Stress is an inevitable attribute of modern life. It can manifest itself in many different ways: from small anxious thoughts to severe emotional distress. But one of the most noticeable consequences of stress is the disruption of the digestive system. Why does this happen and how can we fight it?
The nervous system of the digestive tract
The stomach and intestines are not just bags that are filled with food. They have their own nervous system, which controls their work and interacts with the higher nervous activity of the body. Under acute stress, the central nervous system gives a command that cannot be controlled. This results in reactions such as an attack of vomiting when receiving bad news, nausea when reading the news, or diarrhea before leaving home.
The release of adrenaline under stress also affects bowel function. It relaxes it, which can lead to digestive disturbances.
Coffee and stress
Many people start drinking more coffee during times of stress. Caffeine belongs to the group of analeptic drugs, which “speed up” all organs and systems controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. This includes the intestines. After a cup of coffee it will work faster. But if you already have diarrhea against stress, then coffee will only increase it.
Don’t eat when you don’t feel like it
In a situation of stress, you may have an appetite problem. Some people feel that they do not want to eat, and sometimes it seems that a piece of food is stuck in the throat. This is a normal reaction to stress, and it is important to accept these feelings and allow yourself not to eat. Acute stress does not last long enough for a person to starve to death. Sooner or later the appetite will appear.
Chronic gastritis and ulcers
Chronic stress can lead to the development of gastritis or ulcers. However, the main cause of these diseases is a Helicobacter infection. Many people have the pathogenic bacterium, but not everyone gets the disease. The development of gastritis or ulcers can only occur in the presence of additional factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, improper diet or chronic stress.
But abdominal pain does not always mean the presence of pathology. Sometimes it can be caused by a functional digestive disorder.
How to fight stress?
To avoid digestive problems, you need to deal with stress. There are many ways to deal with it:
– Exercise. Physical activity helps relieve stress and improve mood.
– Practice meditation or yoga. These techniques help reduce stress levels and improve psychological well-being.
– Talk to friends and family. Talking to people you trust can help you cope with stress.
– Avoid stressful situations. If you know that an event or meeting may cause you stress, try to avoid it or prepare in advance.
– Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can make stress conditions worse.