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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can anxiety cause IBS symptoms and belching?

Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3129 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 19 Sep 2016 in HIV and AIDS
Question: Hello Doctors,

I have below problems. Kindly help me in resolving each of them

1.I had some protected sexual encounters during last year XXXXXXX - July 2015. After that i am feeling somewhat guilty. I tested for sexual health for an STIs including HIV. Please find the test details below and its timings.
a. HIV Alere Rapid Test taken in Feb 2016 - It came as negative.(Having medrol for two - three weeks )
b. Insti multiplex testing(HIV 1/2 and syphilis), chalymdia & gonorhhea(urine test) - Result Negative - In April 2016
C. Again HIV Alere RapidTest in May 2016 and July 2016. Its negative.
d. Syphilis RPR test and Herpes i/II IgM in XXXXXXX 2016. Its negative.
e. Swab test for syphilis, Herpes and HPV in Apr 2016. It is negative.
f. End of July 2016, tested for HIV DUO(Antibody and P24Antigen) test. Blood drawn from arm. Result is negative
g. After reading in net, I found antibody and antigen may not be found for certain persons. In beginning of august, I took Roche Multiplex PCR RNA test for (HIV, Hep B,Hep C). Result is negative again.

Could you please confirm if i can move on with my life or any further testing required? I have been told that I have health anxiety and prescribed CBT. I have IBS kind of problem(I could see few food particles in stool) and frequent belching after drinking or eating. My sugar levels are also slightly elevated. It was normal till march.

my other check ups recently like celiac screen, cpr, esr , full blood count, stool culture , H.pylori came back as negative. Is there any test I need to do for my digestive system or is it all due to anxiety?


I mean, CPR, ESR, FBC , H.pylori, Stool culture all are normal.

doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
No need for further HIV testing.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

HIV tests are fairly accurate by 12 weeks after exposure, and almost 100% accurate by 6 months after exposure. The reason for that delay is that, as you indicated, some people who are chronically immunosuppressed, such as people receiving chemotherapy, may not make antibodies in the usual amount of time. Therefore it can take them additional time to have a detectable antibody response.

So given the information you provided, you do not need to worry further or be tested further for HIV, (or Syphilis) providing you have no new exposures. Also, Hepatitis B and C would have been detected in the period of time you had testing. Gonorrhea produces symptoms in men usually, but if you want, you can have a urine test for this. If you had oral or anal sex, swabs of the throat or rectum can be done.

Regarding your digestive health, if you are able to treat the anxiety even temporaily (such as with lorazepam) and your bowel symptoms resolve as a result, then yes, it is due to anxiety. IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, so if your bowel symptoms are severe, it would be advisable to have a colonoscopy or Cologard test - just one time. If either of these are ok, you should not worry.

About the anxiety, CBT is good, and you may also want to consider an SSRI such as escitalopram (Lexapro) which you can consider with your medical doctor. While starting it, a temporary anti anxiety medicine such as lorazepam can help until the escitalopram kicks in.

I hope this information helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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