The Link between Depression, Anxiety, and Gut Problems


Our entire body functions under one central nervous system. And therefore, when your brain faces a situation, the entire body gets affected by it. The gut, also known as the ‘second brain’ is one major influencer of our thoughts and decisions. This is the sole reason why ‘gut feeling’ is a real phenomenon. However, there is a strong connection between anxiety and gut problems which only escalates under depression and tension. Read on to know more about what changes occur in this period, and what you can do to put an end to it.

How do anxiety and depression affect digestion?


ConstipationA tensed mind results in a tensed nervous and digestive system. A tensed stomach is unable to carry out it’s functioning the best way leading to constipation and digestive issues. It is a common sight to see an anxious and depressed person suffer from constipation. This can greatly be reduced by including fibre in the diet.



When out stomach is under pressure, it is unable to withstand any intake of food. The immediate response of the body to anxiety and gut problems is to throw up, which is why we often see people unable to eat before a big day or an exam. And even when they do, their meal usually ends up going down the drain.

Intolerance to certain foods:

Intolerance to certain foodsChronic tension, anxiety, or depression may cause your gut to develop intolerance to certain foods in the long run. Scientists have discovered cases of gluten and lactose intolerance in stressed and depressed patients who weren’t intolerant to these foods before the onset of their mental illness.

Irritable bowel syndrome:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Constipation, diarrhoea, tensed gut, loss of appetite, and sickness all result from irritable bowel syndrome which is the connection between anxiety and gut problems. This, in turn, stems from a continuous and prolonged case of anxiety, stress and depression, though you can address the consequence of stress and rest the symptoms, one needs to get to the grass root level and get rid of depression at the earliest.

What are the effects of depression on the nervous system?

Sleep deprivation:


Due to anxiety and gut problems, you will find it difficult to fall asleep instantly. If this problem persists and your body remains constantly sleep deprived, the health of your nervous system and your gut will go in for a toss. Make sure you catch upon less to lessen the negative outcomes of anxiety.

Low immunity:


Depression and digestive problems go hand in hand. Chronic anxiety is most likely to result in a weak nervous system over a certain period of time, and a weak nervous system will surely lead to low immunity thereby increasing your chances of falling prey to viral and opportunistic infections.

Bacterial growth:

digestion issue Your gut needs to maintain a specific balance of pre-biotic and probiotic bacteria to aid in proper digestion. However, when depression and anxiety set in, this balance gets disrupted and, therefore, your nervous and digestive system suffer greatly.

Hormonal imbalance:

Hormonal imbalance‘Happy hormones’ like serotonin are greatly reduced in quantity when your mind is not functioning at its best. These send out signals to your body leading to even lesser production of other happy hormones. Cortisol, a stress hormone in your body, increases in quantity in such situations, thereby worsening the condition.

Adrenaline release:

unhappyUnder periods of stress, anxiety and gut problems, your body uses glycogen reserves to produce something known as ‘adrenaline’ which increases your overall stress levels. Owing to this, your digestion process is greatly influenced leading to gut and nervous system issues.

How to address gut problems due to anxiety?

Get exercising:

exercisingExercising on a daily basis builds up stamina for stomach pain treatment in the long run and improves your stability too. This, in turn, affects your gut’s ability to withstand pressure and tension better than before. Sure, you cannot avoid feeling a little like throwing up in cases of extreme anxiety, but your gut will now be in a better position to bear it all.

Include fibre in your diet:

dietFibrous foods during anxiety and gut problems are known to improve bowel movements in your gut. Anxiety and tension in your head take its toll on the gut which usually results in constipation. When your diet is rich in fibre, you are less likely to suffer from constipation even in cases of anxiety and mood swings.

Avoid processed foods:

eating junk foodAlmost 60% of an average urban individual’s diet consists of junk food. The makeup of your gut changes entirely when you feed it with natural whole foods and when you feed it processed foods. You need a stronger and healthier gut so that it can bear the brunt of your mental conditions and not add to your health issues. Therefore, make it a point to cut down on junk food as much as you can as a crucial part of your stomach pain treatment.

Meditation techniques:

Meditation Implementing mediation and relaxation techniques to address anxiety and gut problems go a long way in boosting your immunity as well as your strength in being able to withstand mental pressure. Practice a few minutes of meditation each day to see the beneficial effects for yourself.


medicationIf nothing else works, you can always approach your doctor to seek help regarding your anxiety and gut problems. There is nothing to worry if you feel a little uneasy in the gut occasionally, but if it becomes an everyday issue, then make sure you consult your physician at the earliest.

Summing it up:

Many of us are under the wrong impression that if we feel tensed or depressed, those emotions cannot impact the other parts of our body negatively. However, the truth is that our central nervous system reaches every organ of the body in some way or the other. And if this system is feeling low, it will eventually take a toll on the rest of the body as well.

Therefore, when you are tensed, you feel like hurling or puking or suddenly want to go to the loo. In such situations of depression and digestive problems, you must make amends to address such gut problems due to anxiety with the help of the above-mentioned tips.

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