IBS or irritable bowel syndrome can be a painful and debilitating condition. IBS is described as painful constipation, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. Not only can IBS irritate your gut but it can also take a toll on your mood and mental health. This guide will discuss the link between your brain and your gut and how managing your stress levels may be able to give you some much-needed relief. Learn how your mental state can trigger your body’s fight-or-flight response and the physical stress of IBS.
The Link Between Your Brain And Your Gut
New studies show
that emotional stress may actually make your IBS symptoms worse. That's because your body is made up of cells and nerves. These nerves run from your brain through the rest of your body including your intestines and your stomach. Through this network of nerves, your stomach and your brain are constantly talking to each other. When you are feeling content, happy, and well-rested, for example, you’ll feel better in your gut. When you feel stressed, angry, or anxious, you’ll feel these negative emotions in your gut as well.
IBS And The Fight-Or-Flight Response
Stress in your body will trigger a fight-or-flight reaction. When you’re stressed, your hormones start gushing. Your nervous system will react and stop digestion to keep danger at bay. When your digestion slows down, you will start to feel abdominal pain and gastrointestinal problems.
Changing The Way You Think Can Help Your IBS
If you can find ways to keep your stress levels down, you may also see an improvement in your IBS pain and symptoms. The less you trigger your body’s fight-or-flight response, the less likely you will see that painful slowdown of your digestive system. Relaxation, mindful meditation, yoga, time outdoors, and physical activity, can all help you keep your stress levels down. With less stress and less anxiety, you may see a big improvement in your IBS symptoms.