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Anxiety & Food Aversions

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

So I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder for years. Recently though my health got back specifically with GI issues which are a huge anxiety trigger. GI symptoms have brought on full on panic attacks. Since my gallbladder was out back in March I have nothing but issues with food. I have lost a lot weight from 120pounds to 112 and from 112 to 93 pounds over the course of 6 months. I take anti-anxiety medication. I do guided meditation and other techniques to calm myself. But I don’t want to be like this forever. I am not even sure what this is?

You tried medication and self-help techniques but have you tried therapy? If your techniques are no longer working, then it would be wise to consult a professional. It’s not uncommon for anxiety and gastrointestinal (G.I.) problems to be linked. Some research indicates that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have higher rates of depression and anxiety than people without IBS. These psychiatric disorders may not cause IBS, but reducing their symptoms appears to play an important role in the treatment of IBS.

You can find a therapist by asking your primary care physician (PCP) for a referral. Ask for a therapist who specializes in anxiety. Call several therapists and describe your condition and ask how they would help you. Choose the one with whom you feel the most comfortable then meet with them in person. They will evaluate whether or not your G.I. issues are connected to your anxiety, then develop the appropriate treatment plan. Good luck with your efforts.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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