A review published by Romanian and German researchers in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry suggests that many psychiatric conditions have strong links to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The researchers state that IBS affects approximately 11% of the global population, while it has been found in 54-94% of people seeking treatment for psychiatric disorders (though the review does not separately count those already taking psychiatric medications). “Gastrointestinal symptoms have been recognized to occur in relation to fear, anxiety and stress,” note the researchers, adding that IBS in turn has been shown to cause “visceral hypersensitivity” and alter brain matter density. They overview the current evidence linking specific psychiatric conditions and IBS, and discuss biological and brain mechanisms that may account for the strong interactive relationship.
The relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and psychiatric disorders: from molecular changes to clinical manifestations (Fadgyas-Stanculete, Mihaela et al. Journal of Molecular Psychiatry 2014, 2:4 doi:10.1186/2049-9256-2-4)