Do you ever get that “stomachache” feeling when you’re feeling stressed out? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience stomach pain from stress. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of stress-related stomach pain and some tips on how to deal with it.
What Is Stress?
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make us feel threatened or upset our balance in some way. When we sense danger, whether it’s real or imagined, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the fight-or-flight reaction, or the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergencies, stress can save your life-giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example. The stress response also helps you cope with everyday challenges like public speaking or a first date.
But when the stress response is constantly activated by the challenges of modern life, it wears your body down and can make you sick. The key to managing stress is to activate your stress response only when you need it.
Connection Between Stress And Stomach Pain
There is a strong connection between stress and stomach pain. When you’re stressed, your body goes into fight mode, which can lead to a variety of physical symptoms, including stomach pain.
Stress can also make existing gastrointestinal problems worse. For instance, if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stress can trigger a flare-up. Examples of other digestive disorders that may be aggravated by stress include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The link between stress and stomach pain is so strong that some experts believe that stress may be the cause of as many as 50% of all gastrointestinal problems.
Various symptoms of stress-related stomach pain can include:
- Bloating gas
- Mood swings
- Inability to sleep
- Acid reflux
- Upset stomach after eating
If you’re experiencing stomach pain and think it might be due to stress, talk to your doctor. They can help you rule out other potential causes and develop a plan to manage your stress.
When Stress is left unmanaged, it can lead to a host of physical problems, one of which is stomach pain.
- The reason for this is that when we’re stressed, our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode. This means that the body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol increases the acid production in our stomach, which can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and even ulcers. For instance, have you ever been so stressed that you felt like you had butterflies in your stomach? That’s because when cortisol is released, it can also lead to gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Additionally, when we’re stressed, we tend to tense up our muscles, including the muscles in our stomach and intestines. This can lead to a build-up of gas and bloating, which can be extremely painful.
- Finally, stress can also interfere with our digestive system’s natural ability to move food through our bodies. This can lead to constipation, diarrhea, or both.
What Does Stomach Pain From Stress Feel like?
Stomach pain from stress can feel like a tight knot in your stomach. You may also experience nausea, bloating, and heartburn. The pain may be worse when you’re under a lot of stress or if you have anxiety or depression. If you’re experiencing stomach pain from stress, there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort.
Butterflies in the stomach before a big event are normal. But if you’re experiencing stomach pain that’s chronic or severe, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. If you’re concerned about your stomach pain, talk to your doctor.
Ways To Deal With Stress And Stomach pain
There are various ways that people deal with stress and stomach pain. Some people may choose to see a doctor, while others may try natural remedies. There are many different options available, and it is important to find what works best for you.
If you are experiencing stress and stomach pain, there are a few things that you can do to help ease the discomfort.
Identify the source of your stress
If you can identify what is causing your stress, you may be able to find ways to eliminate or reduce the amount of stress in your life. For example, if work is causing you stress, try to find ways to make your job easier. If family or personal relationships are causing you stress, try to find ways to improve communication or spend more time with positive people.
Making lifestyle changes can also help to ease stress and stomach pain. If you’re having trouble managing stress, talk to your doctor about other options.
- Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting properties. A moderate amount of exercise can help to reduce stress and improve your overall mood.
- Eat healthily: Eating a balanced diet can help to reduce stress and improve your overall health. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for good health, and too little sleep can increase stress levels. Make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. When you are stressed, your body needs extra time to recover. Getting enough rest can help to reduce stress and stomach pain.
- Avoid alcohol: Although it may seem like alcohol can help to relax you, it can make stress and stomach pain worse.
- Talk to someone: Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help to reduce stress. You can also talk to a counselor or therapist if you need someone to talk to outside of your circle.
This can help to ease stress and stomach pain. Some people find that deep breathing exercises or yoga help to relax the body and mind. For instance, you might take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Or, try a simple yoga pose such as the child’s pose.
Yoga: It is a great way to reduce stress. It involves deep breathing and relaxation techniques that can help to calm the mind and body. Yoga can also help to improve digestion and reduce stomach pain.
Massage: Massage can help to relax the body and mind. It can also help to reduce stress and stomach pain.
Meditation: It can help to clear the mind and reduce stress. It is a simple, yet effective way to relax the body and mind. Meditation can also help to improve digestion and reduce stomach pain.
Seek medical help
If you are experiencing severe stomach pain, it is important to seek medical help. This can help to rule out any other causes of your pain and help you to get the treatment you need. If you are still struggling with stress and stomach pain, various professional techniques can help. These include massage, acupuncture, and counseling.
Medications: If relaxation techniques don’t help to ease stress and stomach pain, your doctor might recommend medications. For example, they may prescribe antispasmodics to help relieve abdominal pain. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may also be helpful in some cases.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into the skin. This can help to reduce stress and stomach pain.
Counseling: Counseling can help you to understand your stressors and develop coping mechanisms. For instance, you can learn how to manage your time more effectively, set boundaries, and say “no” when needed. Example: If you’re struggling with work-related stress, counseling can help you to develop a better relationship with your boss and coworkers.
If you are struggling with stress and stomach pain, these are some ways you can help to ease your symptoms. Try one or more of these techniques to see what works best for you. Remember to talk to your doctor if you are still experiencing pain or discomfort. They can help you to rule out any other causes and provide additional treatment options.
It may be concluded that stress is indeed a significant factor in causing stomach pain. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what may be best for you and always take care of yourself both physically and mentally.
Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies in several ways, but one of the most common ways is stomach pain. It’s estimated that nearly 80% of all adults report having some level of stress in their daily lives, and a large portion of those people also experience some form of stomach pain.
For further information and suggestions, please contact Therapy Mantra. We have a team of expert therapists and psychiatrists that can help you overcome this problem. Get in touch with us right away to learn more about our services. You may also make an online therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app.