General Ptsd And Gastric Problems

Not open for further replies.


About a month after displaying my first PTSD symptoms (about ten years ago) I started suffering from gastric problems. I had a cast iron stomach before that.

Anyway, the gastric problems gradually got worse - I lost loads of weight and started passing blood. It turned out I had Ulcerative Colitis (which is an autoimmune decease of the bowl - yuck!). Been hospitalised about 8 times since that diagnosis.

It’s not chronic, in that I don’t have it all the time. But I expect to get it once a year - usually in December, around Christmas time.

By the way, I hate Christmas. It’s my most stressful time of year. Yeah I know, bah humbug!

It’s got to the point that I now stock up on Prednisolone around that time and do a lot of weights and intermittent fasting - only drink vegetable juice, no alcohol, no dairy, no surgery things, including Christmas pudding and mince pies. Very bland, very wholesome, and very boring.

I still tend to get it, but nowhere near as bad as I did in the past - usually lasts a couple of weeks with only a little blood loss. But I haven't needed to go hospital for the last four years, so it works.

I used to do all the Christmas preparations - it was kind of a tradition - do all the decorations and cooking for family and friends and get completely stressed out. Now, whenever I can, I isolate myself quite a lot over this period - hey, you got to do what you’ve got to do. I know, not very festive or social.

Also, has anyone read the Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? The protagonist’s son suffers from emotional problems and stomach aches, which were a precursor to his mental problems.

Anyway, after recently reading the book, I put two and two together and worked out that my colitis could be associated with my PTSD.

Just wondering if anyone else has similar gastric or autoimmune problems?


I was dx'd with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) about the same time as PTSD, 20+ years ago. I took an Rx for the IBS for a while, then figured out I could control it just fine with dietary management. When the PTSD reared its ugly head again a couple of years ago, the IBS has slowly become more and more of an issue, too.

I'm not taking any meds, but I do have to be really careful what I eat. Seems like certain times of day, I can eat almost anything, but other times of the day, I really don't want to eat at varies, though, and isn't very predictable.


similar gastric or autoimmune problems?.
I also never connected the two. Even though it started as bloating and gas problems. Fast forward several years. Put on a benzo, then developed serious acid reflux and daily vomiting. Gasping for air. But I had milder issues for years. I lived on Gas-X for gas and bloating. Even though I was a very healthy eater and lived an active lifestyle.

Been tested for autoimmune problems. Before I didn't even know what that meant...then I learned the connection between autoimmune, ptsd and severe childhood trauma. I never knew what severe trauma could do to a person physically.

I had developed this unexplained fever. P-doc sent me to regular doctor after initial blood test came back normal. Once I opened up about referral from p-doc and childhood trauma. After 101 questions. Autoimmune test was ordered with 12+ other test. I was clueless. I said, "I already gave you permission to run HIV." Then doc explained, Autoimmune was different, and about with severe trauma your body can start attacking itself = autoimmune.

Never knew my childhood traumas could turn on me.

All test came back as negative. But told I needed to be retested in case of false negative because of my traumas. And something I have to consider rest of my life. It makes me "SICK" to think a childhood you thought you left behind can haunt you rest of your life.

I use to be such a healthy eater. Now afraid to even eat. Had to change my diet - as in barely eating. Even went from daily coffee to cold press coffee to reduce acid. After stopping coffee for several months. It got so bad I'd have to vomit just to get 2 hours of sleep a night. Vomiting 4-5 times a day.

I found coconut oil helps to heal your throat and esophagus. I take Omeprazole (Prilosec) for acid reflux.

As title of one book put it, "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk MD. This guy gets it in an interview.
Link Removed

One day I will have strength to read it. Right now it's day to day survival. I've tried other books. They make me worse. I can't deal right now.



In addition to sympathetic nervous system shuts off digestion at low levels, and voids the system (puking or the shits) at high levels...

With this round of PTSD it started with lactose intolerance (not rare, the body often stops producing dairy enzymes under stress)... And then gradually progressed onward to complete & total dairy intolerance & allergy... Which is more rare. But I really have to wonder how much IBS is actually severe dairy intolerance. Cause dairy is in freaking everything*.

All 3 (carb, lipid, protein) and I'm puking blood, and burning rings of fire down below (stomach acid is no joke) because my body is trying to get rid of the "poison!" so fast that I tear myself and my bile duct can't neutralize my stomach acid fast enough as it pours through my gut. The upside, it's a really fast reaction and I'm usually only sick for an hour or so. Just 2? Bloating and diarrhea. Just 1? Bloating (I look pregnant, and feel like I'm being stabbed in the gut.) for hours and hours and hours. It feels exactly like when my appendix ruptured, or transitioning during labor.

It took awhile to figure out that how strong I react has very little to do with the *quantity* of dairy I consume, and almost everything to do with the *types* of dairy. JUST lactose, or galactose, or casein, or calcium lactate, or (fill in huge long list of the different carbs, lipids, proteins, vitamins, & minerals) = Bloating. 2 = Express route. 3 = Both ends.

It's to the point that if I accidentally get hit? I'll drink some milk, just to get the purge over with.

It's charming.

* (almost) Anything on shared equipment, with natural flavors, with free flowing & anticaking agents, enriched with vitamins and minerals, lactic acid starter cultures, enzymes, preservatives / calcium propionate, and a few others... Including a lot of pills/medicines as there is dairy in the binders. So almost nothing packaged (boxed, bagged, tinned, jarred), as well as a whole lot of "whole" foods like meat (treated with casein to retain color) & rice (enriched with vitamins & minerals).

Kosher (parve & glatt), vegan, & "ethnic" foods tend to be safe. But not always. Cross contamination happens. Particularly in stores where people are eating while shopping.


Wow! So PTSD can be associated with these physical symptoms. It kind of makes sense…

I’m really sorry to hear what you’re going through. This truly sucks!

Nietzsche said that, "what does not destroy you, makes you stronger”. It’s the same as the Chinese word for “adversity” having the same meaning as “opportunity”.

Although, I’m having a tough time assimilating these viewpoints. I guess what we’re going through is a tremedous test of character. I need to start educating myself - need to understand what, if any, is the “opportunity” in our circumstances.

Thanks for the book title and link. One to download on the Kindle.
Last edited:


@Curzone Thanks - you are not alone. Always remember that! As my ptsd escalates I learn more everyday. Grateful for this forum.

@FridayJones & @DogwoodTree Thank you. Sometimes I thought I was going crazy. Didn't understand why my body was reacting like it was. It didn't make any sense. I knew most fast food made me sick since I was always a healthy eater. Then one point assumed lactose intolerance when gas and bloating started.

Yet sadly now cheese and crackers is one of few things I can eat, and not vomit. That and mix nuts/seeds. Makes no sense. But if I wasn't on new medicine for acid reflux I would have to force myself to vomit just to get 2 hours of sleep!

My diet is down to bananas, cheese, nuts and crackers. Doc says I must eat more protein. Why the cheese and nuts.

In last year a p-doc asked me about my eating. Explained I went from super healthy to eating what little I had to stay alive. Told her it was going to come out of one end, or the other --- in a not good way (sorry to be crude, but reality.)

Yet all my medical test say I'm a healthy person. Well except ptsd and severe trauma survivor. Now seizures that would be medicine withdrawals, or combinations of PTSD seizures and medicine withdrawals.

Over the years I kept eliminating more and more things from diet. I'm not even Jewish, and I went Kosher until I moved. That did help. Then so hard to find Kosher food in new place... also, PTSD got much worse after re-exposure to person who did this me. Like an Avalanche. That's when vomiting started. Unable to keep food down.

Sorry I'm really messed-up past several days. So much emotion. I was raised to fear outside world ....
Not open for further replies.