anxiety has not gone away. I have never considered anxiety meds before, I always just toughed it out, but am now considering treatment. My doc gave me Klonopin so that I could sleep, but that's making me feel really weird and depressed and I don't like it at all. How many of you are also being treated for anxiety?

Thanks,

Laura
Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

Probiotics
Fish Oil
Vitamin C
Slippery Elm
TURMERIC!!!


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 18008
   Posted 2/28/2008 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I had severe anxiety and depression as well because of my crohns...I found that exercising regularly helped immensely with this, as well I started taking natural anti-inflammatory products, fibre supplements and probiotics so my regime of taking these things, sticking to a great diet and exercising helped huge in the battle of anxiety and depression...especially when there are some foods that can actually increase depression, refined sugar is a bad one for that, since giving it up, I look and feel better all around.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


ediekristen
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 2/28/2008 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   

I have pretty severe social anxiety, and it almost always causes my colitis to act up. My symptoms have been getting increasingly worse lately as I'm planning to move from Iowa to Florida and I've been going over and over in my head about the whole finding a new job, meeting new people, and worst of all... telling my employer and coworkers of two years that I'm quitting next month. I am not good at quitting. I still haven't decided what to say or how to say it but I'm giving myself a deadline of next week.

Anyway... I'm not sure which started first, the colitis or the social anxiety but I would say the SA and my anxiety symptoms definitely make things worse. I'm currently on Lexapro which helps a bit but not as much with the anxiety as I'd like.

And I agree with pb4... when I was taking yoga classes I felt SOOO much better... Unfortunately I haven't been in months because I'm either too sick or too broke, but I hope to get back into that once I get settled in my new place.


Female, 22, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia in hip & lumbar region of spine from long term prednisone use

Current Meds:
10mg Lexapro (for depression/social anxiety)
125mg Azathioprine
4800mg Asacol (Four 400mg tablets, three times a day)
10meq Potassium
 
 


superdeejayanna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 2/28/2008 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder- I take Effexor daily and do fine, but I notice when my anxiety gets bad, due to an extremely stressful situation, my colon feels extra bad.

damo123
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 677
   Posted 2/28/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   
The bowel and brain are made from the "same genetic material". Of all the structures in the body the bowel matches most closely to the brain at the cellular level. The bowel can "think" but not in a way that you can "feel the cognative thinking process". But the bowel is still capable of being "aware" of what is happening in the body.

It's no surprise then that stress and anxiety affect the bowel so much. That's the reason you get "butterflies in your tummy".

My question goes further. If bowel issues result due to "brain" anxiety could it also be that "brain" anxiety can in other cases be the result of bowel issues.

My own personal opinion, the brain has to play some part in IBD as it does in IBS. I don't like the idea of "people having the potential for UC". It's a crude and over-simplistic answer to a question we haven't even phrased right. That's why we can't answer it. The immune system doesn't attack without a brekadown in cognative body function admitedly probably at the subconscious level. Just my own view.

D
400-800 mg Asacol a day
Iron supplment,Probioitcs
Balanced Diet (...ish!!), Reduced Stress
 
"There are only about a half dozen things that make 80% of the difference in any area of our lives."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


mbx5
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 2/28/2008 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Damo

I totally agree. I think that stress and anxiety are directed to our bowels directly....its like the brain has a T1 line to the pooper, and the signals run in both directions! The social anxiety caused by our conscious minds knowing what "could" happen to us - i.e. accident in pants - is directly pipelined into our guts, which in turn fires up the UC. The flare and active UC, and unsettled feeling in our bowels in turn causes us to be uncomfortable, irritated, depressed, etc...

That catch 22 has to be broken. People who are flaring are obviously nervous, depressed, and anxious, which is feeding their flare.

I am currently taking Ativan to help with the anxiety. It does help a little. Various anti-depressants help as well.

My GI has always said we cant find a cure until we find a trigger. I think that the brain is a good place to start.
33 yr old male. UC for 14 years. 5mg pred (tapering off), 12 pills Asacol per day, Dicyclomine (for cramps), 0.5 - 1mg Atavan per day (anxiety), Fish oil pills, Culturelle probiotics. Recent Endonasal brain surgery to remove non-cancerous hormone producing tumor on pituitary gland (And I am still more afraid of my UC!!)


Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9471
   Posted 2/28/2008 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Except that some of us are not triggered by stress and don't suffer from excessive anxiety. I think the causes are multiple, the symptoms are similar, but I'm not sure we all have exactly the same condition.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum


doors12
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 576
   Posted 2/28/2008 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   
mbx5 said...
its like the brain has a T1 line to the pooper, and the signals run in both directions!
Yes, maybe it is this "Vagus Nerve" 
 
 
Thanks for posting this thread.  No doubt current theories are overly simplistic.  The whole history of "Psychosomatic Medicine" is suspect, and mostly, nonsense, as it is destined to be when starting from a Cartesian subject vs object dichotomy.  With that as a backdrop, we are practically considered ghosts in a machine, "I think, therefore I am,"  and then we have the world of objects.  Then we wonder why we can't explain how the "ghost" interacts with this "machine."  Well, the reason why is because we started out with it as our premise.
 
If anyone is interested also, you may want to check out the link between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (considered an anxiety disorder) and Strep Throat, there is some syndrome called PANDAS that has to do with kids getting OCD from strep throat. 
 
I had strep throat way too many times as a kid, and therefore also probably way too many antibiotics. 
 
This is the reason I don't understand why they don't do more case studies with us UC folks.  Take a medical autobiography from us for research purposes, heck even a simple survey.  I can tell you when I had anxiety, what kinds, when I first started getting strange symptoms etc. 
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 6/2006 at age 26 after sudden E.R. visit
~Pancolitis (Mild to Moderate)
 ~I had Mono in 2000
On Colazal 3x3/day; Folic Acid 1mg; Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo
In remission about 2-3 months after E.R. but not back to normal!
 
~Interested in finding a cure/making sense out of U.C. and philosophical and psychological aspects of UC and "Stress" and Personal Development issues with Chronic Illnesses. 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 18008
   Posted 2/28/2008 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Makes me wonder how effective hypnosis might be for us IBDers and IBSers as well because of this connection.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


dakotagirl
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 2/28/2008 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I definitely see a connection. I also know after my own experiences and those of my family that sometimes it takes more than one med to find the right one. Talk with your doc and see if there are other options for you. This med may not be the right one for you.

I know that when I increased my Effexor from 37.5 to 75 during a very anxious time, I noticed an effect in two to three days. I didn't feel any other changes - just felt like "I" was back in my life!!!

Yes, exercise and yoga can play a huge role, but often times some people need a bit of a pharmacutical push in the right direct.

I hope you find something that works for you!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
 
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Aciphex, Effexor XR, Forvia and a Probiotic
Osteopenia (hip and spine) from prednisone use.  Started Azathioprine because I was steroid dependent.
 
Co-Mod for the UC forum
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mbx5
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 2/28/2008 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a great post.  I had strep throat countless times as a little boy, and was constantly pumped with antibiotics!!!
 
Did a quick google search:
 
 
 
 
 
33 yr old male. UC for 14 years. 5mg pred (tapering off), 12 pills Asacol per day, Dicyclomine (for cramps), 0.5 - 1mg Atavan per day (anxiety), Fish oil pills, Culturelle probiotics. Recent Endonasal brain surgery to remove non-cancerous hormone producing tumor on pituitary gland (And I am still more afraid of my UC!!)


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 22057
   Posted 2/29/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Laura :) I have never been diagnosed or given any meds for my anxiety but I know that is what I suffer from as well as the odd panic attack. But what I do know is that when my mind starts acting up, so does my gut. I've been sort of thinking too of starting on a medication but I'm so leery of them. I was once put on Wellbutrin and talk about a nightmare! I was an emotional wreck with dark thoughts. But some people have great success with anxiety meds. What are you doing for your stomach? Is your Uc behaving or is it just your stomach?
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
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BumTum
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 3/1/2008 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
My gut and my brain have been in cahoots with each other for years.  I have been on Zoloft for anxiety for 12 years.  It's not foolproof, but it helps. 
  • Pancolitis since 5/06 at age 50, IBS since childhood
  • Degenerative Disc Disease/Spinal Stenosis - L4 and L5
  • Prescribed: Asacol, Atenolol, Zoloft, Synthroid, Menest
  • Prescribed: Xanax & Hydrocodone as needed
  • OTC:  Probiotic 15-35, Multi Vitamin, B Complex, Turmeric, Fish Oil, Biotin
 
 
 


serendipity24
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 3/1/2008 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't gone on medication for anxiety, but once I realized the head game I play with myself--the vicious cycle of "what if?" games surrounding my UC, I can talk myself down from the anxiety. Sometimes it works better than others, but just knowing where my anxiety comes from, knowing that it's self-imposed, and coming to terms with my disease over the years has really really helped me relax. I still have outside stress that makes things worse down there...but at least the mind games have stopped.

There are times, however, when I wonder if maybe I should have gone on meds. It definitely would have made the times when I was flaring easier to deal with mentally, but somehow I got myself through it. Mind over matter...
Rachel

23 yrs old
Diagnosed with UC: March 2004 with probable IBS component

Currently taking:
Asacol 4pills 3x/day
Prograf 5mg/day
(Prograf is my miracle drug! It doesn't seem to be well known, but it's fantastic!)

Previously Tried:
Prednisone (works, but such awful side effects!), 6-MP (gave me acute pancreatitis), Entocort, Cipro (antibiotic), Bentyl, Canasa suppositories, a couple different enemas


biscuit
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 3/4/2008 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
this is very interesting to me. my daughter has uc and i believe she has also always suffered from anxiety. i know there are drs. out there who specialize in therapy for people with uc and other gut disorders. has anyone ever tried this type of therapy? i am going to look into it for my daughter when she is home from school this summer.

njguy69
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 276
   Posted 3/4/2008 6:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I've always had bad anxiety since I was a kid. I believe there's a connection.
aka. uc veteran

Asacol - four a day
6 MP - 1 tab. a day
Remicade - every eight weeks.


jars05
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 247
   Posted 3/4/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm more anxious than the average bear. It does play a part.
Age: 30
Location: Missouri
Diagnosed with UC in 1997.
Medications: 100 mg Azathioprine a day
Supplements: 2 Omega 3s, b-6, calcium, and multivitamin
No. of colonoscopies: I lost count at 6...LOL!
Last scope: 10/9/05-everything looked ok.
 
 


MicheleV
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 232
   Posted 3/4/2008 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Im not an especially anxious person (unless on prednisone!) but I am very very very type A.  I am a perfectionist with aspects of my life, and this is why I flared at midterm and final exams as well as my wedding...etc. 
 
I never did tons of antiobiotics and I dont have reactions to foods.  But tell me I am going to take a test???????????????  Oh yeah.....that's a problem.  devil
Currently in remission since September 2004!!!  I am on Imuran 150 mg and am LOVING life!


laurar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 3/4/2008 1:52 PM (GMT -6)   
This is super interesting, and I posted it on the anxiety forum too. My naturopathic doc suggested I get tested for low magnesium levels (which can cause anxiety), since I've got diarrhea alot of the time and I ran a half-marathon in late January (which can deplete your system of minerals). My magnesium levels came back very low. I've started taking a liquid mineral supplement and it's helped tremendously! I've slept better over the past few nights and have also noticed that I haven't reacted as strongly to events that would normally set me off over the past few days. I'm not sure the anxiety is completely gone, but definitely improved. Just thought I'd share. I wonder how many of us have depleted vitamin/mineral levels in our bodies from bad diarrhea? I wonder how much that could contribute to the anxiety?
Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

Probiotics
Fish Oil
Vitamin C
Slippery Elm
TURMERIC!!!


dakotagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 3/4/2008 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Huh. Very interesting indeed. I've heard that too much Mg can cause D too, but then D can lower Mg levels... A fine line we walk!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
 
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Aciphex, Effexor XR, Forvia and a Probiotic
Osteopenia (hip and spine) from prednisone use.  Started Azathioprine because I was steroid dependent.
 
Co-Mod for the UC forum
Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate


damo123
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 677
   Posted 3/4/2008 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Isn't Mg similar to calcium in the sense that it helps bind stool?
400-800 mg Asacol a day
Iron supplment,Probioitcs
Balanced Diet (...ish!!), Reduced Stress
 
"There are only about a half dozen things that make 80% of the difference in any area of our lives."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


laurar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 3/4/2008 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Actually Magnesium can causes loose stools, while Calcium hardens them. I've been careful with my dosing because I don't want to get worse diarrhea. It's best to take the two together.
Diagnosed Ulcerative Pancolitis

Probiotics
Fish Oil
Vitamin C
Slippery Elm
TURMERIC!!!


uc_free
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 645
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   

I am not being treated for anxiety, but I am definitely prone to it.  Recently I was suffering from a tremendous amount of it and my symptoms were getting bad.  I know that anxiety TOTALLY aggravates my UC.

 

 


Tara

Diagnosed April 1998 - Pancolitis
Currently on (per day):
Pentasa 4 gms
Imuran 100 mgs


damo123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 677
   Posted 3/5/2008 4:15 AM (GMT -6)   
There is a difference surely between stress and anxiety. Anxiety is just one form of stress. I think the word "stress" is misused a lot these days. It's a more global term referring not so necessarily to how anxious or nervous you are but "the strain the bodily functions come under". Take an athlete. They are fit, healthy, eat well etc but they push their bodily functions to the max and their bodies can be under considerable stress.

When a doctor tells us we are under stress I think we have a tendancy to assoicate this with nerves, panic and anxiety. I don't think that's the case. If you go to hospital to do a stress test it's the workings of your major bodily functions that interests the docs.

In short I think you can suffer from acute stress without ever being anxious or nervous.
400-800 mg Asacol a day
Iron supplment,Probioitcs
Balanced Diet (...ish!!), Reduced Stress
 
"There are only about a half dozen things that make 80% of the difference in any area of our lives."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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