Symptoms of Stress in the Body: Discomfort in Your Digestive System

Stress can cause many different symptoms, but one that may not be on your radar is diarrhea. If you have recently been feeling stressed or anxious and are experiencing more frequent bowel movements than usual, then stress could be the culprit. When people experience stress, they can produce a hormone called cortisol which can lead to increased stomach acid production in order to help break down food for digestion. However, this can also make it difficult for the intestines to absorb water from stools leading to dehydration and subsequent diarrhea. This article will explore all of these potential causes of stress-induced diarrhea so that you can get back on track with your life!

What Causes Diarrhea?

There can be a variety of causes for diarrhea, but when it comes to stress, there are two main culprits:

  • Dehydration: as discussed earlier, one of the consequences of stress can be dehydration due to an inability to absorb water from stools. This can lead to uncomfortable and frequent bowel movements.
  • Stomach Acid: stress can also cause our stomach acid production to increase which can lead to diarrhea.

It can be difficult for the intestines to absorb water from stools when there is an excess of stomach acids, leading us to become dehydrated and have more frequent bowel movements than usual. If you are experiencing any other symptoms like nausea or vomiting along with diarrhea, it is possible that you are suffering from food poisoning and should seek medical attention.

What are the Symptoms?

There can be a wide array of symptoms that can accompany stress-induced diarrhea. These can include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Dehydration
  • Fever or chills if there is an infection present along with the diarrhea

If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, then it is possible that your body isn’t handling stress very well and you may need to take some time for yourself. Although it can be difficult, it is important to listen to your body and give it the time it needs to recover.

The Connection Between Diarrhea and Stress

There can be many causes of diarrhea and stress can be one of them. Stress can lead to dehydration, which can then cause an increase in the frequency and fluidity of your bowel movements. This is because when we experience stress, our bodies release cortisol (a hormone) that increases stomach acid production for food digestion purposes. The downside to this increased stomach acid production can be that it makes the intestines less able to absorb water from stools.

If you are experiencing stress and diarrhea at the same time, then dehydration can be a potential cause of your discomfort. If you also experience other symptoms like nausea or vomiting along with diarrhea, then food poisoning is another possible culprit and should be considered by a medical professional.

Symptoms of stress can manifest in the digestive system, especially if you are experiencing diarrhea along with your symptoms. Stress can be caused by many different things like work, relationships, or even just being sick, and trying to manage normal daily activities can make us feel overwhelmed sometimes. If this is something that you have been going through, then you can look for support from your friends and family or even a therapist.

Why Stress Causes Diarrhea?

If you can relate to any of the following stressors, then it can be quite likely that your body is reacting by producing cortisol and increasing stomach acid production: 

  • Divorce or a breakup with a partner 
  • Moving home or starting at a new school/job/university 
  • Having financial difficulties such as not being able to pay bills on time 
  • Losing something that is very important (house, car, pet)

How Can I Prevent Stress-Induced Diarrhea?

There are a few different things you can do in order to prevent stress-induced diarrhea. For starters, you should make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day so that your digestive system isn’t dehydrated which can lead to discomfort and diarrhea. Additionally, try eating smaller and more frequent meals instead of three large meals per day. 

This can help to reduce the amount of stomach acid that is produced and can make it easier for the intestines to absorb water from stools. Finally, if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, try taking some time for yourself to relax and destress. You can do this by practicing some relaxation techniques like deep breathing or yoga, or by spending time with friends and family.

How Can I Reduce My Stress Levels?

There are many different ways that you can reduce your stress levels. Some people find that exercise helps the body to release endorphins which can have a calming effect. Others find that listening to music or reading can help to distract them from their stressors and allow them to relax. 

If you are finding it difficult to manage your stress levels on your own, then you may want to consider seeking out professional help. A therapist can provide you with the tools to help you manage your stress and can provide a safe space where you can talk about what is going on in your life.

How Can I Get Rid of My Stress-Induced Diarrhea?

If diarrhea isn’t something that’s caused by an underlying medical condition, then the easiest way to get rid of it is simply through hydration and dietary changes. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day, and make sure that you are eating smaller, more frequent meals. 

The Bottom Line

If you are experiencing stress-induced diarrhea, know that you are not alone! This is a common side effect of stress that can affect many people. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to help prevent it from happening. 

By drinking plenty of water, eating smaller and more frequent meals, and taking some time for yourself to relax, you can help your body to better cope with stress. And if diarrhea persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, be sure to consult a doctor.

FAQ

Does Depression Cause Diarrhea?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the relationship between depression and diarrhea can be different for everyone. Some people find that their symptoms of depression include diarrhea, while others do not. 

What Are Symptoms of Anxiety?

Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but often include feelings of tension, worry, and fear. Other common symptoms can include chest pain, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, nausea, and diarrhea. 

Can Anxiety Cause Diarrhea Every Morning?

The answer to this question can vary from person to person. Some people who experience anxiety may find that they have diarrhea every morning, while others only have it occasionally.

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