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What causes dry retching and gagging accompanied with anxiety and depression?

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Posted on Fri, 7 Mar 2014
Question: Hello. I have been on this website before for advice and help however I am still having problems. I am experiencing dry retching and gagging on a daily basis. This is accompanied with a horrifying anxiety and depression. I don't know if the retching and gagging is related to my mental symptoms of anxiety and depression or if I have a separate physical illness which is causing my symptoms. I don't smoke, I am an ideal weight, however I drink 3-4 cans of alcohol per night and I also have a very bad diet. My symptoms are getting so overwhelming now that I am starting to develop agoraphobia as I cant bear to have to retch in front of strangers in public. I have no pain in any part of my body and I never vomit as a result of dry retching/gagging. Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this because I am at my wits end.
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Answered by Dr. Abhishek Kapoor (40 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Anxiety disorder Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for using healthcare magic. I, Dr Abhishek Kapoor, would help you in this query. Your symptoms (dry retching, gagging) can be due to a hiatus hernia or underline anxiety disorder. In case of hiatus hernia, you should consult a gastro-enterologist and get yourself investigated. In case your have got investigation like abdominal ultrasound or gastroscopy done and all these are normal, then chances of underline anxiety disorder is more. In anxiety, number of patients have such kind of problems. You have agoraphobia due to this problem. This will also go in favor of anxiety disorder. I think, you should take some antidepressant and low dose benzodiazepine after psychiatrist consultation. That would help you to control the underline anxiety. You can also do relaxation exercise like JPMR. That would make you relax. If you are taking any treatment for this, you can discuss with me. I would happy to give my opinion on it. In case, you need further help, i can help you. Regards Dr. Abhishek Kapoor Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Abhishek Kapoor (5 minutes later)
Hello Dr, what causes hiatus hernia and what are the symptoms of this? Is it probable that I could have this?
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Answered by Dr. Abhishek Kapoor (21 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Hiatus hernia Detailed Answer: HI Thanks for your response. A hiatus hernia is the protrusion of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. It could be due to Iincreased pressure within the abdomen caused by heavy lifting or bending over, frequent or hard coughing, violent vomiting, straining with constipation etc. In sign and symptoms, it includes retching, gagging, heart burn, dull chest pain etc. You symptoms could be due to this. There is no harm in taking gastro-entrologist opinion. That would help to rule out underline physical problem. Regards Dr. Abhishek Kapoor Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Follow up: Dr. Abhishek Kapoor (1 hour later)
Thank you for your advice Doctor. The only time of the day when I don't experience the urge to retch or gag is when I have had a couple of alcoholic drinks. But as soon as I wake up the next day the retching and gagging starts not long after I have woken up. Why would this be? Surely if I had a stomach complaint then surely alcohol consumption would aggravate my symptoms and not alleviate them?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Abhishek Kapoor (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer: Hiatus hernia Detailed Answer: Hi Alcohol would help in decreasing underline anxiety and lead to sound sleep due to its depressive effect. That why, you do not get these symptoms after drinking alcohol, but rest of day, due to underline stress, you get retching or gagging. Stress or anxiety and alcohol also aggravate symptoms of hiatus hernia. I am not saying that you have hiatus hernia, but i am just telling you to consult a gastro-enterologist to rule out underline pathology that may be the reason for the symptoms. Regards Dr. Abhishek Kapoor Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Dr. Abhishek Kapoor

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Practicing since :2007

Answered : 2496 Questions

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What causes dry retching and gagging accompanied with anxiety and depression?

Brief Answer: Anxiety disorder Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for using healthcare magic. I, Dr Abhishek Kapoor, would help you in this query. Your symptoms (dry retching, gagging) can be due to a hiatus hernia or underline anxiety disorder. In case of hiatus hernia, you should consult a gastro-enterologist and get yourself investigated. In case your have got investigation like abdominal ultrasound or gastroscopy done and all these are normal, then chances of underline anxiety disorder is more. In anxiety, number of patients have such kind of problems. You have agoraphobia due to this problem. This will also go in favor of anxiety disorder. I think, you should take some antidepressant and low dose benzodiazepine after psychiatrist consultation. That would help you to control the underline anxiety. You can also do relaxation exercise like JPMR. That would make you relax. If you are taking any treatment for this, you can discuss with me. I would happy to give my opinion on it. In case, you need further help, i can help you. Regards Dr. Abhishek Kapoor Psychiatrist