Should I See A Doctor If I Get Stomach Pains When I Am Stressed
You should be seeing your primary care physician at least once a year, and you should tell them if you often have stomach pain or GI discomfort.
If your primary care physician identifies symptoms of a chronic GI condition or other warning signs, they may refer you to a gastroenterologist like myself. A gastroenterologist can help determine if your stomach pain or GI symptoms are related to stress, or due to another condition that requires different treatment.
Can Anxiety Give You Diarrhea
Absolutely. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that when a person experiences extreme anxiety, the body responds by releasing certain hormones and chemicals in response. These can disrupt the delicate balance of the gut microbiome, leading to diarrhea. In addition, anxiety changes how the brain reacts to signals from the GI tract, causing the brain to misinterpret anxiety as an indication that digestion is moving too slowly. This causes the brain to send signals to speed up digestion, leading to a churning feeling in the stomach and intestines and resulting in loose stools.
Try To Avoid Worrying
Though avoiding worry is easier said than done, when worrying about numb hands and feet, anxiety often worsens. If your anxiety attack often comes with tingling, try tracking these sensations. This way, you can start some grounding exercises or other coping approaches when you recognize the feelings that give way to tingling. Keeping a log of the patterns of your tingling sensations might help you anticipate them and worry less about them. This, in turn, minimizes your anxiety attacks.
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Should I See A Gastroenterologist About My Upset Stomach
If youve been experiencing unpleasant digestive symptoms for 2-4 weeks, it might be time to see a doctor. Perhaps youve tried some of the recommendations listed above but arent getting relief, or maybe you have an underlying feeling that something just isnt right. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that patients should see a doctor if their digestive upset lasts for more than two weeks. You should also see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following in addition to stomach discomfort:
- diarrhea that lasts for more than two days
- frequent vomiting or vomit that looks like it contains blood or coffee grounds
- pain in the chest, neck, jaw, or arm
- unexplained weight loss
Anxiety Can Cause Neuropathy
Anxiety and stress do affect the body in many different ways. A few of the most obvious symptoms of stress include numbness, burning, tingling, and pain or discomfort when moving. These symptoms are very similar to what you might feel with neuropathy. Thats why its very easy to think you have neuropathy when you actually dont. If you assume thats what youre dealing with and never confirm it with your doctor, you wont be able to address the actual problem .
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Tips To Reduce Anxiety Or Worry And De
Become a better breather. Stress can cause shallow breathing, which means that your body wont get enough oxygen to fully relax. Learn to breathe more slowly and deeply from your abdomen. One way to do this is to imagine that you have a small beach ball behind your belly button, which you slowly inflate and deflate.
Watch your self-talk. Much of our anxiety is self-induced, meaning that we often get ourselves wound up worrying about worst-case scenarios or blowing small incidents out of proportion.
Monitor your negative thoughts to see how often you fret about things such as losing your job, or making mistakes. If you find yourself obsessing, try to substitute a negative thought with a positive, but realistic one. For example, instead of thinking, I know something will go wrong during my presentation, tell yourself, No matter what happens, I can handle it.
Get physical. Exercise is a well-known tension reducer and can help relieve symptoms. The paradox is that strenuous, high-impact exercises might induce GERD symptoms, so take care to increase exercise slowly and assess your bodys tolerance to this as you do.
Have a good belly laugh. Laughter is a natural stress reliever that helps to lower blood pressure, slow your heart and breathing rate, and relax your muscles. How do you tickle your funny bone? Catch comedies, have a chuckle with a friend, and make an effort to look on the lighter side of life.
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Feeling A Heartbeat In Your Stomach Due To Anxiety
Feeling your heartbeat in the stomach can be a sign of anxiety, as anxiety causes autonomic arousal, which can manifest in cardiovascular symptoms. Apart from feeling like one has a heartbeat in the stomach, anxiety can also cause palpitations, rapid breathing, a sense of impending doom and dizziness.
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What To Do When You Have Stomach Problems From Anxiety
While the best way for you to stop your stomach problems is to cure your anxiety, there are some strategies that you can try to implement that may reduce some of the symptoms. These include:
- Breathing Exercises There are relaxation exercises that focus on the idea of breathing more efficiently. When your stomach problems are caused by hyperventilation or air swallowing, slow and controlled breathing can be not only calming but also reduce the likelihood of further air swallowing symptoms.
- Healthier Diet Even though anxiety is going to create some stomach problems no matter what you eat, the reality is that foods that are hard to digest are always going to put some strain and stress on your stomach. When combined with anxiety, they’ll be more likely to get much worse. Healthier eating can be a much more effective way to ensure that you aren’t suffering from as many stomach problems.
- Exercise Exercise can temporarily create more stomach problems because exercise increases stomach acid. But eventually, exercise should help you control your anxiety better, and possibly improve your hormonal balance. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health, providing far more benefits than simply muscle mass and a healthy heart.
What To Do About Pain And Nausea From Anxiety
You should consult with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing unexplained mild to moderate GI disturbances for more than a few days, or if your symptoms stop and then return. They may order tests or refer you to a specialist to rule out any serious medical problem that may be causing your symptoms.
If your doctor determines that you have functional GI symptoms related to anxiety, there are many effective treatments availableboth for your GI concerns and the underlying anxiety. Prescribed medications and psychotherapy can help you to reduce your feelings of anxiety and develop healthy ways to cope with stress.
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Coping Techniques And Resources To Help Kids Thrive
With functional abdominal pain, there isnt necessarily a definite treatment or medication that will cure kids discomfort.
Its more about helping these kids learn coping techniques and identify the triggers that exacerbate their symptoms, said Pattamanuch. Children may need more screening for depression or anxiety from a mental health professional. There are helpful clinics at Seattle Childrens for this.
Some kids may be referred to the Biofeedback Clinic, where they can learn relaxation techniques to decrease the intensity of their pain. They may also be referred to the Pain Medicine Clinic where they could undergo an in-depth assessment to help manage their pain.
Aside from these resources, Pattamanuch often works with kids on simple techniques they can practice at home and implement into their daily lives to alleviate their recurring abdominal pain and discomfort. These include:
While all kids have unique needs, some may require medication to help with their symptoms. However, Pattamanuch says theres careful consideration when offering this treatment.
When needed, we have some medications we can prescribe to help relax the gastrointestinal tract, but often they arent useful because theyre not addressing the root cause of the issue, said Pattamanuch. Its most beneficial for kids to learn how to get in-tune with their psychological triggers and try to address those issues first and foremost.
Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain
Certain anxiety disorders can cause feelings of chest pain.
Chest pain is not a common symptom of the general anxiety you feel here and there.
However, if you suffer from a type of anxiety disorder called panic disorder, you may experience feelings of chest pain during a panic attack.
The most important consideration any time you’re experiencing chest pain is the possibility of heart attack, which is a medical emergency.
Unfortunately, panic attack symptoms and heart attack symptoms can feel similar. So, whether you have a history of panic attacks or not, you should go to the emergency room if you’re experiencing chest pain.
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Using The School Bathroom
Identify the childs concerns about using the school bathroom . Write a letter to the school indicating that, for health reasons, the child should be allowed to use the bathroom whenever necessary without waiting for a break. Often, the freedom to use the bathroom as needed reduces childrens anxiety, and they only rarely use the bathroom outside regularly scheduled times.
How To Calm An Anxious Stomach
Is stress upsetting your stomach? With a worldwide pandemic causing massive disruption to our normal way of life , its not surprising that stress-induced anxiety levels are higher than ever. In order to help you combat unwanted gastric side effects, weve gathered several tips for how to relax an upset stomach when stress is inevitable, and how to know when you should consult a gastroenterologist.
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Muscle Cramps And Spasms
Stress often causes muscles to tense up for a variety of reasons. Changes to circulation and the nervous system can put pressure on blood vessels, which triggers a simultaneous contraction of the muscles. Dehydration and poor diet can also play a role here.
The result is stiffness, pain, and sometimes spasms or twitching. This can happen just about anywhere in the body , including the feet and the calves.
If your muscles are feeling tense, make sure youre drinking a lot of water. You might also try to eat foods high in calcium and magnesium, which promote muscle health, as well as lightly massage your muscles.
Find Space For Yourself To Relax
Ultimately, find time and space for yourself to clear your head and take control of your nervousness, even if it must be total alone time. Dont be afraid to excuse yourself, even from an important event.
If talking to a friend, family member, or loved one helps, do so during this time. Talking with someone you trust can help you overcome anxiety.
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Can Anxiety Cause Nausea
Yes, anxiety can cause nausea and other gastrointestinal problems.
Outside of your brain, your digestive system contains the second largest number of nerves in your body. Some scientists even call your gut your “second brain.”
It’s no surprise then that the hormones and chemicals released when you’re anxious can cause gut-related issues, including:
How Anxiety And Stomach Pain Are Related
Most people have experienced abdominal pain in some capacity in their lives. You might have felt stomach pain after overeating, or it might have been related to your being nervous before some event. Your stomach might be upset while you’re waiting in line for a roller coaster because of the rush of adrenaline that you’re about to receive. But what if you have stomach pain that is chronic and persistent? It’s a difficult way to live, especially if you’re not sure what’s causing it. In this article, we’re going to be talking about anxiety stomach pain, which can wreak havoc on your life if you can’t figure out how to alleviate it.
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Manage Stress In Your Life
A nervous stomach could mean that youre simply in a nervous state. Are you undergoing a lot of stress lately? Do you have a big event, job interview, or nerve-wracking experience coming up? You could just be nervous about it, and it will pass.
If youre dealing with chronic stressful experiences and a lot of nervous stomach symptoms every day, on the other hand, finding time and ways to manage that stress is essential. Your nervous stomach could then subside.
How To Stop Numbness And Tingling Caused By Anxiety
There are several actions you can take to stop your numbness and tingling. Lets separate them into actions you can take short-term and actions you can take long-term.
Short-Term Actions to Stop Your Numbness and Tingling
These short-term actions will help you to stop the feelings of numbness and tingling once theyve already started:
Long-Term Actions to Stop Your Numbness and Tingling
These long-term actions will help you to prevent your numbness and tingling from ever happening in the first place.
Try to make these new habits that you perform every single day. Over time these new habits will go a long way toward stopping your numbness and tingling symptoms:
Try to make use of both the short-term and long-term actions. The more of these actions you take the less your numbness and tingling should bother you.
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How To Manage It
Getting help for anxiety can make a big difference in both mental and physical symptoms. Talking to a mental health professional is a good first step.
A therapist can help you find the treatment that best fits your needs, whether its therapy or a combination of therapy and medication. Some people who experience GI symptoms and anxiety or depression find that antidepressants help with both sets of symptoms.
Certain lifestyle changes could also help you manage symptoms of anxiety. Some tips that may be especially helpful for diarrhea and other stomach issues include:
- avoiding alcohol and tobacco
Its also important to know how to cope with anxiety and stress as you experience it. If youre working with a therapist, they can help you explore coping methods.
On a larger scale, it may also help to take inventory of your daily tasks, both at home and at work. If they feel overwhelming, set aside time to go over your responsibilities. Ask yourself if theyre essential, or if theres anything thats adding unnecessary stress to your life.
Can increased self-care or division of responsibilities reduce your load? Sometimes, taking a careful look at everything youre dealing with can help you find new ways to address challenges. If possible, involve a trusted co-worker or loved one in the process.
You may also want to make an appointment if: