I definitely think there is a connection between bowel disease and depression. I believe this because of both personal experience and from what I've read from the medical community.
A recent study conducted at Boston University showed that up to 40 percent of patients with IBS suffer from depression related to changes in serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels in IBS stem from gastrointestinal influences affecting serotonin production and release. According to researchers up to 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin is found in the colon.
Similar studies have shown an increased rate of depression in patients with IBD. In a large study conducted in Italy, researchers showed that the overall severity of psychological symptoms was not statistically different between patients suffering from IBD versus IBS.
F. Pace, P Molteni, S Bollani, et al, Dept of Gastroenterology, Milan, Italy, Inflammatory bowel disease versus irritable bowel syndrome: a hospital-based, case-control study of disease impact on quality of life, Scand J Gastroenterol, 2003 Oct; 38(10): 1031-1038.
S. Jones, Beat the IBS Blues, Natural Health, April, 2007: 18.
Personally, I've struggled with depression from my teen years as well, about
the same time I started having symptoms from my Crohn's. I didn't understand the physical connection between the bowel and serotonin until recently. I am currently taking Cymbalta, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI), and have been amazed at the changes! I no longer am depressed or anxious. I wish I had known this connection years ago!
Disclaimer: obviously not everyone who has IBD is depressed or anxious. But if you are, there is a very real, physiological reason that could be causing it.
I'm a 37 year old mother, have had Crohn's for 15 years. Taking Imuran, Pentasa, Prevacid, Forvia, fish oil and Cymbalta.
Post Edited (MrsGriffin) : 9/7/2007 11:29:21 AM (GMT-6)