Total Colectomy Links to Depression

Hey Everyone,

My name is Chris, and I'm new to this group. Thanks for having me. I had a total colectomy in 2005 and currently have a J-Pouch. Have had my fair share of hospitalizations and pouchitis, but basically have normalized with diet & exercise. One thing I've always had below the surface that I haven't been able to heal is my depression. I was diagnosed in 7th grade after getting UC. After my colectomy, I kinda lost a part of myself (literally lol) where I lost my sense of drive and lust for life, as well as my appreciation and feelings for things that were good. 

I've done a lot of fo work recently on my thoughts and making those healthier, but I was curious if anyone knows of any links to this type of surgery + depression. I know our gut makes up a good majority of our serotonin production, so I wanted to see if this is just some I'm physically prone to or if this is something can be healed.


Thanks for any and all advice/resources. Hope you are each living well

Original Post

I am just wondering if a probiotic would help- link between gut bacteria and depression.  I am currently doing the SCD diet. But recently added Quest kidz Biotix probiotic. Maybe re-check ferritin levels.

Definitely think it is common in j-pouchers. Major surgery and complications would take its toll on anyone. 

Take care x

They are treating depression with probiotics now, so this is really important BUT must be really complicated by the fact we have no large colon! I am finding the Quest chewable Kids Biotix really positive, and I have tried allot of the usual ones like VSL and align previously 

Hi Chris,

I am one of the 'oldies' on here in both pouch history (k pouch 1979) and pouch longevity.

I had been battling my colon since birth with different variations of ostomies etc since age colectomy at 19. 

Was it the origin of the depression? No. Did it contribute? Greatly.

As I told many a surgeon, shrink and GP...get rid of my disease and you can get rid of my depression. 

I called it a situational or circumstantial depression. Change the situation or circumstances and you change my outlook on life. 

Face it, our diseases are not sexy. They do not get the publicity of heart disease (the sexiest) or cancer (the #1 in emotional empathy) ...ours are the 'hide-it-under-the-table-and-do-not-mention-it-in-public kind of diseases. 

We have a smelly-stinky-bathroom-emergency kind of disease that either makes people laugh or turn their heads away and go 'ouuuu...yucky'.

We bleed and suffer from a body part that is the butt of every bad joke on the planet. 

So how could we possibly not be depressed? We can't talk about it, it is invisible to the outside world, most often they don't even believe that we are sick, we lock ourselves into bathrooms or poop ourselves when in bad flares, have bags pop and leak...we are the most 'unloved' disease out there next to maybe leprosy.

There are millions of us out there and it has been barely 10+ yrs (and thanks to internet and sites like this one) that we can finally reach others like us and talk about it.

This is a terribly depressing disease. But we do not need to be depressed. 

Does the colon have a 'happy hormone' that equalizes us that we have now lost forever or do we just hide out and suffer in silence in a word that shuns us? 

Either way, we are not a happy bunch when in an uncontrolled flare. 

I think that we deserve every ounce of depression that we feel...We own it because we have suffered for it. 

But, we can also fight biology with probiotics, relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, great friends and a bottle of wine or a funny movie with a dog or a kid.

I used to fight with long walks, exercise and cooking...The only one left to me is cooking and my grandkids. 

I do not give in because that would mean that I have been fighting this fight for nothing and I am not ready to give up. 

So, even though I have no answers for you, I do have hope...And the belief that the sun does come up every morning, that there are always reasons to live and laugh if you just look for them and that if all else fails, there is prozac!

Cyber hugs from an old-timer




Hi.         Just been sent a link to this website by friend ....and REALLY interested to read of possible link between u.c/colectomy and depression   (  a  condition i would say that has affected me  to one  degree or another  for as long as i can remember)  ...especially as its over 30 years since i had surgery and never in all that time have i heard of probable link !!!  would be very grateful for any advice/info  re   diet/supplements/etc  that anyone who  had similar surgery/outcome  has experience of and found helped 

best wishes to all

Strange that no one has researched low levels of seratonin because a major producer of it has been removed. People keep talking about gut health helping their mood. If we have no gut, are we not eligible for this increase in mood?  I'm speaking about the science of it. But thanks to those who want to cheer us up with good words.

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