Stress and Digestion: Are They Connected?

Maybe you’ve been there: a week of deadlines, meetings and unchangeable commitments, only to be hit with a need for Immodium, Pepto Bismol and peppermint tea. The only thing worse? Following up said incident with a bout of constipation, nausea or a combination of both “ and being swamped at work in the meantime. So are stress and stomach issues linked? Here’s what we found out.

Monitoring

It may seem like common sense, but unless you begin tracking when your stomach starts to turn on you, you’ll miss both triggers and solutions when it comes to digestion and stress. Case in point: if you notice that you’ve been running to the bathroom before big presentations, you may need to consider meditation or a massage before the big day to keep you calm and feeling balanced. Also, by catching patterns in digestion issues, you’ll be able to avoid eating foods that set you off “ or will have some medication on hand to take just in case.

IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the bane of many of our existences, and it’s been proven time and time again that stress causes flare-ups of many proportions. However, before you begin self-diagnosing, you’ll want to consult your physician to make sure you’re not suffering from something more serious.

IBS symptoms can range from diarrhea to constipation to complete normalcy, and can increase thanks to everything from PMS to ovulation to “ you guessed it “ stress. Therefore, if you’ve been diagnosed, you may want to figure out a diet plan with your doctor “ because the last thing you want is to worry about eating trigger foods in the midst of balancing to-do lists.

Triggers

The worst thing about stress and digestive issues is that the latter will only increase the more worried about them you get. Then, throw in dairy, high fat, caffeine or alcohol, and you may find yourself battling unnecessary bathroom incidences that will only up the anxiety level. True, you may not want to skip out on that morning coffee, but if you happen to find yourself the victim of a stomach in rebellion during tumultuous weeks, you may be able to avoid drugstore re-enforcement to make it through the quarter alive.

Tags: digestion, IBS, intestinal disorders, nausea, stomach issues, Stress, stress and digestion

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