WebMD's Symptom Finder: Physical Symptoms of Depression - Stomach
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Digestive problems, stomach pain, and appetite changes are caused by many things. They can be signs of medical problems such as ulcers, gallbladder problems, and reflux disease. They can also be caused by dietary problems and too little exercise. Often, they occur when we're under stress. But they may also be symptoms of depression. See a doctor for a medical evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms.
When people are depressed, they sometimes develop digestive problems, including diminished appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Worry, anxiety, and stress can lead to intestinal difficulties. Also, people experiencing a depressive episode may eat not enough or too much, and they may get little exercise. All this can affect the stomach and intestinal tract.
Almost everyone has dark thoughts when his or her mood is bad. With depression, though, the thoughts can be extremely negative. They can also take over and distort your view of reality.
Cognitive therapy can be an effective way to defuse those thoughts. When used for depression, cognitive therapy provides a mental tool kit that can be used to challenge negative thoughts. Over the long term, cognitive therapy for depression can change the way a depressed person sees the world.
Studies have shown...
Could your stomach trouble be related to depression? Find out by keeping a symptom diary, which can help you identify patterns. Print out this symptom diary, and fill it out. Then take it to your doctor to discuss what may be causing your symptoms.
SOURCES: David Baron, MSEd, DO, chairman of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine. WebMD Medical Reference: "Heart Disease Symptoms;" "Understanding Back Pain;" and "An Overview of Arthritis." Body illustration created exclusively for WebMD by Andy Matlock