Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Anxiety, reason for crohns?heal naturally?

08-10-2015, 10:18 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Eustis, Florida
Anxiety, reason for crohns?heal naturally?

My son has suffered with depression anxiety and panic attacks for years ,his crohns came on overnight it seems,dechad an abscess drained January half his colon removed parts of his intestines too and given an ostomy, july 9th they were able to reconnect him. They want him to start on remicade in a few weeks. He lives a very natural lifestyle does not eat any meat,nothing with a face as he puts it lol but he does not eat allot of veggies. Our family heals our selfs (most times) naturally, we dont like putting drugs into our systems as everything has side affects and such. My son believes his anxiety is what caused his crohns....does anyone else feel this? Is anyone trying to deal with their anxiety hoping they can heal the crohns without drugs?if the anxiety is controlled will the crohns be releaved?
My son is 24 and his anxiety and all he has been through since dec has him thinking his life is screwed, he sees no real future. My heart is broken, he needs help ,I'm trying to find someone for him to talk to but our insurance isnt accepted by many psychiatrist in our area.
Anyone in the Orlando area who uses a psychiatrist that is helping with anxiety?
Thanks for any help
Peace all,
08-10-2015, 10:23 AM   #2
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Hi - while anxiety can make symptoms worse, or bring on symptoms, anxiety itself does not 'cause' Crohn's. If the anxiety is relieved, you son may get some relief from symptoms, but it will not sure him, unfortunately.

As for medications, they can be a necessary evil....without medications to keep the inflammation and disease under control, the body will continue to be hurt by it. Even low levels of inflammation, over time, can cause damage. That is where years ago some people found out the hard way - (such as myself) - I would get put on medication until symptoms were under control, then taken off...until symptoms came back...around and around, with shorter periods of remission until I was in an almost constant flare and needed stronger medications.

If you contact your insurance company, they should be able to help with finding you a provider.

Does you son have anyone to talk to? We have support forums here and it may be beneficial for him to talk to others who are dealing with this is amazing how much just talking can help....even if it isn't face to face.

Good luck.....

30 plus years and counting with UC/Crohn's!
on remicade since 11/05

While my experiences may not be what everyone has had- I feel it is worthwhile to share any and all experiences that may be beneficial to others.
08-10-2015, 11:09 AM   #3
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Hi WindChimeLover,

I agree with Lisa on this one. It does not cause the diseases, but can most certainly make the symptoms worse. All your son needs is support, so again, as Lisa said, then he may need to find somebody professional, or even come to the forums. I am in the same shoes as him, he is not much older than I am, and I suffer with anxiety and depression and I like to blame myself (despite being undiagnosed for the time-being), but we have to realise that it is not our fault for this illness. Professional help and people in the same boat are the way forward to help ease the anxiety surrounding his CD.
08-10-2015, 07:47 PM   #4
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Hi. I understand your wanting to not put drugs/meds into your body. I never took anything (except birth control) until Crohn's came along. In fact I rarely ever got sick and didn't believe in taking antibiotics for everything.

I believe stress and anxiety contributes/can worsen symptoms, but does not cause Crohn's. I do not believe that stress/anxiety reduction alone will get anyone out of a flare, but that is my experience. Depression is also common with long term illness as ongoing pain can stress a person physically and mentally. I was put on anti-anxiety pills at first, that I was not proud of, but really did help me cope initially. I now take Prilosec for GERD and a maintenance medication to keep me out of a flare. I agree that underlying inflammation (even without any symptoms) can be very damaging to the body and lead to more complications and surgery.

As much as you are against the meds, it may be what he needs to knock his body out of a flare. Have you discussed your views on natural healing with the Dr? I wish you luck in finding a treatment plan that works for him and your family.
Currently on: Colazal, Prilosec, multi-vitamin, probiotics, total EFA's, glucosamine.

Previous meds: Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Entocort.

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. -Ralph Waldo Emerson"
08-11-2015, 11:51 AM   #5
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I don't think it's been shown for crohn's, but some anti-depressant drugs like Welbutrin have put people with UC into remission, so there's a possible link between psychological well being and physical.

I can offer an over-the-counter solution but it depends on where you draw the line of what's 'natural.'
Dx 05
Past drugs: Remicade, Azathioprine, Prednizone, antacids, Humira
Current therapy: Diet and supplements.
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08-11-2015, 05:40 PM   #6
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I can offer an over-the-counter solution but it depends on where you draw the line of what's 'natural.'
Could you elaborate please InstantCoffee?
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.
08-12-2015, 07:49 AM   #7
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Could you elaborate please InstantCoffee?
The amino acid therapy I'm using has done great things for my anxiety, but it's very important that it's followed strictly and you take everything they say, you absolutely cannot pick and choose.

I'll post the basics of the protocol, what you'll need, how much etc. but I encourage you to do your own research before you try it and understand why and if you think it's good for your son. I'll also share my experience with it.

First of all is the amino acids themselves, Tyrosine and 5-Htp. Each one when taken raises one neurotransmitter level and depletes the other so it's important you take them together to prevent a deficiency in either one.

The proper ration is 10-1 tyrosine:5-htp.

A patient should not attempt to home dose great than 1500 : 150 twice a day. Do NOT use n-acetyl tyrosine - it's not 100% the same in activity and may alter your results.

Also with this you'll need to take other cofactors. These cofactors provide the fuel your body needs to absorb, convert and utilize these amino acids.

The most important is L-cysteine, take 1500mg with each 1500-150 dose of aminos.
Selenium 150ug
folic acid 150 ug
vit c 1000 mg
vit b6 75 mg
calcium citrate 220 mg.

Again this is the dosing per 1500-150 tyrosine-5htp. If you take one dose at 8 am and one at 4 pm you'll need to repeat all the cofactors.

Higher doses should only be taken under medical supervision.

I'll throw up some links but I'd encourage them to do their own research.

Unfortunately it looks like Dr Hinz has password protected most of his website which described the protocol in depth.

My experience:
I followed his medical protocol and exceeded the recommended safe doses, I do not recommend it. I'm currently maintaining at 1500-150mg a day and feel like I may be able to come off the therapy soon.

I was going through a tough emotional time, I suffer from social anxiety and depression and was being mistreated by a girl I was talking to. This therapy helped keep me level and focus, improved my quality of sleep, and blunted my negative emotions without making me feel empty / robotic. After the initial adjustment phase during which I experienced extreme sleepiness it improved my awakeness during the day.

Initially the patient may experience great sleepiness if they have accumulated a sleep debt from under-sleeping, so they should start this on a friday night.

Risks of mis-dosing your amino acids include anxiety attacks and depression. If you take 5-htp without the tyrosine you may experience melanin-steal which causes anxiety attacks. Your initial expectation would be to think it's too much tyrosine since tyrosine stimulates dopamine, the awakeness hormone carried in adrenaline, but this is not correct. This is why you ALWAYS take 10-1 ratio.

I took up to 4000-400 3x a day, as per his therapeutic dose, and it resulted in worsening of depression and anxiety, I went back to the 1500-150 dose and felt much better.

I'm don't know the reason why but the doctor recommends taking the L-Cysteine 4 hours after your initial aminos, possibly due to competition for absorption. It's necessary because the aminos deplete thiol production and l-cysteine replenishes it. Glutathione is very important for those with Crohn's, so you can't afford to not supplement it with this therapy.

Do NOT buy N-Acetyl Cysteine, it's not chemically the same and may cause diarrhea.

Remember as far as 'natural' this is all stuff that's already in your food, just in small amounts. If you have an imbalance in your neurotransmitter levels it's unlikely to be something you can correct with food alone.
01-07-2017, 03:25 PM   #8
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From my "personal" experience anxiety does cause Crohn's. I had a very stressful time in high school which I believe led to my Crohn's. The cause of anxiety was simple: I just could not make any freinds, when I reached 15. I vividly remember wandering in the back yard by myself while others were having fun in groups of two or more. The loneliness that followed and anxiety over what if I would not be able to have any friends in my life to talk to led to my Crohn's. Maybe I was depressed at the same time and that was the root cause. Bust I had not symptoms of depression; I was the brightest among my peers. And the making-friend-problem was solved when I entered the university, so did the depression (if I had in the first place), the Crohn's wasn't.
01-07-2017, 05:42 PM   #9
Red Rabbit
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Colchester, United Kingdom
I agree, stress doesn't cause Crohns but I sometimes feel that it did for me too. I spent over a decade being in a very stressful job and personal life and ended up with a major operation.

From all those years of suffering I know for sure that my body wouldn't heal from this and have realised that proper medication is essential in keeping this at bay.

With more natural remedies just be aware that your son may have some absorption issues following his operation and this might be difficult to get right without professional assistance.

Also with a vegetarian diet, some vegetables with fibrous skins can cause problems with Crohns. However everyone is different and so this might not be a problem for the your son.

Good luck
02-07-2017, 07:13 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
According to research 80% of IBD patients with active disease suffer from clinical levels of depression and or anxiety. Staggeringly 30% of patients in remission also report significant issues with depression/anxiety. Despite acknowledgement by medical profession that this is an issue there is vey little research or effort to understand or treat the psychological impacts of a chronic illness like Crohns.

02-08-2017, 06:29 PM   #11
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I have recently been feeling just how linked my anxiety and crohns are. I was in remission for about 3 years, and have just started experiencing symptoms again..I felt a link with my anxiety about the current political climate, and my pain would increase looking at all of the articles on Facebook. For me, a simple solution was to take FB off of my phone, and to choose when to engage with the news instead of it bombarding me. I felt better almost immediately - so I definitely believe anxiety impacts this illness, and if there are life adjustments one can make to experience less anxiety it can help.
On the topic of medication - I am also very wary of meds, and credit my remission largely to diet - I am a huge fan of the specific carbohydrate diet. It would be difficult to do as a vegetarian, but I encourage looking into it!
On scd, I was able to get off of prednisone and Imuran and just take an anti-inflammatory.
However, after 3 years I am now experiencing some symptoms, so I may consider a different medication. It is about Balance, choices, research.
02-09-2017, 05:51 PM   #12
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Anxiety and Crohn's seem to go hand in hand. I take Valium and find support on this forum to be therapeutic. I am sorry to hear your son is struggling with this disease and anxiety. Therapy is a good idea if you can get access to a certified therapist go for it. Anxiety makes everything worse including pre-existing conditions such as IBD/ Crohn's disease. Natural is great if it works, otherwise maybe you should consider anti anxiety medications. The sooner the anxiety lets off of him the better he will be physically. Body and mind are very connected. You have to do whatever it takes to treat both equally for the best results to occur.

Wishing your family the very best,


Last edited by cmack; 02-09-2017 at 05:54 PM. Reason: content
02-09-2017, 06:00 PM   #13
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
CBT therapy under an experienced and good psychologist can be helpful. There are strategies we can use to build our resilience and to better adapt to the changing stresses that go with having IBD. Counselling for parents and carers of children with IBD has also proven to be effective in improving anxiety and fatigue for adolescent patients. This is a difficult journey and we should seek all the support we can get access to. Best of luck. Our thoughts are with you.

02-09-2017, 06:18 PM   #14
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I agree,

CBT is great! If you can afford it and have proper access. Go for it.

02-16-2017, 10:19 PM   #15
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Virginia
This may not be the best answer but I have been reading a lot lately about CBD oils. Apparently it has the components to help reduce inflammation and help with appetite and other things. It does not have the psychoactive effects as smoking because the THC is extracted. My state is currently trying to pass the bill to allow Crohn's patients along with other patients who have Cancer to be able to have access to this medication.
02-17-2017, 01:33 AM   #16
GI Jane
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I have been off and on with natural "cures" Jordan Rubin put out a good diet book which worked for a few years. To think I thought his menu's were restrictive....wish I had those meal plans now that I'm so restricted.

I am finding that if I keep with same menu's it's best. Less stress wondering if it was a good or bad food meal. I will probably give myself a list of three meal options per meal and call it good at least for awhile so I'm not stressing what is going to be ok or not.

I've been on Trazadone for awhile now for depression and it helps me sleep.

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