Have you ever felt a little nauseous before giving a presentation or some stomach pain during stressful events?
If you have, it should be a clear indication of how closely your gut and brain interact.
But it can go much further than those examples. But at the end of the day, there is little doubt that emotional and psychosocial factors play a role in gastrointestinal disorders.
Stress-related symptoms in the gut are not cookie-cutter, and each person will experience something different. One person with acid reflux may get the occasional mild sensation in the chest, while someone else may experience nighty bouts of excruciating pain.
And as the type and severity of symptoms vary, so will treatments like medication, self-help, and other treatments.
People with mild symptoms may respond quickly to changes in their diet or medication protocol. If these changes don’t work for you, you may want to talk to your doctor to take a closer look and identify or rule out any underlying causes.
If underlying conditions that affect gut health are ruled out, it can be increasingly more likely that the symptoms are related to emotional or psychosocial issues. This can be hard for some people the accept, but doing so will point you down the road for better treatment and management techniques.
People who get severe stress-related gastrointestinal symptoms can likely benefit from mind-directed therapies like relaxation techniques, mediation, mindfulness, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Your brain and gut are closely connected, and the answer to your gut-related issues could reside in your mind. Finding ways to relax, cope with stress, and limit anxiety could be the key to smooth sailing in your gut.