There are all things we want to keep inside and not share with others. Literally. But if you find yourself having to run to the bathroom whenever you step into a friend’s house or enter a public space, it can be embarrassing.
Nobody wants to deal with that.
There is a close connection between your gut health and your brain. It might come as a shock, but sometimes a feeling in your mind, like anxiety, can stimulate a physical response in your bowel.
If you can’t get to the bottom of sporadic or even predictable indigestion when you’re out in social situations, it could be a brain issue instead of a gut one. Some call these “nervous poops.”
Such an issue might leave you feeling like you can’t go out and enjoy yourself. Nervous poops can not only lead to a certain degree of self-consciousness but also fear if there isn’t a toilet nearby. But there are ways to help you handle it.
The first is to address the idea that these bowel emergencies are a product of the brain. Finding useful ways to ease stress, like meditation or exercise, can help you address the root of the problem.
The brain, of course, is only one actor in these unwanted bowel movements. You can also reduce the risk by monitoring the intake of food and drink that can stimulate gut motility.
Limiting caffeine intake, particularly prior to a potentially anxious situation, might help. Not only can caffeine exacerbate anxiety, but it can activate muscles involved in gastrointestinal motility.
Certain foods can also activate your digestive system. If you struggle with indigestion, limiting the intake of fatty and fried foods, spicy foods, or other items that may not agree with you is a good idea. These items may worsen nervous poops.
In addition to finding ways to ease anxiety and calm your nerves, increasing fiber intake might help too. Adequate fiber intake can improve digestion and transit time, decreasing the likelihood that food will run right through you.
You might find fiber to be the key factor in improving your condition. Most Americans only get about 10-12 grams of fiber per day, well short of the recommended amount.
Boosting intake of fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains can help you reach 25–38 grams and provide a massive boost to digestion.
The gut-brain connection is closer than you might think. If you struggle with stress and anxiety, it could be the reason you’re always needing to rush to the bathroom.