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Stomach disorders and stress

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Stress and stomach disorders have a very close connection and almost everyone has gone through that situation. Be it while getting scolded by your boss or before giving a speech in front of a huge public or before exams, haven’t you experienced butterflies inside your stomach or you tend you visit the washroom several times or you just feel like vomiting. So why does that happen and how to overcome it? We explain you hear...

Relationship between stomach disorders and stress

Your gut is a huge network of nerves which are connected to your brain. This is called the brain-gut-axis.  It means your digestive health is connected to your cognitive health. This further implies that if you are under stress and anxiety like situations then you are quite likely to experience stomach problems.

You body copes up with stress by releasing corticotrophin releasing factors (CRF) which has a significant impact on your gut health. Furthermore, your stomach is unable to process the nutrients properly under the effect of adrenaline rush, which also happens to fight stress.

Your stomach undergoes the following changes due to the hormone cortisol released from the adrenal glands:

  • Modulation in gut motility
  • Imbalance in gastric acid secretion
  • Increased permeability of the gut
  • Hypersensitivity of the viscera
  • Imbalance in the microbial flora of gut
  • Increased vulnerability to pain and inflammation

Other factors responsible for inducing stomach problems under stress are:

  • Disturbance of sleep due to stress and anxiety which directly reduces digestion potential of the person individual
  • Hyperventilation- people tend to swallow more air which further creates pressure and spasms in the abdomen

Symptoms of stress induces stomach disorders

You are likely to experience several kinds of sensations inside your stomach under stress and anxiety and they commonly are:

Stomach tension- The muscles of your abdomen feel tensed and it induces pressure in your gut and surrounding organs also. This is when you experience butterfly in your stomach

GERD disease- This happens due to turbulence in enzymatic activity and disruption of the gut flora. Gas, indigestion, acidity, bloating, etc. become way too common

Stomach pain: This is another very common symptom of anxiety induced stomach problem. Due to the pain, you always want to visit the washroom.

Diarrhoea/constipation- Your bowel habits change. While some experience loose motions under stress other are severely constipated.

Food allergy: Due to change in microbiota of your gut, you are most likely to develop food allergies

Irritable bowel syndrome- Under chronic stress and anxiety, people might succumb to IBS as well.

Management of stress and stomach disorders

If you get stressed very easily and then experience stomach problems then you certainly need medical help. Some effective ways to overcome such problems are:

Counselling: It helps to beat stress and anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy and biofeedback therapy helps you to deal with such circumstances.

Do it Yourself: Practise meditation and breathing techniques, go for walking and try yoga to improve your self esteem and confidence and say goodbyes to butterflies in stomach and sudden jitters.

Diet: This is very important. Never write your exams or attend an interview in empty stomach. Snack in healthy before an important work. Eat light and pack small and healthy meals. Do not eat foods that trigger GERD symptoms

Medicines- Your doctor might prescribe you some medicines to reduce the stomach problems, so make sure you take them correctly.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: December 11, 2014