WebMD's Symptom Finder: Physical Symptoms of Depression - Stomach
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, depressed people may not eat enough, they may eat too much, and they may get little exercise. All this can affect the stomach and intestinal tract.
For millions of people, chronic illnesses and depression are facts of life. A chronic illness is a condition that lasts for a very long time and usually cannot be cured completely, although some illnesses can be controlled through diet, exercise, and certain medications. Examples of chronic illnesses include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
Many people with chronic illness experience depression. In fact, depression is one of the most common...
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.
David Baron, MSEd, DO, chairman of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine.
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Body illustration created exclusively for WebMD by Andy Matlock