Anxiety-Induced Diarrhea


Anxiety-Induced Diarrhea

A colleague of mine, M.D., presented to my office complaining of anxiety-related problems. He was waking every morning with overwhelming fear (3), panic (3), and fatigue (2). He was unable to eat until mid-afternoon and when he did eat he would almost immediately experience abdominal cramps (2) then burning diarrhea (3) which was "light brown mush." His appetite would return around dinnertime, and he could eat without any adverse symptoms. An additional telling symptom was that in the morning he felt like "his blood was on fire."

He also complained of bad breath (3) (which I could smell from three feet away) and morning stiffness. He had recently lost 10 pounds due to the fact that he could only comfortably eat at dinnertime.

Background Information

M.D. is a white male in his late 20's, of average height and slight build. He has a history of irritable bowel syndrome in 1982 when he experienced alternating diarrhea and constipation. He had learning problems as a child which he overcame, yet he still has no sense of direction and gets lost easily. He is allergic to milk, eggs, and shellfish and had asthma as a child.


It takes him awhile to fall asleep with a certain bedtime ritual; sleeps on his r right side.


Craves meat (3), pizza (3), spicy (3). Averse to many foods. Very picky eater; will not eat grapefruit (3), cake (3), sweets (2).


High for cool water or orange juice.


Scant but even in distribution.




Failure (3), embarrassment (3), needles (2), having blood drawn (2).


Decreased in A.M., yet he gives the impression of being hyperactive.


M.D. is very neat and organized. Psych. texts would describe him as anal retentive. In school he would never highlight or write in a book in order to keep them pristine. He keeps lists of everything and will check off done items only with the same color pen as the list was done in.

When he was given his remedy, he nervously read the entire label (from Bolton) before taking the dose. He was the only child of older parents who were told they would never have children.


Two things struck me about this case: the burning pains (diarrhea and blood) and his fussiness. He is a likeable, Felix Unger-type of person.

Rubrics Used

Rectum, diarrhea, after eating Rectum, diarrhea, morning

Rectum, pain, burning, during stool

Blood, bolting hot in arteries (from Roberts, Sensations As If)

Mind, anxiety, morning

Mind, anxiety, on waking

Mind, fastidious

Stomach, aversion to sweets

Plan: Ars 200C

Two weeks later

M.D.'s G.I. and blood symptoms gradually disappeared.

Six months later

No return of symptoms.


According to Kent, the prominent characteristics of Arsenicum are: "anxiety, restlessness, prostration, burning and cadaveric odors"( 1) , all of which were present in this case.

(1.) Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Chiropractic Academy of Homeopathy.


By Nancy Bronstein

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