Can anxiety give you stomach issues? Find out from experts
Find out from expert if anxiety can lead to stomach issues.
Many people seek doctors for physical complaints like stomach issues without finding any physical causes. They find it difficult to understand and accept how mind can affect the body. To this day, despite the advancements in psychology and medicine, we still hear things like "it's all in your mind", and people still struggle to comprehend the impact that our psychology has on our bodies and the undeniable, proven interaction between them.
Our mind and body work together therefore it is important to pay the same attention and care for mental health as we do for our physical health. ( Also read: Stress can play havoc with your digestive system. Here's how )
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Asthana, Head Psychiatrist at J.P Hospital, shared, "Anxiety is defined as the body's fight or flight system gone haywire and one of the symptoms of anxiety that isn't talked about enough is its effect on the stomach and gut. Anxiety can cause diarrhea, constipation and even IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome). This is because the body is trying to remove waste substances in case there is a threat. During anxious moments, the body's cortisol levels spike which influences stomach and gut movement. This is the reason why many people feel like going to the loo just before an exam or an important event. Some other symptoms of anxiety include bloating, unwanted gas, "stomach butterflies" and cramps. Chronic stress and anxiety also cause heartburn and inflammation of the gut, which results in your body targeting the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Often when we are anxious we consume a lot of unhealthy food that our gut has trouble digesting and absorbing."
Adding to it, she also shared some tips by which you can improve your gut health.
- Meditation and yoga to reduce stress levels
- Supplementing it with probiotics like yogurt or bitter chocolate.
- Skipping potentially inflammatory food like dairy, sugar, wheat etc.
- Get enough sleep and practice good sleep hygiene.
- Eat fibre-rich food such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Anxiety can make your stomach feel like hell on earth, and to fight it, it is important that we must start looking toward improving both our mental as well as physical health.