The Links Between Food Poisoning, Upset Stomachs and Anxiety Attacks
Since I changed my diet I usually do not have problems with anxiety issues anymore. However, on a few occasions in the past year I have had anxiety attacks occur suddenly and for no immediately apparent reason. About an hour or two after the start of each attack, I've noticed that I usually get a bad case of diarrhea. On the last two occasions, other family members have eating the same meal also had upset stomachs and diarrhea, so I think my attacks were actually brought on by food poisoning.
I'm pretty sure
the food poisoning was the triggering event, as multiple family members
got sick at the same time as I did and it happened to all of us right
after a meal. Interestingly, I'm the only one who gets anxiety attacks
as a symptom just after food poisoning and prior to the onset of the upset
stomach. But I've noticed that the anxiety attacks always precede an upset
stomach and disappear as soon as I have the stomach upset under control.
I first realized the anxiety-upset stomach-food poisoning link on one occasion when my family went out to eat at a Thai restaurant. There are four members in my family, and each of us got a raw vegetable salad with dressing with our lunch special. One of my sons does not like salad so he gave me his salad. During lunch while eating the salad I started to develop an anxiety attack for no apparent reason. I was feeling fine going into the restaurant, but started getting very anxious and worrying about things that had not bothered me before arriving at the restaurant. Nothing upsetting had happened during lunch, so there was no logical reason I should have been getting anxious.
After lunch all of us who had the salads got upset stomachs and diarrhea. I had two salads and was the sickest of all. My son who didn't have the salad was fine, so clearly with 3 out of 3 salad eaters getting sick right after lunch there was something off in the salad or dressing. Interestingly, as soon as I got home and took some home remedies for my stomach problems my anxiety attack ended, too.
A similar occurrence happened again several months later. I developed an anxiety attack after breakfast one day. Then right after breakfast another family member and I who had eaten the same foods both got sick. Again, my anxiety cleared up as soon as my stomach issues cleared up, so for me there seem to be a pretty clear cause and effect relationship between the events:
Doctors often think people with anxiety issues make themselves sick to their stomachs with worry and that all of their problems start in their heads. I'm pretty sure that with me, and perhaps at least some other people who are anxiety prone, that all of my issues actually start in my stomach and then effect my mental state.
I have a theory of what might cause this. I suspect that when I get a case of food poisoning, my body uses nutrients like zinc and magnesium to detoxify the foreign invaders. This creates an immediate shortage of these minerals, making them less of available for their other functions. Plus, the diarrhea itself also causes a loss of minerals. In the case of a important mineral like magnesium, this may mean there is less of the mineral available for functions such as turning off adrenaline and relaxing muscles, functions that are needed to keep people calm. That is just a theory, and I'm not exactly sure why for me food poisoning causes anxiety attacks. At this point now though I have logged enough occurrences to be convinced of a cause and effect relationship.
Related sections of interest:
Natural Therapies for Morgellons - The cause of this disorder is controversial and not clearly understood. My family had some similar symptoms so I wrote up what we found helpful.
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