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Stress and Your Digestive System


Today, it is all too common for people to feel unhealthy levels of stress. Stress has many negative effects on the body including high blood pressure, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms and worsened irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, among others. Great! Another thing to stress about!  Don’t worry. Controlling your stress level can help you gain control of many other physical symptoms and help your body heal.


Your Brain’s Impact on Your Gut

Our digestive system has lots of nerves and is tightly connected with the brain. When your brain is communicating stress, anxiety and upset, your digestive tract is likely to follow its lead. This is why some people who experience prolonged, high levels of stress may develop worsened symptoms of their digestive conditions such as difficulty swallowing, diarrhea, constipation, increased acid reflux and worsened irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms. Gaining control of your stress by talking with specialists who can help you manage your symptoms is the next step.


Addressing Your Stress

Find the stress management tools that work for you. It may be meditation, music, exercise, meditation. Physical activity can release endorphins, which can boost your mental state and reduce the toll stress takes on it too. Eating foods that help reduce cortisol, a stress hormone, such as salmon, almonds, foods high in magnesium, and vitamin c are a few options to try.


Consider talking to a mental health specialist who may be able to help you reframe your thoughts to see things in a more positive light. Learn new life skills to help you manage areas that are chronic stressors for you.


Your Stress is Under Control

If you’re not stressed and you have digestive symptoms like the ones mentioned above, it’s time to talk to a gastroenterology specialist who can pinpoint the cause of your issues. At Granite Peaks Gastroenterology, they will carefully consider your symptoms to find the solution, helping find the relief you need to feel better and achieve your best health.