Ask Dr. Steve

Dear Dr. Steve –

I am wondering if you think there is a metaphysical cause or counterpart for every gastroenterological condition? Are some conditions simply random, or caused by hereditary?

— Curious

Dear Curious –

Is there a metaphysical cause for every gastrointestinal symptom? Again this addresses the fascinating mind/body nature of all of us. When we come to realize that our thoughts and emotions directly impact on every organ of our bodies via circulating protein peptides, we cannot help but understand this connection.

This does not mean that conventional treatments for ulcers, cancer, gastric bacteria, colitis, diverticulitis, bleeding, Crohn’s disease and other conditions should be deferred. However it is important to realize that the GI tract contains as many neurons [nerve cells] as the entire spinal cord. I tell my patient that their ‘brain in the gut’ may respond to stresses that do not even reach their conscious minds.

Although stress may not be the ’cause’ of all these conditions, they are clearly made worse and healing is delayed by our emotional mind. The longer I stay in clinical practice, the more attuned I become to my patient’s emotional issues. I cannot adequately treat them without their own awareness of these truths.

© Steven E. Hodes, MD., 2006

Steven E. Hodes, M.D. is a board certified gastroenterologist with over 25 years private practice based in Edison and Old Bridge New Jersey. He also has a degree in Religious Studies and teaches Contemporary Metaphysics at Brookdale College as well as lecturing and writing on Kabbalah and Healing, the Jewish View of Afterlife and on Near-Death Experience. Visit him at his blog, Physician to Meta-Physician at

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