How Stress Affects Digestion

April is National Stress Awareness Month! But, do you know how your regular stress is affecting your body? Those butterflies in your stomach from nerves or the feeling of making a gut-wrenching decision are testaments to the idea that serious stress can greatly affect your gut health and digestive system.

From the team at Digestive Disease Care, here's what you need to know about stress and its effect on digestion:

The Effects of Stress on Your Digestive System

There's a reason the digestive system is often referred to as the second brain in the body! This is because the gut has a system filled with neurotransmitters, even more so than the brain's central nervous system. 

When we experience stress, the brain activates the sympathetic nervous system known for producing the "fight or flight" response which prepares the body for danger by conserving other bodily functions that aren't needed, including digestion. When this occurs, the stomach slows down, and stress is placed on the large intestine, often causing stomach aches, gas, bloating, heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea.  

Tips For Reducing Your Stress and Calming Your Stomach

Whether you struggle with a diagnosed condition or are unsure of the root cause of your digestive problems, stress reduction is always beneficial in improving your digestive health and calming your stomach. Some tips for helping to reduce your stress and alleviating digestive discomfort as a result include: 

Seek support when needed - Sometimes, you can't do it on your own, and that's okay! Practice good coping skills by seeking support from friends, family, and loved ones when needed, whether quality time spent together or talking about your stress. If needed, reach out to a professional or doctor for help managing your stress and digestive health.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What are the Symptoms of IBS?

Wondering if your frustrating digestive symptoms like bloating, pain, diarrhea, or constipation are signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Take a moment to learn what you need to know about this condition and the signs it could be affecting you.

5 Tips to Control Acid Reflux Symptoms

Frequent acid reflux isn’t just painful — it can make your life miserable. If you’re one of the millions of Americans with acid reflux, take a moment and learn our top tips on controlling your symptoms — without medication!

When Do Hemorrhoids Require Medical Intervention?

If you’re one of the 75% of Americans with hemorrhoids, you might wonder if this uncomfortable condition requires a trip to the doctor’s office. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about hemorrhoids and when it’s time to seek medical help.

The Dangers of Putting Off That Colonoscopy

Are you up-to-date on your colonoscopy screening? Research shows 33% of adults over the age of 50 in the United States are not. Learn the benefits of getting this procedure sooner rather than later.

World Digestive Health Day

World Digestive Health Day is globally celebrated every year on May 29th to raise awareness of various digestive diseases and conditions and the importance of caring for your digestive health every day.  

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a chronic digestive and autoimmune disorder causing the immune system to attack the small intestine when reacting to the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.