Mental health and digestion

Mental health and digestion go together; they can negatively influence each other, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, heartburn, and intestinal inflammation. According to the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, depression and anxiety are associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a gastrointestinal disease that causes abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. It is a disease that negatively influences the quality of life of those who suffer from it.

Suffering from it can be a vicious circle. Suffering from mental health and digestion disorders causes, in turn, the mood to worsen due to how annoying and uncomfortable these disorders are. It is increasingly common for a disorder like IBS to be accompanied by a stress or anxiety problem. It has been recorded in hospital centers that the majority of people diagnosed with this disease experience worsening in their health during those moments in their lives when they are subjected to more stress or anxiety.

According to a study by the World Health Organization, 85 million people suffer from IBS in Europe. It also shares mental comorbidities (generalized anxiety disorder and depression are the most common disorders affecting between 25 and 44% of IBS patients) and somatic comorbidities (about 14% have chronic fatigue syndrome and 32.5% have fibromyalgia). The annual social cost of the SII is around 43 billion in Europe.

In this framework, Cliclab collaborates in the European project DISCOvERIE, whose strategic objective is to provide a better understanding of IBS and comorbidities and their risk factors. This initiative seeks to positively impact mental health and digestion by generating new directions for clinical research to improve prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy development and treatment of comorbidities and multimorbidities; as well as translate the etiological and pathophysiological knowledge specific to comorbid IBS into clinical guidelines, which will be delivered directly to the European healthcare system (through symposiums, conferences, articles and a dedicated website); among other objectives.