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Have concentration problem and stomach anxiety. How to cure this?

Jan 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1658 Questions
Hi, I have terrible stomach anxiety, and i don't know how to cure it.
i've tried many things for many years. I'm in very good physical health (5'11", 180lbs, 48yrs), never hospitalized. I eat lots of fruits & vegetables for the past 10 years, never overeat. Moderate drinker. I do 2hrs of cardio exercise 4 times a week.
The problem is that my stomach is constantly calling attention to itself. I feel as if i have a goldfish or eel swimming in there, sometimes gnawing inside me.
The way it affects me is that i ALWAYS am thinking about it. I have a hard time concentrating. When i'm talkiing to someone, i can look at them, but my mind is always thinking "how do i stop my stomach anxiety?".
I don't know what steps to take. I've tried many things: diet changes, exercise, relaxation & breathing techniques through audiotapes. This is a hard problem to solve. I work with doctors and i work with computers in a hospital. I've tried to self-diagnose, but the problem never goes away, no matter how much i try.
I need help!

Posted Mon, 13 May 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Mayank Bhargava 57 minutes later
Welcome to XXXXXXX forum.

Let me know the associated details along with mentioned.
Do you have acidic belching/ abdominal discomfort/ gargling sound in abdomen/ abdominal bloating after taking meals
Are you suffering from spasmodic abdominal pain/ constipation/ diarrhea?
Do you have some sort of anxiety apart from feeling of stomach anxiety?

With the available described details, it can be concluded that you are living a very healthy life except stomach anxiety.
There could be high possibility of generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) involving gastrointestinal tract.
GAD may involve and affect brain gut axis and may cause your defined symptoms.

You should consult with XXXXXXX medicine specialist/ gastroenterologist and should go for thorough check up.
You should also go for complete blood count, ultrasound imaging, thyroid profile, blood sugar, x XXXXXXX abdomen, renal function and serum electrolytes.
You should also go for CT/ MRI scan abdomen and endoscopy for better clarification.

If all these defined investigations are found to be normal, then there appears to be high possibility of functional dyspepsia and GAD.
In such condition, you should also consult with psychiatrist.

Meanwhile, you should also take proton pump inhibitors, cholrdiazepoxide, clidinium bromide and mebeverine on written prescription.
You should also take low dose of tricyclic antidepressants.

You should follow the mentioned changes:
1) Don't take tomatoes, and citrus fruits.
2) Avoid onion, garlic, excessive tea and coffee, chocolates,
3) Avoid oily and spicy food, non veg.
4) Take soft diet along with yogurt.
5) Keep difference of 3 hours between meals and sleep.

Hope that helps.
Let me know your other query.
Take care,
Dr. Mayank Bhargava
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have concentration problem and stomach anxiety. How to cure this? 9 hours later
Hi Dr. Bhargava,
Thank you for your detailed response.
You asked these follow-up questions:
"Do you have acidic belching/ abdominal discomfort/ gargling sound in abdomen/ abdominal bloating after taking meals?" - No.
"Are you suffering from spasmodic abdominal pain/ constipation/ diarrhea?"-No
"Do you have some sort of anxiety apart from feeling of stomach anxiety?"-Yes

Yes, i live a very healthy lifestyle, and part of that is an attempt to rid myself of this terrible persistent stomach problem. The stomach is always irritated and is constantly pulsing, like a wounded toe that is left untreated.
It's hard to think clearly throughout the day because of my stomach.

I work in a busy computer/technical environment for a large hospital. My degree is in computer science and MBA. I manage projects to install computer software in hospitals for nurses, doctors, pharmacists. The work is challenging, but it is not overwhelming. I do have control over parts of a schedule, and i'm not required to work a high amount of overtime.

In the past month, i've really tried to isolate my general inability to concentrate and focus, and i feel it's caused by my stomach. At work i find it hard to sit and concentrate for periods of time. I cannot spend 50 solid minutes on a problem. Instead, i have to do 10-15 minutes on a problem, then get up, distract myself, and come back to the problem. And if someone comes into my office about an issue, i feel my body get very tense.
So far, no one has pointed out this problem to me, so it hasn't had a serious impact on my job & employment.

But my constantly irritated stomach problem has been going on for at least 5years, maybe longer. In the past, i would do very active exercise or possibly sleep. If i drink two glasses of wine the problem will go away for 60 minutes, but then comes back. And i don't want to drink wine often, because it's just masking the symptom and not solving the problem.

I have a consultation with a Gastroenterologist tomorrow (Wed, April 24th). My plan is to get a colonoscopy done because i am almost 50. The colonoscopy is just a preventative measure on my part.
I visited my general practitioner last month, and i was given a very good cardiovascular and muscular report. My only problem was my cholesterol level was a bit high (this runs in my family).

My mother suffered from a high level of anxiety her whole life. She took Prozac for decades.
I truly don't want to be on anti-depressants, i don't want to be on any medications. But if my medical advisors determine that's a route that could lead to good results, then i am open to it.

In conclusion, my symptoms are
a) constantly irritated stomach
b) inability to concentrate for more than 15-20 minutes. (In the past, i could concentrate for hours).
c) a feeling of wanting to run & flee from problems, instead of handling them.

Thank you Dr. Bhargava

Answered by Dr. Mayank Bhargava 1 hour later
Your details description suggests Generalized anxiety disorder with increased thinking process.
Abdominal pain may distract your mind and impairment of brain gut axis may cause abdominal symptoms.
Antidepressant medicines have anxiety relieving property also.
High cholesterol level won't cause your symptoms.
You should take above advised medication along with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on written prescription.
Best regards,
Dr. Mayank Bhargava
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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