Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Constipation and anxiety

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 20, 2008
  • 10:13 PM

I had a baby by emergency c-section 2 years ago. I was laboring for 8 hours before that, part of the time with an epidural, and I had an epidural for the surgery.
As soon as I got home from the hospital, I started having these weird feelings of anxiety every now and then. I thought it was a side-effect of the pain medication I was on, but it has continued, and I have realized that it is whenever I am constipated. That's why I'm wondering if it was something from the surgery or from the epidural; when I am constipated, I have more gas, and I can feel it building up near my lower back, and that's when I start to feel really weird (anxiety, sometimes nausea, disoriented, etc.).
I am pregnant again, and every time I've talked to a Dr. about the anxiety, they just look at me like I'm weird, say "no, I've never heard of that". I have just been trying to avoid being constipated, but I do want to make sure that nothing serious is wrong, and I'd like to be rid of this problem.
Has anyone else ever heard of anything like this? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!!!

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4 Replies:

  • You're not alone. Try here: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bsc/apt/2003/00000018/00000003/art00007
    aquila 1,263 Replies
    • November 21, 2008
    • 05:51 PM
    • 0
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  • The Ingenta article is saying that, in an Asian population, randomly calling about 3000 people on the phone will result in finding a prevalence of constipation in 14% of the people. Those constipated people were more likely to also have anxiety and/or depression (no causation/correlation est), compared to healthy people in the same 3000 surveyed. It is an interesting enough study, but if you sit down and spend time to read it, there is no real applicability outside of the most general sense, to the OP, who is asking about constipation and anxiety following pelvic surgery (cs). fyi-fewd4thought
    fewd4thought 126 Replies
    • November 21, 2008
    • 07:11 PM
    • 0
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  • I respectfully disgree with fewd4thought. The writer of the posting expresses that his/her doctor had "never heard of" an association between constipation and anxiety. The literature, however you care to read it, points out that there may be a correlation. No more, no less.
    aquila 1,263 Replies
    • November 24, 2008
    • 08:51 PM
    • 0
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  • Aquila, you do realize that the OP is asking if anyone has information about an actual causal relationship between the episodic anxiety that she experiences when constipated... There really wasn't anything in my previous statement to disagree with- make sure to read the entire paper, not just the abstract. Obviously the study could not be done on a comparable sample population, because a telephone survey at any given moment can't select out for the subjects experiencing 'attacks' with anxiety. In fact, if you get a chance to take another look at the article, you will find a subset of the study population were not aware of their constipation. From the OP, I wasn't actually clear on what the MD 'never heard of'...Immaterial. The relevance of the study in this instance is limited. It would be similar to buying a Ford because you spent all day researching and test driving Toyotas. HTH
    fewd4thought 126 Replies
    • November 30, 2008
    • 10:24 AM
    • 0
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