Friday, May 13, 2022
HomeCauseCan Stress And Anxiety Cause Stomach Pain

Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Stomach Pain

Behavioral Responses To Anxiety

4 Ways Stress Could Be Hurting Your Stomach + Tips For Relief | Dr. Roshini Raj

A similar and related problem has to do with your own behavioral responses to your anxiety, aches and pains. For example, perhaps your anxiety has caused you to feel fatigue or low energy, and you spend a great deal of time slouching in your chair. That behavioral response will increase the likelihood of creating lower back pain, because slouching can lead to this type of discomfort.

Muscle tension can create similar problems. If you have muscle tension within your shoulder, you may lift objects in a manner your body isn’t accustomed to, and this can cause you to create pain in your lower back. This is just one of many examples of how aches and pains may be the result of how you respond to your symptoms.

Sleep Disturbances Or Fatigue

Serotonin produced in the gut plays an important role in the bodys ability to sleep restfully. A gut imbalance can lead to insomnia and chronic fatigue without enough of this neurotransmitter. A gut imbalance can also lead to stress.

It doesnt help though that people also often lose sleep when stressed. Thus, stress can cause constipation or stomach pain.

How To Reduce Stomach Pain

If you find yourself suffering from stomach pain, you have several different options when it comes to remedies.

  • Heat Putting a hot water bottle on your tummy can help the muscles to relax, thereby reducing tummy pain
  • Apple cider vinegar this popular remedy is believed to help with digestive issues. Make sure to dilute it with water and drink through a straw to avoid the acid damaging your teeth
  • Medication Over-the-counter remedies can help alleviate the effects of stomach pain. Always read the label first.
  • Herbal tea calming teas may help your stomach to get back to normal. Try ginger, chamomile or peppermint.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Fight Or Flight Anxiety

What Are Heart Palpitations

When youre resting, you usually dont feel your heart beating, says Dr. Bibawy. When you can feel your heartbeat, youre having palpitations. Sometimes theyre expected, like after exercising. But other times, palpitations hit without warning.

You might feel palpitations in your chest, neck or throat, and they feel like your heart is:

  • Fluttering.
  • Skipping.

How Do I Know If Its Anxiety And Not An Ulcer

The link between stress and back pain

Its not uncommon to find yourself concerned that your struggle with stomach pain is not from anxiety or stress at all. For example, you may find yourself concerned that instead of anxiety, what you are really struggling with is an ulcer.

Only a doctor can diagnose whether or not your pain is from an ulcer, but there are some clues. The clearest signal is if you have any blood in your stool or acid burps . Thats often a clear sign of an ulcer. Also, if the pain or discomfort tends to occur after eating and isnt related to a similar condition, GERD , its possible you may have an ulcer.

However, this is complicated by the fact that ulcers can be caused by long-term stress and anxiety, as they stimulate the production of extra stomach acid. This excess acid in the stomach breaks down the gastric or intestinal lining and cause open wounds that may harm your health.

Recommended Reading: How Do Doctors Test For Depression And Anxiety

When Should I See The Doctor

If gastrointestinal symptoms and pain persist for more than a few days, you should consult a doctor. You may be instructed to undertake certain tests or see a specialist if there are signs of a more life threatening medical condition. If you experience abdominal pain and the following symptoms, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Vomiting blood
  • The abdomen is larger than usual and hard
  • Rectal bleeding
  • You stop having bowel movements

These symptoms may suggest the pain is linked with a biological disease and is not a symptom of IBS or another functional gastrointestinal disorder.

Pay Attention To Your Gut

The gut-brain connection is no joke it can link anxiety to stomach problems and vice versa. Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience? Do certain situations make you “feel nauseous”? Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach? We use these expressions for a reason. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation all of these feelings can trigger symptoms in the gut.

The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. For example, the very thought of eating can release the stomach’s juices before food gets there. This connection goes both ways. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal system are intimately connected.

This is especially true in cases where a person experiences gastrointestinal upset with no obvious physical cause. For such functional GI disorders, it is difficult to try to heal a distressed gut without considering the role of stress and emotion.

Read Also: What To Do If I M Having An Anxiety Attack

Can Stress Cause Middle Back Pain

canpainbackstresscanback painbackMethod 1Roll on your back

  • Find a flat surface, preferably with light padding.
  • Lie on your back and stretch.
  • Tuck your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your legs.
  • Rock gently up and down on your spine, slowly increasing your motion until every part of your back is rocking on the ground.
  • Is Stress From Covid

    How to manage anxiety related stomach pain? – Dr. Sanjay Gupta

    The gastrointestinal system may be a victim of COVID-19 stress. Here, experts help to navigate those tummy troubles.

    Editors note: Information on the COVID-19 crisis is constantly changing. For the latest numbers and updates, keep checking the CDCs website. For the most up-to-date information from Michigan Medicine, visit the hospital’s Coronavirus webpage.

    Interested in a COVID-19 clinical trial? Health research is critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Our researchers are hard at work to find vaccines and other ways to potentially prevent and treat the disease and need your help.

    That stomachache you feel with each update on the COVID-19 outbreak? Its real. So, too, are the indigestion and the heartburn. Theyre symptoms of stress that manifest in the emotive digestive system, the connection between the brain and the gut. Stress-related digestive troubles may be on the rise as people around the globe worry in the midst of a pandemic, experts warn.

    Stress and anxiety can trigger more frequent or stronger contractions in the GI tract which some may perceive as uncomfortable or even painful, says Michigan Medicine gastroenterologist William Chey, M.D., a professor of gastroenterology and nutritional sciences at Michigan Medicine.

    Everyone reacts to stress differently, he says.

    Also Check: Why Has My Anxiety Gotten Worse

    Other Treatments For Ibs

    The following treatments are also available for IBS. However, the effectiveness can be lower than for psychotherapies:

    • Low FODMAP diet. This diet eliminates common âtrigger compoundsâ of IBS such as fructose and lactose and has been shown effective in treating IBS.
    • Antidepressant medication. Low dose treatments of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricycle antidepressants have been shown to relieve symptoms of IBS.
    • Peppermint oil. It’s been shown that peppermint oil is a natural anti-spasmodic which means it can relax the smooth muscles in the gut, improving some of the symptoms of IBS.

    How To Relieve Stress Triggered By Acid Reflux

    Acid reflux is usually managed by antacids and proton-pump inhibitors . These medications neutralize stomach acid so that it wont irritate the esophagus. Problem solved. Or not?

    The main issue with these medications is that they only treat the symptom, not the cause. Besides that, they have all kinds of unpleasant sideeffects, especially in the long term.

    Depending on your condition, such medications might be required, let your doctor decide that. However, there is a lot you can do the help your body manage the symptoms.

    If certain foods cause acid reflux, try to avoid those foods. If stress causes acid reflux, try to alleviate stress. Easier said than done, a few tips might help:

    • physical activity
    • massage

    Don’t Miss: Can Anxiety Go Away On Its Own

    Binge Drinking Causes Acid

    Moderate drinking will not hurt your digestive system, but binge drinking increases acid production in your stomach, and can cause heartburn and aggravate other digestive disorders.

    Binge drinking is defined as drinking 8 or more units of alcohol in 1 session for men, and drinking more than 6 units in 1 session for women.

    Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Pain

    Why Stress And Anxiety Can Cause Diarrhea

    30th April 2021, 11:24 am1.4k Views56 Votes

    Have you ever wondered why after an argument, your stomach feels like its tied in knots? Or why, you get butterflies in your stomach before a stressful situation? Have you ever had an unexpectedly long encounter with the toilet that wasnt triggered by something you ate? One of the most common signs of stress and anxiety is stomach problems.

    A strong connection between the gut and the brain has been discovered by researchers. Nerves are a plenty in the stomach, just as they are in the brain. The digestive tract and the brain share several nerve connections, making it the largest region of nerves outside the brain.

    Stress can take a physical toll on your digestive system, whether its from a single nerve-jangling incident or from constant worry and stress over time. The hormones and chemicals produced by your body when you are stressed interact with your digestive tract, interfering with digestion. They reduce antibody development and have a harmful impact on gut flora . A chemical imbalance can occur, which can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal issues.

    The following are some of the most common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions:

    • indigestion
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • and peptic ulcers

    Seek the advice of an anxiety-focused therapist. Dealing with chronic worry and complex anxiety on your own is often too difficult. A knowledgeable Cognitive Behavioral therapist would know exactly what to do.

    Also Check: How Much Does Anxiety Raise Blood Pressure

    What Does A Stress

    Just as everyone experiences stress differently, they may experience the stomach discomfort it causes differently.

    People with stress- or anxiety-related stomach pain most often complain of a knotted feeling, cramping, churning, bloating, indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea.

    Broadly speaking, stress increases the movement and fluid secretion of your gut, which can leave you feeling like your stomach is either unusually blocked or extra active.

    While acute or chronic stress has the potential to exacerbate the symptoms of any digestive condition, there are a number of specific stomach complaints that have been linked to stress, each with its own symptoms.

    How To Overcome Abdominal Pain From Anxiety

    If you’re concerned about your abdominal pain, especially if it is significantly disabling or doesn’t appear to let up even when your anxiety has gone away, it never hurts to see a doctor. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of your pains and discomforts.

    There are some strategies you can use to try to overcome this pain. They include:

    • Stretching Even though anxiety may be contributing to your muscle tension, the tension is still tension like any other. Stretching is a good way to relieve this tension and make sure that you’re not over-straining your muscles in a way that will cause pain or discomfort.
    • Healthy Eating While healthy eating can’t prevent all indigestion and discomfort, it can prevent some of it. That’s why it’s valuable to make sure that you’ve changed your diet to one that is less prone to causing indigestion. Healthy eating, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, does make an impact on stomach pain.
    • Exercise Exercise may create pain at first, but over time it will make it easier for your muscles to overcome pain and discomfort. In addition, exercise is a very powerful anxiety reduction tool, so exercise could have added benefits for helping you overcome your anxiety issues.

    Of course, the best way to stop your abdominal pain is to stop your anxiety, and the best way to stop your anxiety is to commit yourself to empirically validated treatments.

    Was this article helpful?

    Don’t Miss: Can You Get Sick From Anxiety

    How To Reduce Stress

    Aside from managing the physical symptoms of stress, the only way to truly make a difference is to address the root of the problem the mind. Whilst its true that stress is not a physical condition, there are ways of managing it and improving your physical health.

    Experts have suggested that good ways to reduce stress are meditating, breathing exercises and calming exercise such as yoga. Try to take some relaxing walks outdoors as exercise, combined with fresh air and sunlight, are fantastic natural mood-boosters.

    You should also consider your work life are you staying late, or continually worrying about deadlines? Some people may find that their stomach pain or similar symptoms worsen while at work. If this sounds like you, take steps to address this work stress. Speak to someone at work and tell them how you are feeling. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

    Some individuals also find that therapy or counselling can really help their stress, which subsequently will hopefully lead to fewer stomach problems.

    Gut Reactions To Stress

    Can Stress Cause Stomach Problems? | Stomach Problems

    The reason that you can experience diarrhea when you are stressed is directly related to your body’s programmed stress response, what is commonly referred to as our “fight-or-flight” reaction.

    The fight-or-flight reaction did a great job in helping humans to survive as a species, particularly back when they were often faced with things like hungry lions. But this same reaction has become more troublesome in light of the challenges you are faced with, and the fast pace of, modern life.

    When you come across something that you perceive as threatening, your body reacts with a variety of physical changes. Heart rate and respiration increase, your muscles tense up, blood is directed toward your extremities, and most relevant to the current discussion, your colon contractions speed up. In some cases, this increase in colon activity can result in the symptom of diarrhea.

    Also Check: How To Cure Social Anxiety Disorder

    Managing The Symptoms Of Stress

    Theres no easy way to prevent stress from causing problems in your stomach and gut. One option is to avoid eating when youre feeling particularly stressed within a short period e.g. before an exam or speaking in public.

    However, avoiding food isnt a good long-term solution. If youre regularly experiencing stress and this seems to be causing frequent digestive problems, its a good idea to talk to a doctor.

    Your GP should be able to offer you some stress-busting techniques, and may be able to refer you for counselling or therapy. Treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy can be good for breaking anxious thought patterns and recognising stress triggers.

    Additionally, your GP will be able to assess your symptoms and work out if your digestive problems might be caused by something else.

    Symptoms like stomach pains, changes to your bowel movements , indigestion, and heartburn should be checked by a GP if they havent improved within a couple of weeks. You should also go to the doctor if you experience any bleeding from the bottom, difficulty swallowing, or unexpected weight loss.

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular