Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Can Your Stomach Hurt From Stress

Why Is Anxiety Felt In The Stomach

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

When you are anxious or stressed, there are hormones and neurotransmitters that are released in your body. The chemicals have an effect on gut motility. Gut motility is the way the GIT pushes food from one section of the gut to the next and also pushes excreta from the body.

When anxious, gut motility is greatly impacted causing stomach anxiety. There are many causes of anxiety, and one of the most common is chronic stress. When we experience a stressful event, its normal for our bodies to release hormones like cortisol, which help us escape or avoid the situation.

But if we continue experiencing stressful events on a regular basis, this becomes less effective because the body doesnt release enough cortisol. This can cause our gut motility to be negatively impacted, which can make people feel more anxious than they would if they werent stressed. Its also worth noting that stress may also lower stomach acid levels, which can lead to feelings of unease in the stomach.

You May Like: Can Anxiety Make You Nauseous

Stretching The Neck Muscle

This gentle exercise can be practiced at work or at home, whenever you feel tension in your neck muscles.Sit in an upright position and lift your arms above your head. Bend your elbows so that they are facing the ceiling and your hands positioned behind your neck. Now place your hands on top of one another, with the tips of your fingers pointing down along your spine so that your back is being stretched.

Hold this position for 15 seconds, then release the tension very slowly. Repeat three times with a short rest in between.

Rash Caused By Stress

A rash is a change of the human skin which affects its color, appearance, or texture, A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, chapped, dry, cracked or blistered, swell, and may be painful.The causes, and therefore treatments for rashes, vary widely.

Read Also: What Does The Bible Say About Depression And Anxiety

Don’t Miss: Can You Get Worms In Your Stomach

Mindfulness Meditation And Breathing Techniques

Mindfulness, meditation, breathing techniques, and progressive muscle relaxation have all been linked to evoking the relaxation response by reducing anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure, and improving energy, concentration, and self-awareness.

This relaxation response is the opposite of your fight-or-flight impulse, which is your stress response. When you experience a relaxation response, your body no longer feels threatened by perceived danger, so your brain tells your gut it can safely revert to normal functioning.

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.

Read Also: What Is The Name Of The Stomach Virus Going Around

What Causes Gut Troubles

According to Dr Ashton, feeling stressed and anxious may induce a variety of digestive discomfort. ‘Alteration in the contractility of the gut may cause cramps or pain and may influence stool habits constipation due to reduced GI contractions may cause feelings of bloating,’ he says.

Additionally, bloating may occur without constipation and you could also experience increased heartburn as a result of your anxious feelings. ‘Decreased stomach emptying accompanied by increased oesophageal contractions may cause acid reflux,’ he adds.

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.

Don’t Miss: What Causes Stomach Virus In Adults

How Emotions Affect Our Body

Why do our feelings sometimes make us sick?

Our lives are filled with emotions, from anger to shame, fear to delight, says Tracy A. Dennis, PhD, associate professor in the department of psychology at Hunter College, the City University of New York.

Each of these emotions causes complex physical responses. When were angry, for example, our heart rate increases, adrenaline flows, blood pressure spikes, and we see red, Dennis says.

These physiological and neuroendocrine changes associated with emotion influence all aspects of our body, including the digestive system, Dennis tells WebMD. These physical responses can start and stop quite suddenly and be very intense.

Dennis says its the intensity of emotions that can send our body into overdrive, producing immediate gastrointestinal distress — stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

Gut Support Tool Two: Prebiotics

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

Non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improves host health.

Key combinations of beneficial bacteria have been shown to help improve the stress response as have specific forms of prebiotic fibres, such as galacto oligosaccharides .

While specific types of prebiotic fibres in supplemental form can help support the gut and the stress response but feeding key species of beneficial bacteria and supporting the gut lining. Additionally, the range and quantity of plant fibres in the diet has been associated with a reduction in levels of stress and anxiety. These are two key factors that can contribute to bloating.

However, if someone is experiencing bloating very frequently, it may be best to avoid specific fibres which commonly contribute to increased gas production. These are commonly referred to FODMAPs.

These include

Even if certain foods are restricted, its important to keep the diet as diverse as possible. Two aims to keep in mind are

  • Aiming for at least 30 different plant foods a week. These plant foods include fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and herbal teas.
  • Aiming to eat each colour of the rainbow every day. Thinking about reds, purples, yellows, oranges and greens.
  • The aim here is to have the diet as diverse as possible to support a diverse gut microbiome.

    Also Check: What To Do To Ease Stomach Pain

    Can Anxiety Cause Diaphragm Spasms

    Anxiety can also cause muscle spasms. The most common reasons for spasms include: Muscle Tension Anxiety causes a considerable amount of muscle tension, and muscle tension can lead to both cramping and spasms. Muscle tension is a lot like exercise it tires out the muscles and causes them to spasm as a result.

    Yes Stress Can Cause Bloating Heres What To Do


    Stress, anxiety and bloating. This seems to be a combination that often comes hand in hand.

    Very commonly, when someone is experiencing digestive symptoms of bloating, but also other symptoms of IBS such as cramping or constipation, these more emotional symptoms are present.

    Can stress cause bloating or is it that the digestive symptoms are causing the stress?

    Often, its both.

    Read Also: Why Does My Stomach Hurt Everyday

    Why Does Stress Cause Stomach Pain Or Gi Discomfort

    We know through research there is a strong connection between our brain and our gut through the central nervous system. The enteric nervous system an out-branching of the central nervous system serves the GI tract, making a direct connection between our brain and gastrointestinal system. That connection can cause normal physiologic processes to be interpreted as painful under stressful or anxiety-provoking situations.

    When were stressed, hormones and neurotransmitters are released in the body. This can negatively impact gut motility, or the way our intestines and stomach squeeze and move waste through the body. Also, stress can affect the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut, causing GI discomfort.

    People experiencing chronic stress may also eat more or eat unhealthy foods with a higher amount of natural and artificial sugar that is poorly digested and causes GI distress. People may also smoke and drink more alcohol or caffeine than normal which can cause symptoms.

    Here Are Six Signs Your Abdominal Pain Could Be Physical

    Anxiety Yellow Stool

    Many triggers of abdominal pain are situational, James Marion, M.D., a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, tells SELF. Unfortunately, sometimes the situation in question is a nasty bout of foodborne illness.

    Something as seemingly harmless as trying a new dish at a restaurant could leave your stomach feeling wonky. So can making these food safety mistakes when youre cooking at home.

    Foodborne illness can set in hours to days after eating something contaminated, though sometimes it might even take weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. In any case, food poisoning can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea, and a fever.

    While it can seem like gas is only about burping and farting, pain is also a common symptom.

    You can also burp, fart, have abdominal pain, and experience other gas symptoms due to things like swallowing too much air as you chew or drinking a lot of carbonated beverages. And sometimes gas is a symptom of a condition like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, in which case youll experience other signs that something is physically wrong, like bloody diarrhea and constant exhaustion.

    While its not always true that specific abdominal issues come with specific kinds of pain, certain conditions do tend to have characteristic types of discomfort that potentially make them easier to identify.

    Also Check: What Does Stomach Cancer Do To The Body

    The Enteric Nervous System

    The enteric nervous system refers to the neurons controlling the digestive system. This âsecond brainâ is connected to the central nervous system â the brain and spinal cord. This system relies on neurotransmitters to communicate with the central nervous system and may affect mood.

    After sensing food, the nerves of the enteric nervous system communicate with muscle cells to initiate contraction, moving food along the intestines.

    In response to stress and in disorders such as IBS, the enteric nervous system may function abnormally. For instance, levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin may be altered, or nerves may become hypersensitive. This may lead to gut symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, or constipation.

    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.

    Also Check: What Are The Odds Of Surviving Stomach Cancer

    Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Stomach Ulcers

    There is still some debate over this in the medical community, but there is evidence to suggest chronic stress and anxiety can result in imbalances in hormone levels that can increase the acidity of your stomach. This increase in stomach acid can eventually lead to ulcerations in the lining of your stomach and duodenum.

    Stress and anxiety have also been linked to sleep disorders, which can further wear your body down and make it harder for tissues to repair themselves, further wearing away at your stomach lining.

    Read Also: Where To Get Help For Social Anxiety Disorder

    Is Stress From Covid

    Can Stress Cause Stomach Pain And Ulcers?

    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: How To Remove Gas From Stomach

    Physical Indications Of Stress

    We may not understand the effect that stress is having on our bodies. This by and large perceived as the most recognized physical manifestations of stress and tension:Stomach related issues caused due to stress are, acid reflux, heartburn, clogging, loose bowels or indigestion. Other symptoms include:

    Thus for sure, stress can cause various stomach related problems, including heartburn and indigestion because of the development of corrosive in the stomach. Also, it causes stomach aches because of cramping of the stomach muscles.

    In the long-term, stress can fuel existing digestive conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome , which is portrayed by bloating, cramps and diarrhea, GERD and sometimes ulcers. Thus, stress does not simply influence your brain it really causes physiological changes in your body since your body responds to an indistinguishable approach to mental worries.

    Strangely, the most well-known reasons for stress related indigestion are varied for males and females. Females tend to report higher frequencies of indigestion because of relationship stressors though men tend to interface their indigestion due to riotous workdays.

    Stress may not really increment the generation of acid in the stomach. A typical reason for indigestion is that it makes you more delicate to even little quantity of corrosive in the throat. This implies your reflux may not really be deteriorating, but rather it will feel like it is.

    Symptoms Of Stomach Pain Due To Stress

    Stress can trigger gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers or common condition called nervous stomach. Panic, fear and anxiety stress can interfere with the digestive tract giving rise to symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gases in the abdomen, belching and acid reflux.

    Both children as well as adults may experience stress related stomach problems. Stomach ulcer is considered to be a serious ailment as a result of prolonged stress. There is an ulcer formation due to excessive release of stomach acid, apart from H. Pylori being the right cause.

    You May Like: How Much Coolsculpting Stomach Cost

    Eat Properly To Help Your Digestion

    It’s very easy to spend our working lives eating on the move or at our desks, gulping down food between meetings and then crashing out in front of the TV with a takeaway in the evenings.

    But eating this way can play havoc with our digestive system.

    Follow some basic rules to prevent problems:

    • Do not rush your food. Take the time to eat slowly. Try putting your fork down between bites and chew each mouthful well.
    • Do not overeat. Reduce the size of your portions at mealtimes, or try eating 4 to 5 small meals instead of 3 large ones.
    • Eat regularly and try not to skip meals.
    • Avoid eating a big meal just before you go to bed. Eat your last meal at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down.
    • Make sure you have plenty of water to drink.

    What Is Samhsas National Helpline

    Every Anxiety Sufferer Wishes You Knew These 14 Things

    SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

    Read Also: How To Get Anxiety Out Of Your Body

    Also Check: What Causes Stomach Cramps With Diarrhea

    Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

    No, but it can cause a temporary spike in your blood pressure.

    High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition in which your blood pressure is chronically higher than it should be. This places extra force on the walls of your blood vessels and, over time, can lead to several health conditions, including:

    General anxiety can cause a temporary, significant increase in your blood pressure, but the effects typically dont linger long enough to have a lasting impact on your health or cause long-term high blood pressure.

    However, if you regularly experience blood pressure spikes due to chronic anxiety issues, your blood vessels can be affected in ways similar to high blood pressure.

    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.

    Email News Sign Up

    Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Stomach Crease

    Popular Articles
    Related news