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probiotics, the gut brain, and anxiety
Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 3:22 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3590

The anxiety I feel in my gut area, below rib cage, feels like bees buzzing and has a creepy flavor, like the feeling of being trapped, or stalked or about to go off a cliff.
Still my mind does not seem to be spinning disaster scenarios when it happens so I have been studying the aspects of "having the creeps".

I tried Ativan, took a half pill and it did work after a couple hours. The anxiety came back and I used a half Ativan again which helped me sleep. It came back and I had food come back up after eating.

A friend told me weeks ago to take digestive enzymes and maybe she said pro-biotics for the recurring intestinal blockage and we finally got some and some enzyme tablets.  After 2 days the creeps had passed. today I do not have acid reflux and intestines are all systems functioning.

The Ativan increases my acid reflux and despite giving me a few hours peace it makes me weak for days and urine output decreases. I take B12 complex now too, recovery from anxiety episodes is slow.

I peed 3 pounds of water today.tics we got also is helpful in restoring vaginal health which I need to not get UTIs which then become shingles.  It takes a lot of work to figure out what works.

We have a gut brain, I wonder if it is picking up the slack for handling information my regular head brain can no longer process, and the gut is calling my attention to it suffering?

I think Bill also had the gut creeps feeling. Keeper got me 4 months worth of pro-biotics.
Have read a lot about benzo drugs and how they cause memory loss. 

Took gabapentin to try to get active (out of bed) and this time it seemed to help some but again with next day side effects. I do not do well with so many prescribed meds. We also got Kefir and yogurt.  

Anxiety feeling may not be from fear or dread? I will report back if The Creeps are banished with pro-biotic treatments.

Dog ate a 6 pack of fresh corn taco shells yesterday without leaving any trace. I thought I must have "put them someplace" but no, she seems to be aware I am not vigilant.
Keeper made vegetarian enchiladas instead but all 3 of us wanted some crunch and only the dog got it.
if that is the worst part of yesterday, good for me!

Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2018 4:03 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3590

pro-biotics stopped the "creeps"abdominal anxiety, being calmer = thinking better. was able to walk further today. 

It might be worth it to consider trying a pro-biotic for a week. I used florastor and am adding another one with different bacteria.

from article:

Gut-brain connection, anxiety and digestion

Physical symptoms

  • Stiff or tense muscles, especially in the neck and shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Recent loss of interest in sex
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Restlessness

Behavioral symptoms

  • Procrastination
  • Grinding teeth
  • Difficulty completing work assignments
  • Changes in the amount of alcohol or food you consume
  • Taking up smoking, or smoking more than usual
  • Increased desire to be with or withdraw from others
  • Rumination (frequent talking or brooding about stressful situations)

Emotional symptoms

  • Crying
  • Overwhelming sense of tension or pressure
  • Trouble relaxing
  • Nervousness
  • Quick temper
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Loss of sense of humor
  • Indecisiveness

Image: © ChrisChrisW | GettyImages

Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2018 4:16 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3590

"Tiny molecules in the brain may help gut bacteria hijack people’s emotions.

Bacteria living in the human gut have strange influence over mood, depression and more, but it has been unclear exactly how belly-dwelling bacteria exercise remote control of the brain (SN: 4/2/16, p. 23). Now research in rodents suggests that gut microbes may alter the inventory of microRNAs — molecules that help keep cells in working order by managing protein production — in brain regions involved in controlling anxiety.

from another link:

the gut microbiota’s impact on the body and brain may be even more complex than research to date has shown. Gut microbiota may affect learning and memory. Studies of gut microbiota might even offer new insights into such baffling medical problems as autism, obesity and, perhaps, personality disorders.


Please consider  non harmful alternatives to treat the problems that come with dementias. 

Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2018 4:25 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3590

The Enteric Nervous System

The gut contains 100 million neurons - more than the spinal cord. Major neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norephinephrine and nitric oxide are in the gut. Also two dozen small brain proteins, called neuropeptides are there along with the major cells of the immune system. Enkephalins (a member of the endorphins family) are also in the gut. The gut also is a rich source of benzodiazepines - the family of psychoactive chemicals that includes such ever popular drugs as valium and xanax.

Victims of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases suffer from constipation. The nerves in their gut are as sick as the nerve cells in their brains. Just as the central brain affects the gut, the gut's brain can talk back to the head. Most of the gut sensations that enter conscious awareness are negative things like pain and bloatedness.

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2018 7:09 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3590

I realized I shared years of thoughts and "discoveries" here because deep inside I imagined people (like Lane S) running trials and stuff to find help for ALz patients would be combing over our personal discoveries which would lead them off the plaque and tangle dot and onto ways of managing and maybe slowing this illness.

Now I know that was just one of my fantasies.

The Florastor has ended the "acid reflux" and the quaking abdominal area has calmed. I can eat and  take care of my elimination much more easily.

I believe anyone who has to take anti virals or anti biotics while they have ALZ ought to be on probiotics during and after. Cipro and forgot the others shut down all living things in my gut and that was years ago.


when we had regular postings by more members this information seemed valuable. Now it seems...different. If this helps one person, that person will be really fortunate.

Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2018 7:24 AM
Joined: 2/9/2015
Posts: 547

hi alz+

your last post seemed a little forlorn to me so I thought I'd share the effect it had here.

Long Story Short:  My mom has been on regular probiotics for about 4 months now following a rather tenacious bout of gastro-intestinal problems.  I was thinking of taking her off of them as part of simplifying her pill regime . But your gut brain posts have made me pause and reconsider.  Some of her cognitive issues have stabilized in the last few months also.  Lots of moving parts, no clear chain of causation, but there you have it, one person.

Thank you for your efforts!

P.S. around here it's pretty standard to get a short course of probiotics related to any treatment by an antibotic.

Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2018 7:13 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17059

I use Activia yogurt to help with "gut creeps" which in my case are gurglings and gas.  Taking probiotics for a month did not show any difference for me.

Iris L.

Posted: Friday, July 27, 2018 12:09 PM
Joined: 7/23/2018
Posts: 172

Anxiety and the gut

I have had anxiety attacks for about 25 years now, one of which caused a mild heart episode. I know that in the beginning I could not rationalize why I was anxious, I had no thoughts of danger or extreme situations, but my stomach would be in knots, my breathing would shorten and could have crying episodes.  I used xanax for a short period of time, as it can lose its effectiveness if used regularly, which helped and then kept a bottle on hand for times I was really, really anxious. 

 I then started exercising regularly which started to help control my anxiousness and possibly my breathing. I also started taking yoga and sipping on mint tea which helps to settle my stomach.  There are also deep breathing apps that help calm your body with breathing exercises. 

 Now, my DH with younger-onset AD is having extreme anxieties at times along with crying and shortness of breath.  We try to take a walk each day which seems to help for that day but when time is short, or it's early and we're still in our housecoats, I get him walking on our home treadmill for as little as 5 minutes at a moderate pace with a tv show in front of him and get him to focus on the show and slowing his breathing and it seems to help him with his anxieties for several hours at least which is about how long some of the medications last. 

I also give my DH yogurt daily to help maintain a healthy gut along with watching to make sure he gets enough fiber and fluid daily and that his bowel movements are not too hard or soft and are regular.