Can Stress Cause IBS? 

Your body’s response to any type of physical, emotional, or psychological strain can lead to stress and anxiety. People can experience stress due to a variety of reasons, such as school, work, relationships, illness, finances, and more. If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), this can result in a high level of stress and anxiety in your life. 

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome, otherwise known as IBS, is a gastrointestinal disorder, which is a condition that is characterized as a disorder surrounding the gut-brain interaction. The symptoms that are experienced from IBS affect the digestive system, causing abdominal pain, excessive gas, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, as well as stress. 

What is the Link Between Stress and IBS?

When you experience stress, your body releases higher levels of a hormone called cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Cortisol is partially responsible for how the body’s fight or flight response kicks in during a stressful or frightening situation. 

As a result, the body’s fight or flight response often impacts our hormone levels, as well as how the body responds in the event of a threat. Digestive issues, such as constipation and/or diarrhea associated with IBS can be a result of stress. For example, when you receive a scary text from someone or a stressful email from your boss, your cortisol may trigger your IBS symptoms.

While studies show that stress is not the direct cause of IBS, they do explain that stress can trigger IBS symptoms. 

Tips For Stress Management

If you suffer from IBS, then it is important that you practice stress management. Here are some tips that you can practice for stress management:

  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Quality sleep
  • Avoid smoking when experiencing stress
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol when experiencing stress

Contact a Gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks

If you would like to schedule a consultation with a gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks, our team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with the top Thousand Oaks gastroenterologist!

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