Digestive Problems from Stress

Digestive Problems from Stress

Digestive problems and stress have been theorized as the effects that come in because of the stomach and the brain being interconnected to one another, where stress is the main stimulant that causes stomach troubles. Find out here how this takes place and what to look out for when under its effects...
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Stress is a word that a lot of people are familiar with, given the way how life has its fast paced and tense moments that drive us into a tizzy. Some of us take up meditative classes, go for counseling, or sign up for yoga, to help deal with life's chaotic self. Others, on the other hand, go head long into situations that only add to the stress, subsequently letting it penetrate into their personal lives. Not only is the workplace disrupted where one is under constant pressure from what caused the stress to take root in the first place, but the effects start to come forth, rupturing family and friend ties, including your health.

How each one deals with the idea of stress is different, but many of us don't know that by subjecting ourselves to that constant stream of being on the edge, we are harming our mental and physical states. People tend to fall ill when under a truck load of stress, with stomach problems being the most common and major cause for concern. Not only do we suffer from minor stomach upsets, but also other gastrointestinal complications that the system succumbs to due to the stress overload.

The feeling of stress kicks in when the body reacts to a situation where one feels powerless and periled due to so and so factors. What happens is that the body automatically switches to a state of what is known as fight or flight mode, which is a stress response towards whatever the subject of the stress is. No matter who or what is involved, it can immediately invoke stress in different levels, depending on the severity of the case.

When the stress hormones are then released, which include cortisol and adrenaline, it pumps the body up leading us to react to situations that pose as a threat or danger. When this happens I'm sure you will notice how your senses are more tuned in to what is happening, blood pressure is off the charts, muscles seem to tense up and breathing and heart rate both quicken.

How Does Stress Cause Digestive Problems?

The abdominal region of one's digestive system, that consists mainly of the stomach, is where a lot of nerves gather and reside, very much like that of the brain's. When we are emotionally, mentally, or physically under stress, the body as a whole reacts simultaneously with each system type reacting in its own way. It makes its way from the stomach to other parts that make up the digestive system, hampering their normal functions as well. It is also a known fact that when under a ton of stress, you aren't able to eat a decent meal or digest it right because you aren't mentally or physically composed. One's diet goes out the window due to irregular eating habits, not eating the right foods and of course not consuming meals in a calm and relaxed manner.

When the stomach doesn't get its share of nutrients and other vital elements to keep it sustained and running, it gives out. This then causes us to experience changes in our health. Even eating at a pace that doesn't qualify as eating but gorging, is what stops our stomachs from digesting food properly. While eating large and quick mouthfuls of food we are gulping in air at the same time, causing us to feel bloated and uneasy as the process is repeated over time.

When not eating right is combined with a large amount of caffeine and nicotine, which are commonly used to combat stress, the stomach slowly reaches a state that is quite detrimental. Researchers point out how the stomach is connected to the brain, thus relying on the messages it communicates, which in turn controls the workings of one's stomach. The common issues besides the stomach problems caused by stress are:
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Peptic ulcers
Signs of Stress

The physical signs of stress can be recognized and dealt with sooner than later, before digestive problems take control and turn damaging. Here's how you can spot the signs.
  • Feeling constantly nauseous
  • Diarrhea episodes
  • Colds that recur
  • Heartbeat fluctuations
  • Dizzy spells
  • Libido decreases
  • Constipation troubles
  • Chest pain
  • Constantly in pain or experiencing aches
Coping with stress is no easy task since it takes all one's might to be able to stop and calm down - sorting out the problems in our lives in an organized and much relaxed fashion. Be sure to pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you when under constant events that are stressful. Seek help and guidance on how to counter the effects of stress and lead a life that is more focused and easy-going.