Butterflies in your stomach may not be just a figure of speech any more. If you have been under a lot of stress, chances are that you might also suffer from some stomach problems. The following medical conditions may be linked with your stress.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is an umbrella condition which comprises a variety of illnesses under its purview. Scientists say that when a person is stressed, the brain is programmed to release some hormones and chemicals. When these hormones enter the digestive tract of a person, they cause trouble. It maybe characterized by either an increase or decrease in the contractions of the intestines. In case there is an increase in the contractions of the intestine, you might suffer from diarrhea or cramping. On the other hand, if there is a decrease in the contractions of the intestines, it may lead to constipation. The increase or decrease in the motility of the intestines affect the digestive system causing stomach trouble. Thus we see that IBS may cause an increase in the speed of passage of waste matter along the intestines or a decrease in the speed of passage of waste matter.
Normally, when diagnostic tests fail to identify a particular cause for a stomach related illness, the condition is known as a nervous stomach. When there is no plausible cause for a stomach-related illness, it is generally assumed that the cause for it is a nervous stomach. It is the source of stomach problems from stress. A nervous stomach, like irritable bowel syndrome, is caused due to stress. It may be caused because the brain releases a lot more acids into the stomach when you are stressed. A nervous stomach may be the cause of any stomach-related illnesses such as abdominal fullness, bloating, belching and flatulence, acid reflux, nausea and heartburn.
Along with irritable bowel syndrome and nervous stomach, there may also be a number of other stomach-related illnesses that are caused due to anxiety. One of the most common conditions caused due to stress include stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers are inflammation of the stomach due to excessive release of hydrochloric acid in the body. While hydrochloric acid is otherwise present in the body in very small amounts, even the slightest increase can cause trouble. It is said that although inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is not directly caused by stress, a preexisting case of IBD may be worsened due to stress.
What Can You Do?
If your stomach problems are indeed caused by stress, I guess the most logical thing to do would be to reduce stress. So how to go about it? Stress can be effectively managed in several ways. The most common way is to participate in some de-stressing activities. Find some hobbies which will help you reduce stress. Another way is to go for relaxation therapy. You can opt for yoga and meditative techniques for your peace of mind. You can even do light exercises at home to re-energize yourself.
Other things you can do is to get corrective cognitive therapy that will help you deal with the stress better. You should also learn to prioritize your responsibilities and take up only so much work that you can handle. If nothing worse, try to get counseling, which will surely help you deal with your problems better.
So, now you know about the stomach problems caused by stress and how to cure them. After reading this article you probably know that there may be something else causing your stomach upset rather than a bit of extra pizza!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.