Bipolar Disorder & Acid Reflux
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Q:  Bipolar Disorder & Acid Reflux

Dear Dr. Phelps,

Thank you so much for your website.  I have recently been diagnosed with bipolar II,
which came as quite a shock.  I was so blessed to find your site as I could not find
any information about bipolar II anywhere else.  In addition to the bipolar
diagnosis, I have had severe acid reflux for almost a year which has not been
controlled by any of the prescription medicines on the market.  I have had some
relief since I have been on Lyrica, but have recently started a severe flare.  My
psychiatrist explained, if I remember correctly, something about seratonin receptors
in the stomach.  Is there any connection between bipolar II and acid reflux or other
stomach problems?  Is there any way, other than the conventional medications, of
treating acid reflux in light of the stomach/seratonin connection?

May God bless you in the work you do.

Sr. ME

Dear Sr. ME -- 

Glad to hear that the website was of use to you. Thank you for letting me know.

As for the acid reflux you describe, which you probably know is sometimes called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder) , I have never heard any direct association between that condition and mood disorders. However, a slightly more indirect one, in which the stress that is known to cause mood disorders -- and which often results from them as well -- could certainly be the basis of GERD.

Just to make sure, I did a quick literature search on esophageal reflux and mood disorders. I found nothing to help us look deeper at what might cause GERD in people with mood problems (i.e. is this a related condition? a common co-traveler? or actually more directly caused by the mood problem?).  

Dr. Phelps


Published January, 2008

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