Is there a biological link between anxiety and Crohns?

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Older Crohnie
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Date Joined May 2018
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   Posted 5/1/2018 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi - I am 60 and just diagnosed with Crohn's a few days ago. I really noticed my anxiety levels increasing as my symptoms ramped up. So before I even knew I had Crohn's my anxiety was spiking. I just wonder if having Crohn's can cause anxiety biologically. Thanks confused

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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1946
   Posted 5/1/2018 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
You might be able to link Crohn's symptoms to anxiety, but even very high anxiety levels couldn't manifest the disease itself. No different than someone experiencing a lot of stress, will sometimes get an upset stomach and diarrhea, or several other nervous system responses.

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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 5/1/2018 6:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I never had anxiety until after my diagnosis & was extremely ill. My anxiety was a result of loss of control of my bowels after a resection surgery. I was scared to death to eat or leave my home. This is not uncommon for some of us. I do not believe anxiety causes crohns & have never read anything suggesting it.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1793
   Posted 5/1/2018 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Statistically speaking, people with IBD have higher rates of depression and/or anxiety than the general population.

I heard a researcher say that it's not surprising for two reasons: One, the psychological stress of having a chronic illness, plus the issues of needing the bathroom urgently. Two, they have evidence that the pro-inflammatory cytokines active in IBD can and do cross the blood-brain barrier and likely have biological impact on the brain.

So the answer is, yes, Crohn's can cause anxiety, both psychologically and biologically, although the latter isn't well understood.

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Date Joined Feb 2018
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 5/2/2018 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Iv always had anxiety since i was a kid but wouldnt think anxiety causes crohns but crohns can make you anxious not knowing what the future holds
Had my colon removed sept 2017 in emergency surgery because it perforated because of toxic mega colon, was told i had uc originally but that changed to crohns when the pathology came back after
have ileostomy probably permanent
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