Having gastrointestinal disorders can drive, and be driven by, psychological factors

Psychological factors such as anxiety are well known to be associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), and now a 12-year long study, the first of its kind, has looked at whether the brain, or the brain’s thought actions eg anxiety, drive the symptoms of gut disorders, or vice versa.

The study, carried out by the Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia, included 1775 people who took part in a survey on FGIDs in 1997, of which 1002 completed the 12-year follow up survey.

They concluded that the central nervous system and the gut interact bidirectionally in FGIDs, meaning that they drive each other equally.

Source: Gut – An International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

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First Published in January 2012

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