Study Finds Strong Link between Psychological Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Closeup of one mixed race business woman holding sore tummy while feeling ill with menstrual stomach cramps and belly ache in an office. Hungry employee on period getting sick, bloated and uncomfortable with digestive pain caused by stress and anxietyNew research has found a possible link between psychological stress and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a condition that affects the large intestine and causes abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. While the cause of IBS is unknown, it’s thought to be related to changes in how the brain and gut interact.

There has been a lack of understanding in the scientific literature on the treatments and causes of irritable bowel syndrome. This may be due to the shortage of useful experimental animal models. However, recently, chronic social defeat stress (cSDS) and chronic vicarious social defeat stress (cVSDS) have been linked to major depressive disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder. The studies on these conditions helped emphasize the “gut-brain axis” in determining emotional and metabolic well-being.


This led researchers from Tokyo University of Science (TUS) to their work on understanding the effects of prolonged psychological stress on intestinal conditions. In their study, mice were subjected to physical stress and emotional stress. It was found that psychological stress-induced mice had higher intestinal transit ratio and visceral pain-related behaviors, both hallmarks of IBS.

Speaking about the study, Professor Akiyoshi Saitoh says, “From the aspect of the gut–brain axis, we suspect that the insular cortex plays an important role in determining the phenotype of emotionally-stressed mice.” The insular cortex is a part of the upper central nervous system controlling digestive functions and is involved in the process of coping with psychological stress.”

If you suffer from IBS, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can be helpful in managing stress and may help to improve your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about strategies that might work for you.

Managing Stress and Digestive Health

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To help with digestion, Healthy Colon provides an excellent solution. The unique blend of ingredients includes natural sources of fiber, herbal ingredients, and probiotics to help prevent constipation and diarrhea. Poor digestion can impact the absorption of nutrients and vitamins, depriving the body of the valuable nutrients it desires. But Healthy Colon can target a number of causes of digestive issues, promoting overall health and wellness.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.