Stress, Anxiety & Diarrhoea

Modern life is stressful

Nowadays, many people suffer from stress and anxiety. Whether it’s the result
of work or personal life, sometimes it can be hard to settle into a relaxed pace.
Stress has physical as well as emotional effects and many people suggest it is one
of the main causes of their diarrhoea. Luckily, there are all sorts of things you can
do to relieve your stress.

Stress & Anxiety: the causes

You might not realise it but it’s easy to upset the delicate balance of your digestive system. Some people that suffer from diarrhoea on a regular basis believe stress or anxiety to be a cause of their symptoms.

Here are some of the other common causes of stress to look out for:

  • Public speaking
  • Exams
  • Important social occasions
  • Work interviews

Why stress can cause diarrhoea

When you get nervous your body produces adrenaline and other chemicals. These chemicals speed up the normal function of your nervous system and can make some of your muscles work faster than usual. If the muscles in your intestines start to speed up, the natural rhythm of your digestion will speed up too.

Faster digestion means you absorb less fluid than usual, making your stools more frequent and watery. This is what we know as the symptoms of diarrhoea. Just a small reduction in the fluid absorbed by your intestines can be enough to bring on an attack of diarrhoea.

For some people, stress can be the trigger for diarrhoea symptoms.

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Stress from work

Everyone gets stressed at work now and then. Diarrhoea can be your body’s way of telling you that you’re not coping. This can make work difficult, so it’s best to deal with the causes of your stress first.

Some of the usual causes of work-related stress:

  • Not taking proper lunch breaks: most people perform better at work after a rest
  • Snacking on junk food: a sugar rush can actually increase your stress levels
  • Staying calm in confrontational situations: breathing deeply can help
  • Losing your sense of humour: laughter is a great stress reducer and boosts the immune system