EXPLORING THE LINK BETWEEN STRESS, ANXIETY & IBS

IBS, STRESS, ANXIETY, HEALTH

So many women have experienced stomach cramps, digestion problems and abdominal bloating and discomfort at some point in their life. However recent research has revealed that the reason for these IBS symptoms are not just down to our diets and the foods we are putting into our body. Recent research has in fact recently revealed that IBS symptoms can be brought about purely by episodes of stress and anxiety.

It is not completely clear yet, how stress or anxiety affects our stomachs and can lead to uncomfortable or painful stomach symptoms, however there is the age old saying that, ‘your stomach is your second brain’, that is believed to go some way in explaining this. Therefore we wanted to explore the relationship between stress, anxiety and IBS a little further.

Scientific Research

So, this recent research has revealed one very startling piece of information about IBS. Doctors have been noted to report that over 80% of all IBS patients will meet the criteria for one or more psychiatric disorder, including depression and anxiety. The most common of which is anxiety disorder. As so many people will say that they feel their emotions in their stomach, this new research is very interesting in solidifying this age old belief.

General Theory

The theory that has sprouted from this recent research is that although psychological problems like depression and anxiety don’t cause the digestive disorder, people with IBS may well be more sensitive to emotional issues. It has all been discussed that stress and anxiety can make the mind more actively aware of any spasms or aches and pains in the stomach, which can lead to people feeling more exasperated with these symptoms than they would if they were feeling calm and relaxed. It is also suspected that IBS may be triggered by the immune system which is very much affected by stress and anxiety.

Next Steps

Anyone suffering from IBS, who also suffers from anxiety and stress, although may be alarmed by this link between the two, should take comfort that new research is going into this area of health and medicine. Coping with stress and anxiety can be very overwhelming and can be difficult to cope with. Anyone who suffers from anxiety attacks knows how frightening they can be. Some sufferers find downloading an app like GP at Hand can help as people can feel much more calm and in control of attacks knowing that they can contact a doctor, very quickly, through their phone should they need to. Some people find that spending one or two hours a week practising yoga or meditation can go a long way in reducing overall levels and stress and boosting the peacefully and positivity that we need to take on everyday tasks.

Keeping stress and anxiety under control can therefore help to ease, or even prevent, IBS symptoms. Therefore it is really important to be focusing on techniques and ways to cope and deal with areas of intense stress or anxiety in order to enjoy a greater level of health and happiness.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety? Has it ever caused you problems like this?

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