Do you sometimes wonder why you feel those butterflies in your stomach just before giving a presentation or any stressful event? Or why you have tight knots within your stomach after a disagreement? Did you ever gone to the toilet and you spent a much longer time there than you had expected, but it wasn’t because you ate something bad? Stomach issues are among the most prevalent indications of anxiety and stress.
Experts have determined a strong link between the brain and the stomach. Like the brain, the stomach contains several nerves. It houses the largest region of nerves external to the brain, with the digestive system and the brain sharing many of the same connections.
Whether it’s a chronic type of stress and anxiety over time or simply a single daunting situation, stress can physically affect one’s digestive system. When you have anxiety, some of the chemicals and hormones discharged by your body get into your digestive system, impeding the normal digestive process. They produce negative effects on your stomach flora (microscopic particles located in the digestive system and help in digestion) and reduce antibody production. The result is a chemical imbalance, which then causes several gastrointestinal conditions.
Typical stress-associated stomach conditions and symptoms include:
- Stomach cramping
- Loss of appetite
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Peptic ulcer
- Unexplained hunger
When you go through one of the conditions listed above, the ailment itself could potentially be a source of anxiety and tremendously impact how you live your life. Doctors have reported that they have had patients who suffer from diarrhea, such as developing a phobia for experiencing accidents like pooping in their pants, making them scared to get out of their homes or go to places. If you have indigestion or stomach pain, you might become scared of these symptoms, resulting in you having restrictions on where and what food to eat, which could affect your social life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can anxiety cause stomach pains?
It may be a single stressor, or it can be chronic worry, but a stomach problem is one of the most common indications of anxiety and stress. Additionally, anxiety can aggravate abdominal pain and cramps and will make you feel really sick. But when does this become more than just a stomach problem? Millions of people experience gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, among others.
What does an anxiety stomachache feel like?
Typical indications of an anxiety stomachache may include tightness, cramping, feeling tense or anxious, ‘butterflies’ in the stomach, churning, or knots in the stomach.
Can stress and anxiety cause digestive problems?
In some individuals, anxiety and stress affect digestion, causing pain, bloating, and constipation. In others, it may speed up digestion, causing diarrhea and recurrent trips to the toilet. Some people completely lose their appetite. Stress also worsens digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers.
What helps a nervous stomach?
If you experience a nervous stomach often, you can treat it with natural remedies and lifestyle modifications.
- Avoid drinks with caffeine, particularly coffee.
- Try herbal drinks.
- Try diffuser oils that have a calming effect.
- Do deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness regularly.
- Find quality time for yourself.
What drink calms anxiety?
For some people, drinking a cup of tea produces a calming effect. Chamomile and lavender are examples of herbal teas that may help, combined with antioxidants. You need to be sure that you do not get too much caffeine out of the teas.
How do I stop feeling sick from anxiety?
You can try by eating small amounts of plain crackers or plain bread. Gradually sip some water or something cold and clear. If you are wearing tight clothes, change into something that does not put pressure on your stomach. Additionally, you can take deep and long breaths.
Can stress make you physically sick?
Anxiety can cause increased blood flow, and this can make a person warm and nauseous. All these indications may be mistaken for the common flu. Eventually, anxiety could debilitate the immune system and cause the person to feel literally weak and sick. This also allows more viruses to attack the body easily.
Why does anxiety make you feel sick?
Anxiety is a stress reaction and can cause a range of physical and psychological indications. When you feel too anxious, you may sense that your heart rate increases and your breathing increases as well. You may also have bouts of nausea.
How long does anxiety take to heal?
Treatment success differs, but most individuals diagnosed with anxiety disorder can be remedied with professional care. The positive outcomes of cognitive-behavioral therapy are typically seen after three to four months. Medications may be an option, but it depends on the level of symptoms, personal circumstances, and other medical problems.
How long do physical symptoms of anxiety last?
Anxiety episodes typically peak in ten minutes and seldom last for over 30 minutes. However, in that short period, you may experience fear so extreme that you will feel as though you will die or completely lose control.
Stomach Pain And Your Health
Because of the surplus of acid in your gut and the alterations to the means that your body processes food, stomach pain due to anxiety can become an issue if left unmanaged. Ulcers are only one example. Some individuals have heartburns from anxiety, while others don’t often eat, providing their bodies with fewer nutrients.
The stomach pain secondary to stress and anxiety is hardly life-threatening, but it is still crucial to find treatment for it, as the effects on long-term health when it is ignored may be more difficult to deal with.
Seek assistance from a therapist who has special skills in treating anxiety. It is often too hard to manage chronic worry and complex anxiety by yourself. A qualified cognitive-behavioral therapist will have extensive knowledge of what to do.
It takes time and effort to lower stress levels and their effects on the stomach. Your doctor and therapist’s recommendations can work if you do them properly and if you commit to making them a priority daily. But expecting instant outcomes and 100% zero symptoms will only heighten the symptoms and your frustration. Acknowledgment of some level of stomach distress is crucial.
Finally, keep track of your diet. Particular foods are known to cause discomfort to the stomach. Talk to your doctor and try the suggested medical treatments. A lot of stomach disorders are not alleviated with decreasing stress alone. You should also pay attention to the psychological, social, and biological aspects when attempting to resolve stomach-related issues.