The link between anxiety and stomach pain


There is a link between anxiety and hypersensitivity of the gastrointestinal area. Also, microbiota state in the gut, mediated through the immune system, is interacting with the brain.

Van Oudenhove et al. (2007, p. 455) found a significant association between gastric hypersensitivity and personality traits that may be related to increased anxiety.

It is known that alterations in the human diet also potentially dramatically alters the composition of the gut microbiota, which can contribute to the development of gastrointestinal disease.
Luna and Foster (2015) point to recent reviews that reveal that there is a role between microbiota in the gut and the signaling from the gut to the brain. This connection may happen through humoral, neural, and cellular pathways. In any case, the immune system is a mediator in the gut-brain communication as it is known to cognitive sciences since a long time already (p. 38). In the same article Luna and Foster (2015) explain that even for moderately or not stressed individuals, the intake of different Lactobacillus can cause the decrease of anxious or depressive moods (p. 39).

In that case, we can conclude that a further treatment plan consideration is the possibility to include a nutrition specialist respectively a diet that is consisting of probiotic bacteria as found in fermented milk. Diet-related changes may positively influence the microbiota state of the gut and hence anxiety- and depression-like behaviors can change as well. Healthy diet in this regards may be interrelated and go together with the likewise important psychosocial stress factors that are addressed with rest, exercise, and mindfulness to treat anxiety disorder in a holistic way. According to Luna and Foster (2015), stress is also influencing the gut microbiota and is therefore on this way impacting behavior (e.g., anxious or depressive behavior) (p. 36).


Luna, R. A., & Foster, J. A. (2015). Gut brain axis: diet microbiota interactions and implications for modulation of anxiety and depression. Current Opinion In Biotechnology, 32(Food Biotechnology * Plant Biotechnology), 35-41. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2014.10.007

Van Oudenhove, L., Vandenberghe, J., Geeraerts, B., Vos, R., Persoons, P., Demyttenaere, K., & … Tack, J. (2007). Relationship between anxiety and gastric sensorimotor function in functional dyspepsia. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69(5), 455-463.

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About mathias sager

Independent researcher, artist, social entrepreneur, and leadership and strategy advisor I was born in Zurich in 1975 and grew up in Switzerland. The last six years I lived in Tokyo, and currently, I’m staying in Pune/India. I love open-minded people everywhere and the passion to working relentlessly for developing human potential, which is an overarching theme throughout all his work. I have extensive experience in leadership and management, organizational psychology research, and learning & development practice. I have worked as a teacher, a leadership trainer, as well as a senior manager responsible for client relationships, counseling, and virtual teams around the world. Also, I’m a social entrepreneur and serving as a strategy and leadership advisor in different ways. My goal is to inspire with interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural approaches to personal and professional development for the people’s individual well-being and common good alike. Continuously learning himself and keen to help, I appreciate any questions or feedback you may have at any time. Please connect here on any social media, as well as per direct email
  • Omgeee….I’ve been telling a few of my sisters this..but they don’t believe me. They have high anxiety and always a case of the worries. They’re not content without carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Which I’ve told is not a burden for them to carry..they don’t get that either.
    I’m showing them this…thanks for sharing!!