Anxiety cannot only affect you mentally, but there are also various physical effects. Anxiety can take the form of long lasting nervousness, fearfulness, and worry. It can significantly impact the functionality of your stomach. So can anxiety cause diarrhea?
If you experience diarrhea or loose stools when under anxiety, don’t worry because you’re not the only one. Stomach troubles often come with stress, but it’s possible to minimize the impact of the symptoms. Keep reading to find out how and why anxiety and stress cause upset stomach and diarrhea. And how to manage disturbed bowel movements due to anxiety.
Diarrhea From Anxiety: How Does it Happen?
The Gut-brain axis is the two-way link between your gut and brain and is responsible for anxiety-related digestive issues such as diarrhea. The axis is the connection between your central nervous system and your gut’s nervous system. The gut’s nervous system controls the gastrointestinal tract processes and can also impact your emotions through its connection to your brain.
When you are anxious, or under stress, signals are sent from the brain to the gut. The gut responds in the form of physical issues such as nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. Since it’s a two-way connection, if you have an upset stomach or other digestive problems, anxiety and distress are common outcomes.
Other Symptoms Linked To Stress
Stress can impact your physical health in various ways. Some people may be the regular victims of abdominal cramping and upset stomach, and others may experience different symptoms such as:
- Lowered energy levels
- Finding hard to sleep
- Weight loss
- Compromised immune system
- Loss in appetite
How To Manage Stress
Managing stress can be a sigh of relief for you both mentally and physically. You can talk to a therapist who can find the best course of treatment for you. Some patients who experience issues with the gastrointestinal tract along with depression or anxiety may find relief with the use of antidepressants. Making changes to your lifestyle is a more natural way to manage the symptoms of anxiety. If you are feeling low or depressed, talk to a friend or family member. Writing down your feelings can also help you cope with negative and stressful thoughts.
Here are some more tips that can help diarrhea and other stomach problems, such as:
- Cutting down caffeine intake
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking plenty of water and other fluids
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
- Eating a balanced diet
Treatment For Stress-Induced Diarrhea
The best treatment is to prevent the condition from happening. And for that, doctors recommend identifying the lifestyle habits or foods that may cause an upset stomach.
- Keep away from the foods that can worsen diarrhea, including carbonated beverages and dairy products.
- When you experience diarrhea, take note of what you were doing before.
- Take out more time to relax and reduce stress. Eliminate tasks that aren’t very important so you can enjoy your time.
If you’re unable to cope with diarrhea and it is affecting your daily life, consult a doctor. The experts at Gastroenterology Diagnostic Center can help you get rid of stressful situations. To schedule, an appointment call 281-357-1977.