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Is Stress from COVID-19 Upsetting Your Stomach? 7 Self Comfort Tips to Try

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That stomachache you feel with each update on the COVID-19 outbreak? It’s real. So, too, are the indigestion and the heartburn. They’re symptoms of stress that manifest in the emotive digestive system, the connection between the brain and the gut. Stress-related digestive troubles may be on the rise as people around the globe worry in the midst of a pandemic, experts warn.

“Stress and anxiety can trigger more frequent or stronger contractions in the GI tract which some may perceive as uncomfortable or even painful,” says Michigan Medicine gastroenterologist William Chey, M.D., a professor of gastroenterology and nutritional sciences at Michigan Medicine.

In addition to belly pain, stress can trigger a wide range of other gut symptoms including heartburn, nausea, bloating, a change in bowel pattern, or in rare cases, even rectal pain, Chey says. Patients who already have irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic condition marked by stomach pain, cramping and a change in bowel habits, may see an uptick in their symptoms.

“Everyone reacts to stress differently,” he says.

Why does the stomach feel stress?

Stress impacts the gut because each person has a “hard wired connection” between the brain in the head and the nervous system housed within the GI tract called the enteric nervous system, Chey says. The enteric nervous system lives within the wall of the GI tract and communicates through the spinal cord with the brain. While the enteric nervous system typically runs the GI tract independently, the brain can influence how it behaves. In times of stress, it may send a distress signal that makes the GI system run differently. In addition, stress makes the nerves in the gut overly sensitive so things that normally aren’t even perceived at a conscious level are perceived as unpleasant gut symptoms.

“Everybody knows somebody that during high school before a big exam or an athletic event would have to run to the bathroom,” Chey says. “It happens because of the impact of stress or anxiety in the GI tract.”

SEE ALSO: Diaphragmatic Breathing for GI Patients

It’s normal to get mild, intermittent symptoms with stress or anxiety, Chey adds.

And despite their reputation, ulcers aren’t the result of too much stress. Typically, they emerge because of two causes. The first is an infection in the stomach from a bacterium known as H. pylori, and about 30% of U.S. residents get an H. pylori infection, the National Institutes of Health reports. The second cause is from medications, with aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen being the biggest culprits, Chey says.

How to Calm an Anxious Stomach: The Brain-Gut Connection

Ever wonder why you get “butterflies” in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is “tied in knots” after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasn’t caused by anything you ate?  Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.

Whether it’s a single nerve-wracking event or chronic worry and stress over time, stress can exact a physical toll on your digestive system.  When you are anxious, some of the hormones and chemicals released by your body enter your digestive tract, where they interfere with digestion. They have a negative effect on your gut flora (microorganisms that live in the digestive tract and aid digestion) and decrease antibody production. The resulting chemical imbalance can cause a number of gastrointestinal conditions.

Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include: 

  • indigestion 
  • stomach cramps 
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite 
  • unnatural hunger 
  • nausea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) 
  • and peptic ulcers

Once you suffer with one of these conditions, the condition itself can become a source of anxiety and greatly impact your quality of life. I have had many patients who experience diarrhea for example, who develop a fear having accidents in their pants which makes them afraid to leave their home or go certain places.  If you experience stomach cramps or indigestion, you might become fearful of these symptoms causing you to limit where and what you eat which could impact your social life.

Six Tips for Reducing Stress and Anxiety

  1. Although stress is a normal part of life and impossible to avoid, there is good news. You can manage your stress so that it reduces its impact on your stomach. Here are six tips that can help you reduce stress AND the related tummy troubles.
  2. Take short breaks and breathe. When done right this can really help. Every couple of hours, stop what you’re doing and do one minute of slow, quiet deep breathing.  You’ll be amazed at the results.  Your breathing should be very slow, silent, and through your nose. Push your stomach out when you inhale and let it deflate as you exhale.
  3. Just say “no.” Trying to do everything and please everybody all the time is a surefire recipe for stress. Know your limits and when you’re close to reaching them, don’t accept additional responsibilities.
  4. Exercise or do yoga. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes a day. When you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins which interact with receptors in your brain and trigger a positive feeling in your body.
  5. Instead of stressing over things you can’t control focus on the things you can control, such as how you choose to react to problems. Your reaction is your choice, including how you react to your stomach issues. Accepting stomach problems will reduce your anxiety and curb your symptoms. Worrying about your stomach, only makes your symptoms worse.
  6. Listen to a guided relaxation exercise daily. You’ll not only feel relaxed while doing it, but most people also experience a sense of calm that lasts for hours afterwards. 

Seek the help of a therapist who specializes in anxiety. It’s often too difficult to deal with chronic worry and complicated anxiety on your own. A skilled Cognitive Behavioral Therapist will know what to do. You can find a therapist at ADAA.org.  

It takes effort to reduce stress and its impact on the stomach. These suggestions can work if you implement them correctly and if you make them a daily priority. However, expecting immediate results and 100% absence of symptoms will only increase your frustration and symptoms.  Acceptance of some degree of stomach discomfort is important. 

Finally, take a look at your diet. Certain foods are known to irritate the stomach. Consult a doctor and try the recommended medical treatments. Many stomach disorders cannot be resolved with stress reduction alone. You must address the biological, psychological and social aspects when trying to resolve gut related problems.

How Stress Affects Digestion | Everyday Health

Have you ever have to make a “gut-wrenching” decision under pressure? Or were you ever so anxious that you had butterflies in your stomach? If so, then you know how stress can affect your digestive system.

The brain and the gut are connected and constantly in communication. In fact, more neurons reside in the gut then in the entire spinal cord, according to research published in the book Neuroscience.

“Stress can affect every part of the digestive system,” says Kenneth Koch, MD, professor of medicine in gastroenterology and medical director of the Digestive Health Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The gut is controlled in part by the central nervous system in the brain and spinal cord. In addition, it has its own network of neurons in the lining of the gastrointestinal system, known as the enteric or intrinsic nervous system. In fact, the system of nerves in your gut is so influential that some researchers consider the gut a second brain, as noted in an article published in Scientific American.

The enteric nervous system, along with its 100 million nerve cells that line your gastrointestinal tract from your esophagus to your rectum, regulates digestive processes like:

  • Swallowing
  • The release of enzymes to break down food
  • The categorization of food as nutrients or waste products

Stress can significantly impact the way your body carries out these processes.

What Happens When Your Body Is Stressed?

When presented with a potentially threatening situation, the sympathetic nervous system — a part of the body’s autonomic nervous system, which regulates bodily functions like the heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure — responds by triggering a “fight-or-flight response,” releasing the stress hormone cortisol to make the body alert and prepared to face the threat.

Stress causes physiological changes, like a heightened state of awareness, faster breathing and heart rates, elevated blood pressure, a rise in blood cholesterol, and an increase in muscle tension.

When stress activates the flight-or-flight response in your central nervous system, Dr. Koch says that it can affect your digestive system by:

In more serious cases, stress may cause a decrease in blood flow and oxygen to the stomach, which could lead to cramping, inflammation, or an imbalance of gut bacteria. It can also exacerbate gastrointestinal disorders, including:

“Although stress may not cause stomach ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease, it can make these and other diseases of digestion worse,” Koch says. So it’s important to take measures to be in control during stressful situations and find ways to keep yourself calm.

6 Ways to Manage Stress

There are both psychological and physical ways to manage stress. But the same stress relieving technique might not work for everyone. Here are six options you can try:

1. Get Regular Exercise

Physical activity relieves tension and stimulates the release of chemicals in your brain called endorphins, which act as natural painkillers. Endorphins improve sleep, which can help relieve stress, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

“It’s one of the best ways to manage stress and maintain healthy digestion,” Koch says. A study published in 2014 in the journal Cognitive Behavioural Therapy examined the relationship between aerobic exercise and attentional focus during exercise on 33 patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and found that 89 percent of patients reported improvements in PTSD and anxiety sensitivity.

2. Consider Psychotherapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a technique that has been proven to help reduce anxiety and stress by helping you learn to replace negative, distorted thoughts with positive ones. A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology looked at the effectiveness of CBT on quality of life, anxiety, and depression in those with IBD. Patients with IBD who reported low quality of life were randomly assigned a CBT intervention along with standard medical care for three and a half months. When compared with a control group, people with IBD who received CBT reported higher quality of life and lower levels of depression and anxiety.

3. Choose Stress-Busting Foods

A review published in May 2017 in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews found that eating disorders and obesity can be associated with psychological stress. Cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal glands, also increases appetite. Stress can affect food preferences, too. Studies have shown that “physical or emotional distress increases the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both,” according to Harvard Medical School.

But there are certain foods that have been shown to reduce anxiety. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are natural mood boosters. Almonds are chock full of magnesium, a mineral that helps manage cortisol levels. And oranges and other citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which can lower blood pressure, according to research published in January 2017 in the journal Scientific Reports.

4. Yoga

This mind-body practice combines physical poses with breathing techniques and meditation. According to a study published in 2018 in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, women who engaged in hour-long Hatha yoga classes three times a week for 12 sessions achieved significant reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression. Research also shows that yoga can lower blood pressure and heart rate.

5. Meditation

There are many meditation techniques that can help you focus your mind on an object, activity, or though to help you achieve calmness. Although the goal of meditation is not stress reduction, that is a side effect of this ancient practice.

A review published in 2018 in The Lancet Public Health looked at the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention on resilience to stress in college students. Eight weekly Mindfulness Skills for Students (MSS) interventions were randomly administered to students for 75 to 90 minutes, focusing on mindfulness exercises and periods of self-reflection. At the end of the intervention, students in the MSS group reported lower levels of stress.

6. Develop Time-Management Skills

An important part of stress reduction is self-care. For many, this involves managing your time as effectively as possible. A study published in 2017 in the journal Electronic Physician looked at the relationships between time management, anxiety, and academic motivation in 441 nursing school students using self-reported questionnaires and scales. Students who did a poor job managing their time had higher levels of anxiety and less academic motivation than individuals who were better time managers.

You can improve your time-management skills by:

  • Knowing your deadlines
  • Planning ahead
  • Setting goals
  • Avoiding procrastination

Additional reporting by Nicol Natale.

Acid reflux and anxiety: What is the link?

Acid reflux and anxiety may share a close link. Some research suggests that anxiety might make acid reflux symptoms worse.

Anxiety and stress may also be contributing factors to acid reflux in some cases. Conversely, acid reflux can be stressful and may cause anxiety in some people.

People with troubling symptoms or symptoms that do not respond to home treatment should see a doctor.

Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach leaks back up into the food pipe, or esophagus. It is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Stress can worsen acid reflux symptoms, and anxiety is a natural response to stress in the body. Paradoxically, experiencing anxiety can also in itself be stressful, which can continue the cycle.

There is some evidence to suggest that stress and anxiety may provoke acid reflux or make the symptoms worse.

For instance, a 2018 study involving more than 19,000 people found that those with anxiety were more likely to experience GERD symptoms.

The researchers suggested several possible physical reasons for this:

  • Anxiety may reduce pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the band of muscle that keeps the stomach closed and prevents acid from leaking into the esophagus.
  • Stress responses and anxiety may cause long lasting muscle tension. If this affects the muscles around the stomach, it could increase pressure in this organ and push the acid up.
  • High anxiety levels may increase stomach acid production.

In some cases, people with anxiety who had the same number of acid reflux episodes as people without anxiety rated these episodes as more severe.

The authors of a study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology also found that among people with GERD, the symptoms — including pain and heartburn — were more severe in those who had higher levels of anxiety.

Scientists have also noted that GERD can be a major source of stress and anxiety for people.

In 2019, researchers noted that people with GERD who experienced chest pain had significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety that those who did not have pain in this part of the body.

The study authors also suggest that people may associate symptoms such as chest pain with other more serious conditions, increasing their anxiety about these symptoms.

The combination of these factors can allow a vicious cycle to develop. GERD may cause stress and anxiety, yet stress and anxiety levels also contribute to GERD. Finding both physical and psychological ways to treat these symptoms is vital to break the cycle and find relief.

Other factors that can lead to acid reflux include:

  • eating meals just before bed
  • eating large or fatty meals
  • including spicy foods in meals
  • having obesity
  • consuming alcohol
  • smoking

Understanding the symptoms of GERD and anxiety may help a person distinguish between them.

Symptoms of GERD

GERD is a condition that causes regular acid reflux, as stomach acid often leaks back up into the esophagus. It causes a number of symptoms, the most common being heartburn.

Heartburn is a painful, burning feeling in the middle of the chest and, sometimes, in the throat. It occurs when the acid from the stomach irritates the esophagus.

Symptoms of GERD may include:

  • heartburn
  • nausea or stomach upset
  • pain in the chest or abdomen
  • painful swallowing
  • vomiting
  • bad breath

Symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person. Possible symptoms include:

  • rapid heart rate
  • nervousness or restlessness
  • twitching muscles
  • feeling very tense, both physically and mentally
  • rapid breathing or hyperventilating
  • a feeling of dread or constant impending doom
  • difficulty focusing
  • other digestive issues, such as gas, diarrhea, or constipation
  • inability to sleep

Anxiety may also present as sudden, intense signs of distress called panic attacks. Panic attacks occur when severe symptoms come on very quickly. These can include extreme fear, drastic changes in heartbeat, and changes in breathing.

Learn more about anxiety’s effects on the body in this article.

Many people deal with occasional acid reflux and feel anxious from time to time when they are facing a stressful situation.

When either or both symptoms become regular occurrences, it is important to take steps to treat or prevent them.

Additionally, as the symptoms of acid reflux and anxiety may make each other worse, taking quick action may help prevent this cycle from developing.

People may be able to relieve the symptoms of GERD using one or more methods, including:

  • finding and eliminating foods that trigger symptoms
  • avoiding large or very fatty meals
  • eating their last meal no later than 2–3 hours before bed
  • taking over-the-counter antacids, such as calcium carbonate (Tums) or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
  • taking proton pump inhibitors, such as esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • using h3 receptor blockers, such as famotidine (Pepcid)

Doctors may also recommend taking steps to reduce or prevent anxiety, including:

  • attending regular cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions
  • reducing the intake of caffeine
  • avoiding recreational drug and alcohol use
  • engaging in stress relief techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi
  • taking prescription medications, such as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or benzodiazepines

Always follow the doctor’s instructions when using drugs for anxiety, however, as some drugs can have severe adverse effects. With benzodiazepines, there is a high risk of dependence. Using them alongside alcohol or opioid drugs can produce life threatening effects.

In some cases, it is possible to manage the symptoms of both acid reflux and anxiety with home remedies.

However, anyone experiencing chronic anxiety or acid reflux should speak to a doctor.

Long-term acid reflux may cause other complications, such as scar tissue in the esophagus, Barrett’s esophagus, and, in rare cases, esophageal cancer.

Long-term anxiety can contribute to a range of physical and mental health complications.

The symptoms of both GERD and anxiety can appear similar to those of other conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to visit a doctor for a diagnosis.

Dealing with the combination of acid reflux and anxiety can be frustrating. In some cases, a person may not know whether they are experiencing acid reflux or the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Working with a doctor is important to ensure that the person gets the correct treatment.

Finding ways to manage anxiety and taking steps toward treating acid reflux may help end the cycle and help people control their symptoms.

How to Reduce Acid Reflux and Stress

The Stress-Heartburn Connection

Heartburn and stress are related, but which condition causes the other? Many people with acid reflux admit they often feel stressed and anxious, but the pain and discomfort of reflux can be extremely stressful. Stomach upset, regurgitation, chest pain, coughing and throat burning can cause loss of appetite, irritability and insomnia resulting in an intricate cycle of physical and emotional turmoil. It’s not surprising researchers continue to study the complex relationship between reflux and anxiety.

Stress Leads to Unhealthy Behaviors

Your digestive health is inextricably connected with your emotions. You may notice acid reflux increases during a family crisis or a job transition. Some studies suggest tension in the workplace or low job satisfaction increases the risk for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a progressive disease that can lead to long-term digestive complications.

Other research claims tension does not escalate acid production or regurgitation. Rather, it reduces the pain threshold and makes the esophagus more sensitive to acid erosion. Stressful situations can also cause you to overeat, drink alcohol, smoke and eat unhealthy food, which can all contribute to reflux and heartburn.

Lifestyle Choices to Prevent Stress and Heartburn

Regardless of whether stress causes heartburn or heartburn causes stress, you can prevent both by:

  • Eating a healthy, low-acid diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Eating smaller, frequent meals
  • Taking time to relax, meditate or be still
  • Getting a full eight hours of sleep each night

Make a GI Doctor Appointment

Call your gastroenterologist if you experience frequent heartburn in conjunction with stress. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and schedule an upper endoscopy if necessary. Prompt treatment will help you avoid further complications and improve your digestive health.

Can Stress Cause Heartburn?

Has anxiety ever given you butterflies in your stomach? Or have you ever felt gut-wrenching stress? If you answer yes, you’ve experienced the close link between your emotions and your stomach. Stress can give you a bout of heartburn. If you already suffer from heartburn, stress can make it worse.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid seeps up into your esophagus. That’s the tube that gets food from your mouth to your stomach. Once food is in your stomach, your body releases acids to digest it. Your stomach can deal with acid, but the esophagus can’t. So, when acid gets into the esophagus, it burns.

Linking Stress and Heartburn

What goes on in your brain affects what goes on in your stomach. Just thinking about tasty food can get your stomach juices flowing. A stressful situation can trigger your brain into a stress response. Here’s how it works:

  • The stress response is what gets you to move away from danger. The last thing you need to worry about at these times is eating. So, during stress, your body produces hormones that slow down digestion. Food stays in your stomach longer. That means stomach acids have more time to move up into your esophagus.

  • The stress response may make you more sensitive to pain. Studies have shown that stress does not increase the acidity of your stomach juices. But, when these juices back up into your esophagus, you may be more sensitive to them. You may sense pain more easily when you’re stressed.

  • The links between stress and heartburn work both ways. The brain and the digestive system are so closely tied that digestive symptoms can trigger the stress response. Stress can make heartburn worse. Heartburn can make stress worse. That can turn into a vicious cycle.

How do you know if stress is contributing to your heartburn? You will probably have other symptoms of stress that go along with heartburn. These could include headache, stiff neck, trouble sleeping, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, and trouble concentrating.

Reducing your stress may help reduce your heartburn symptoms. Try these tips for dealing with stress:

  • Don’t smoke or drink. Both can cause heartburn.
  • Get some exercise. It helps reduce stress and aids digestion.
  • Try mind-body stress reducers. Examples are meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and guided relaxation.
  • Get a good night’s sleep as often as possible.
  • Avoid late-night snacking to relieve stress. Going to bed with a full stomach leads to acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Make some attitude adjustments. Try to be less controlling and more accepting.
  • Talk to someone about your stress. Just confiding in a friend can help. If you need more feedback, talk to your doctor.

Stress can be a major contributor to heartburn. But, there can be many other causes, too. These include being overweight, eating heartburn-producing foods, drinking too much coffee, smoking, and eating too close to bedtime. Frequent heartburn can also be a warning sign for several important medical conditions. If you have heartburn twice a week or more, talk to your doctor.

  • Stress can contribute to heartburn and make heartburn worse.
  • Stress may slow down digestion and make you more sensitive to heartburn.
  • Stress usually causes other symptoms along with heartburn.
  • Reducing stress may help reduce heartburn.

Can Stress Cause an Upset Stomach?

Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach before giving a speech or right at the top of a roller coaster just before the plunge? Have you felt “gutted” after losing a big game, ending a relationship, or getting some bad news? Maybe you’re going through a stressful time in your life and you’ve started experiencing stomach cramps or other digestive issues.

Stress can lead to an upset stomach as well as other digestive problems. While these symptoms aren’t uncommon, it’s important that you share this information with your doctor.

Feelings of stress or anxiety can lead to digestive problems such as stomach aches or stomach cramps. Be sure to talk to your doctor about stress-related digestive issues. Click To Tweet

Your upset stomach may be cause by stress

An upset stomach is one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety. This can come from a single stressful moment — like public speaking or a bad breakup — or chronic worry over time from work or a global pandemic.

If your stomach hurts without any obvious cause, such as food illness, it’s possible that feelings of stress or anxiety could be the trigger. In addition to stomachaches, stress can also cause other digestive problems:

  • indigestion
  • upset stomach
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • urgency to evacuate the bowels (tenesmus)
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • hunger
  • heartburn

While these symptoms may stem from stress or anxiety, they can also become a source of stress. For example, someone who experiences diarrhea or urgency with bowel movements may fear having an accident in public; this can prevent them from leaving their home or limit the places they go.

The brain-gut connection.

Your brain and the enteric nervous system in the GI tract are closely connected. The digestive system contains the largest area of nerves outside of the brain. Feelings of stress and anxiety can influence the nerves in your digestive tract and trigger stronger and more frequent contractions.

Stress signals can change the way that the GI system functions, which can lead to stress-related digestive problems.

When should you see a doctor for gastrointestinal problems?

Mild or occasional digestive problems due to stress are common. However, this doesn’t mean that you should dismiss these symptoms.

Tell your doctor about symptoms such as nausea, stomachache, cramps, or diarrhea. The more your doctor knows about your health, the better the quality of care you receive.

These symptoms could indicate a manageable digestive problem, such as irritable bowel syndrome. The American College of Gastroenterology states that 10 to 15 percent of U.S. adults have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome; however, only five to seven percent of adults have been diagnosed with IBS.

Talk to your doctor if you experience stress-related digestive problems. Your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist.


Resistance to stress varies greatly from person to person. The strong effect of stress produces the emergence of psychosomatic reactions only if the body cannot respond adequately to a specific stress factor.

Stress arises for a variety of reasons – as a result of family problems, loss of work, separation from a loved one, death of a loved one, divorce, infidelity – all this leads to severe stress.All troubles and emergency work can also be the reason for the development of digestive psychosomatics – stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome – IBS is also known, which torments patients with frequent diarrhea, indigestion, and abdominal pain. But stress does not always lead to gastrointestinal diseases.

The strength of the stress factor can be great, and the person copes. But only for a limited time – then, in order to continue resisting troubles and encounters with serious problems, you need a serious rest and recovery.Often, a person does not have time to notice this fatigue, or there are no conditions to rest.

A supportive environment, a supportive environment in relationships with friends and family members, is essential for coping with stress.


When a person is faced with a sharp appearance of problems, the glands produce stress hormones, the heart “fills with blood” – there is a readiness to fight.The stomach and intestines, and the entire digestive system, as it were, turns off, it is not up to it to digest food, the body has a more important task of self-preservation, for which a person must attack or run away.

If we are talking about an animal, then after a fight it rests. A person, depending on his character, may unconsciously continue to fight after a fight, especially after an unsuccessful fight.

Stress-related factors are sleep disorders – insomnia, circulation of thoughts, restless sleep with awakenings, nightmares.

If the duration of the stress factor exceeds the body’s resources, then nervous exhaustion, increased sweating, a feeling of weakness, the so-called chronic fatigue syndrome, aggravate chronic diseases.

Gastritis – inflammation of the gastric mucosa – a very common disease associated with psychosomatic causes, manifested by pain in the stomach and digestive disorders. With prolonged stress, the blood supply and functions of the gastric mucosa are disrupted, immunity decreases and the regeneration of mucosal cells, which works in difficult conditions – acid and enzymes, deteriorates.Gastritis is a witness to stress.

PU and DU – gastric and duodenal ulcer is a more serious lesion of the mucous membrane and underlying tissues, in which a wound is formed that is not covered with mucosal cells, which are protected from acids and enzymes. The ulcer is accompanied by an infection of Helicobacter pylori, this is a very common microbe, with normal immunity and the absence of distress, its development is unlikely.

Biliary dyskinesia is a violation of the movement of bile through the channels from the gallbladder to the duodenum.The movement is regulated by the sphincters and peristalsis of the gallbladder – these reactions are not controlled by consciousness and are disturbed in anxiety and stress.

Irritable bowel syndrome . Its cause is a violation of blood supply, peristalsis and microflora – due to stress and mental overload, overwork.

Psychosomatics of digestion associated with inflammation of the gastric mucosa – gastritis, UBD and DU, IBS – require psychotherapy, special psychotherapeutic methods of self-regulation, and sometimes the use of drugs that can be prescribed by a psychotherapist.


Psychotherapy for psychosomatics of the stomach and intestines is to turn off the stressful regime of the body – to digest food normally, to restore the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines, healthy microflora – is possible only at rest, and not in tension.

Methods of psychotherapy consist of hypnosis, teaching autogenous training, training and the development of a coping strategy.

The main attention should be paid to the selection of all stress factors that have an impact. Stress from dysfunctional family relationships, from conflicts at work. Internal conflicts are also stressful, especially if a person cannot make some important decision for a long time.

Techniques of psychological self-regulation are special training, exercises, in order to reduce the body’s response to stress.

Yoga, oriental holistic arts, martial arts, breathing gynasties are of great benefit in tuning the body to the correct anti-stress wave.


1. You have been treated by a gastroenterologist for a long time and there are no results – ulcers and colitis return in stressful situations

2. You feel that psychosomatic diseases of the stomach and intestines are your experiences and stresses, but you don’t understand which ones and don’t know how to cope with them

3. If you, along with stomach and intestinal symptoms – pain, indigestion, indigestion, feel tired or stressed, poor sleep or insomnia, depressed mood.

Prepared by psychologist V.R. Lyutomskaya

Stomach neurosis: symptoms and treatment

The expression “all diseases are from the nerves” is not so far from the truth. The human body and psyche are closely related – if you stay in a state of stress, tension, excitement or fear for a long time, physiological problems will appear.

One of these is gastric neurosis or gastroneurosis.

What is stomach neurosis?

In general, neurosis is a generic name for dozens of disorders that arise from stress or psychological trauma.It seems that this applies only to the higher nervous system, but in fact, neurosis can occur in any organ, because all systems of our body are rich in nerve endings. So, when, due to psychological problems, the work of the stomach is disrupted, they talk about gastroneurosis.

This is a common disease. Mostly middle-aged people suffer from it, mainly women – more vulnerable emotionally and less resistant to stress than men.

Why does it occur?

There are many causes of stomach neurosis, and not all of them are as harmless as they seem.

  • Wrong way of life : irregular regime, severe constant stress, lack of sleep, overstrain – all this negatively affects the nervous system.
  • An unbalanced diet , the use of unhealthy foods and snacks “on the run” harm the entire gastrointestinal tract (GIT).
  • Pathological formations : oncology, ulcers, gastritis and so on.
  • Effects on the digestive tract : poisoning, intoxication, bad habits and so on.
  • Viral diseases that weaken the organ.
  • Internal conflicts , dissatisfaction with oneself and life, conflicts with other people.

In general, most of the causes can be ruled out with a healthy lifestyle.

What are his symptoms?

Symptoms of gastric neurosis are easily confused with gastritis:

  • Feeling hungry, even if you have just had a meal;
  • Colic and bloating;
  • Unpleasant sensations and pain in the stomach;
  • Attacks of heartburn and burning behind the breastbone;
  • Uncontrollable belching with unpleasant odor and loud sound;
  • Persistent feeling of heaviness in the abdomen;
  • Aversion to the sight and smell of food;
  • Chewing reflex in the absence of food.

Therefore, you need to know which psychosomatic symptoms to look for:

  • Headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure;
  • Insomnia and agitation;
  • Rapid heartbeat;
  • Phobias and panic attacks;
  • Hypochondria.

But you need to be more careful: many of the above symptoms, both physiological and psychosomatic, accompany other diseases. Therefore, it is very important to first accurately diagnose and only then start treatment.

In what forms does it appear?

In order to diagnose stomach neurosis faster, it is worth knowing in what form it can manifest itself. Each form is dangerous in its own way – it is extremely important to diagnose and begin treatment as soon as possible.

  • Nervous vomiting , which occurs without urge and lack of feeling of nausea.
  • Belching , similar to hysteria, which occurs due to reflex swallowing of excess air.In this case, a person makes sounds that resemble screams.
  • Bulimia and anorexia . The patient either eats too much food, or practically does not eat – both forms of stomach neurosis are most dangerous and can lead to death.
  • Heartburn , which does not go away even if you are on a special diet.

What if I have stomach neurosis?

If you have any of the physiological and psychosomatic problems, first of all you need to contact a neurologist and gastroenterologist, and then undergo a thorough examination.At the stage of diagnosis, a neurologist most often involves a psychiatrist to analyze the patient’s life and determine the causes of psychological problems. If only the symptoms are treated, the stomach neurosis itself will not go away. And this method helps to more effectively restore the psychological health of the patient.

It is very important not to self-medicate with either medicines or folk remedies – this can lead to irreversible pathologies and dramatically worsen the state of health.

90,000 Diarrhea and stress: why diarrhea occurs during nervous tension

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Why is the intestine irritated?
Treatment and prevention of psychogenic diarrhea

Rumbling, abdominal cramps and loose stools on the eve of an important event are extremely unpleasant symptoms that can knock the soil out from under anyone’s feet. This is due to stress, which triggers a whole chain of reactions in the body, leading to functional disorders in the digestive system.How to treat diarrhea on a nervous basis and how to prevent its appearance – about this in the article.

Ancient physicians-philosophers spoke about the relationship between body and soul. Cicero, who is considered to be the father of psychosomatics, made reasoned judgments about the influence of strong nervous shocks on human health 1 . Today, the existence of psychosomatic disorders has been proven, and they are included in the international classification of diseases. Among them is irritable bowel syndrome, one of the manifestations of which is nervous diarrhea.

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Why is the intestine irritated?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects both men and women alike. Most often, an intestinal disorder due to nerves occurs in urban residents 2 with a busy rhythm of life and frequent stress.

Emotional instability becomes the basis for the onset of the syndrome. Irrepressible urge to empty the bowels, ending with loose stools, may be preceded not only by anxiety, fear, or feelings of sadness and melancholy, but also intense positive emotions.From a physiological point of view, they are also stressful.

Nervous tension causes the adrenal glands to produce stress hormones: cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Under their influence, the body adapts to the new environment: the frequency of contractions of the heart and respiration increases, the pupils dilate, thought processes and muscle reactions are accelerated. However, the reaction may be excessive 3 . In particular, stress can provoke disturbances in intestinal motility 3.4 .With the accelerated movement of intestinal contents, the reverse absorption of water and electrolytes is disturbed, as a result of which loose stools appear.

The main manifestations of psychogenic diarrhea:

  • sudden, irresistible urge to defecate, arising against the background of emotional stress;
  • diarrhea more than 3 times a day;
  • normal stool volume, on average 200 ml per day;
  • absence of episodes of diarrhea during night rest;
  • loud rumbling, discomfort, or migratory cramping abdominal pain prior to bowel movement;
  • loose, mushy or watery stools, free from mucus, blood, undigested food and fat;
  • alternation of diarrhea with constipation, ending with the release of a small amount of hard lumpy feces, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the intestines.

Important! With IBS, there are no infectious and organic diseases of the intestines and other organs of the digestive system. Therefore, before taking any measures to combat diarrhea, you need to consult a doctor and undergo the appropriate examination in this case.

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Treatment and prevention of psychogenic diarrhea

Psychogenic diarrhea usually occurs against the background of chronic stress, neurotic disorders, depressive conditions, and its appearance aggravates the situation.The suddenness of an irresistible urge to defecate and the realization that the process is uncontrollable, increase anxiety, increase nervous tension and close the vicious circle of the disease.

Treatment of IBS and its symptom – diarrhea arising from nerves – includes the following methods.

1. Psychotherapy

The basis of treatment is non-drug methods of influence. First you need to find and understand the psychological problem that leads to diarrhea. Therefore, the treatment of nervous diarrhea should include working with a psychologist or psychotherapist, psychotherapy sessions, and possibly taking psychotropic drugs: anxiolytics (drugs that reduce the level of anxiety) and antidepressants 1 .Reducing the level of anxiety will help not only solve the problem of neurogenic diarrhea, but also eliminate many other troubles associated with the emotional background.

2. Organization of work and rest regime

To reduce stress, it is important:

  • adhere to a daily routine;
  • alternate work with rest, mental stress with physical;
  • sleep at least 8 hours a day;
  • to be in the fresh air for at least 2 hours a day – oxygen is necessary for the normal functioning of the brain;
  • exercise.
3. Diet

Neurosis and neurogenic diarrhea – a reason to reconsider nutrition. Experts advise to eat less foods containing lactose, fructose, sweeteners, gluten, caffeine, polyols (polyhydric alcohols), legumes 5 . It is advisable to exclude poorly tolerated foods and alcohol, to reduce the consumption of fatty, fried, spicy, smoked foods. It is recommended to eat more cheeses such as feta and brie, bananas, blueberries, melons, grapefruits, kiwis, lemons, limes, oranges and strawberries 5 .Eggplants, olives, potatoes, nuts and protein foods in general are also useful 5 .


In order to correct intestinal motor activity and normalize the psychological state, doctors prescribe physical therapy, massage, reflexology, herbal medicine and balneotherapy.

5. Drug therapy

To combat diarrhea, antidiarrheal drugs based on loperamide are used 2 , for example, IMODIUM® Express 6 .Loperamide slows down intestinal motility and the movement of feces along it, promotes the reabsorption of water and electrolytes 7 . This causes the stool to become hardened and helps control bowel movements. The effect of the drug can last up to 4-6 hours 6.7 .

If “nervous” diarrhea is accompanied by pain, the doctor may recommend taking antispasmodic drugs 2 .

Long-term disorders of bowel function lead to dysbiosis, in which case treatment includes pro- and prebiotics.

Despite the chronic recurrent course, psychogenic diarrhea does not belong to the category of life-threatening diseases 2 . It does not increase the risk of inflammatory diseases and bowel cancer 2 – this is important to understand in order to remain optimistic during treatment, which can be quite lengthy.

The information in this article is for reference only and does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified professional for diagnosis and treatment.


  1. E. Yu. Plotnikova, A. M. Seledtsov. Psychosomatic aspects in gastroenterology, Attending physician, No. 12, 2012.
  2. D.P. Petrov. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Consilium Medicum. 2009; 8: S. 40-43.
  3. I. N. Kholodova, G. E. Zaydenvarg. Stress: how to reduce its impact on a person’s quality of life. Regular issues of “RMZh” No. 2 (ll) from 26.03.2018. S. 113-117.
  4. Kozlova I.V., Myalina Yu.N., Lekareva L.I., Badieva O.E., Tikhonova T.A. Psychological characteristics of patients with functional and inflammatory bowel diseases. Saratov Journal of Medical Scientific Research, 2014; 10 (1): pp. 80–85.
  5. Staudacher HM et al. A Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome and A Probiotic Restores Bifidobacterium Species: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Gastroenterology. 2017 Oct; 153 (4): pp. 936-947.
  6. Instructions for the use of IMODIUM® Express.
  7. Register of medicines of Russia.Active ingredients. Loperamide. https://www.rlsnet.ru/mnn_index_id_637.htm

Read also:

How is diarrhea related to stress? | imodium

Many people complain of constant nervous tension. Stress at work and school, high loads, lack of free time can unsettle from a psychological point of view, and also affect physical health. Surely every person at least once had diarrhea on a nervous basis. This condition can occur regardless of gender and age.The main causes of diarrhea include infections and somatic disorders in the digestive system. However, functional diarrhea often occurs as a result of psychosomatic disorders.

How stress affects the intestines

It would seem that stress and the intestines should not be related to each other, since the former belongs to the mental field, and the latter to physiology. However, everyone is familiar with the expression “all diseases are from the nerves.” Perhaps in reality this is not so categorical, but there is a certain connection between our mood and well-being.Nervous diarrhea is often caused by emotional stress. This can happen before passing exams, making important decisions, with fear, prolonged stress. It is believed that the basis of the onset of diarrhea on a nervous basis is a change in the neurohumoral regulation of the functional state of the intestine. With excitement in the body, the active production of hormones begins, which, in addition to accelerating the work of the nervous system, can lead to changes in digestion processes and provoke an upset stomach during stress or even diarrhea.In particular, the hormones gastrin, motilin and cholecystokinin are known to stimulate intestinal motor function and cause diarrhea.

Why diarrhea occurs

When peristalsis accelerates, the intestines no longer have time to absorb fluid, and as a result, you may notice that the feces have become watery. This process is called diarrhea. In this case, loose stools occur even with a slight decrease in the percentage of fluid absorption by the intestines. If a doctor has diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea under stress is more likely to occur.This situation can be aggravated against the background of increased sensitivity of the intestine to hormonal effects, when its receptors become very sensitive to the substances produced.

Difficulty in diagnosing diarrhea under stress

People who often experience diarrhea due to stress may not always associate this condition with increased anxiety or psychological distress, and sometimes they are embarrassed or do not consider it necessary to tell the doctor about it. It is also difficult for the patient to describe his state of mind, and even if he has loose stools from the nerves, he uses the usual somatic terminology when describing.Therefore, the correct diagnosis and the success of treatment largely depend on the patient himself. If you notice an upset bowel movement under stress and frequent occurrence of diarrhea, you should tell your doctor about all the prerequisites that lead to this condition, even if they seem very personal.

Symptoms of diarrhea in case of nervous disorders

As a rule, diarrhea from excitement stops as soon as the stressful situation passes. This is the main indication that the disorder is psychosomatic in nature.In this case, the urge to stool may occur immediately after eating or during a meal. Also, diarrhea from the nerves can be characterized by the following symptoms:

  • discomfort in the stomach;
  • bloating;
  • false calls to the toilet;
  • pain below the navel or on the side;
  • Pain associated with the autonomic nervous system (“lump” in the throat, headache, numbness of the limbs).

Unpleasant consequences

Even if diarrhea from stress occurs infrequently, and without that, in a situation that is not easy for mental balance, it can unsettle even more.In addition, stress for a person can become chronic, then nervous diarrhea can last from a couple of days to several weeks. Prolonged diarrhea can lead to dehydration and threaten the patient’s life, especially in frail or elderly people, young children. Also, diarrhea from stress interferes with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. All this leads to depletion of the body.

How diarrhea is treated under stress

When you are stressed, diarrhea makes you even more nervous. Therefore, diarrhea should be treated immediately.The treatment regimen should always be selected by the doctor. To determine whether stress or something else affects the intestines, he can prescribe a bacteriological analysis, conduct research to identify somatic pathologies. Consulting a psychologist or psychiatrist will help determine the presence of psychosomatic disorders. Depending on the identified causes, a treatment regimen is drawn up. Its action is aimed at slowing down the intestinal motility, due to which the feces can have time to thicken, and the stool is normalized.

How to help yourself on your own

It is important to remember what to do with diarrhea on a nervous basis, so as not to aggravate the situation. First, you need to drink more clean water and avoid being in stuffy rooms to prevent dehydration. Choose foods that hold your food, such as rice and crackers. Avoid fatty, fried, caffeine, and gas-producing foods. As a preventive measure, adhere to the following guidelines.

  • If you feel that you have become more nervous and anxious, try to find time to rest.Take breaks from study and work. Take time to read books or magazines, listen to your favorite music, etc.
  • Don’t forget to get enough sleep, because quality sleep will significantly improve your well-being.
  • Go in for sports. Physical activity can help reverse the biochemical changes in the body caused by stress.

* Amery V. et al. A multicenter double-blind study in acute diarrhea comparing loperamide (R 18553) with two antidiarrheal agents and placebo.Contemporary Therapeutic Research, Clinical and Experimental Research, 1975, 263-270.

Stress and gastrointestinal tract

Disruption of the normal functioning of the intestines directly affects the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the quality of life.

5 warning signs that may indicate bowel problems

Disruption of the normal functioning of the intestines directly affects the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the quality of life.Frequent bloating, heartburn, uncontrolled passing of gas, heaviness after eating, constipation and diarrhea may indicate that it is time to see a gastroenterologist. Only he can make the correct diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

The most common functional stomach disorder is irritable stomach syndrome (IBS). Approximately 10-15% of people worldwide suffer from its symptoms 1 . We will tell you what symptoms indicate IBS and other diseases, and also figure out how to help yourself get rid of discomfort.

1. Frequent bloating

Often this problem is associated with flatulence – the accumulation of gas in the intestines. Gases can accumulate for a variety of reasons. The most common is that they come with food, and the faster you eat, the more gas you swallow. Unhealthy diet and individual intolerance to certain foods can also lead to gas formation. For example, if the intestines do not break down lactose well, drinking milk can lead to bloating.

If you notice that bloating occurs after you get nervous at work, this could indicate that you have irritable bowel syndrome. Other reasons include:

  • small intestine bacterial overgrowth syndrome;
  • functional dyspepsia;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • ascites 2 .
2. Heartburn

Heartburn is the outflow of hydrochloric acid from the stomach into the esophagus, which causes an unpleasant burning sensation behind the breastbone and leaves a bitter-sour taste in the mouth.It usually appears 10-20 minutes after eating and may be accompanied by belching, nausea, and flatulence.

The causes of heartburn are considered improper diet, regular consumption of fast food and excessive amounts of fried and spicy foods, smoked meats, overly hot drinks and soups. More serious include a number of chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: gastritis, stomach ulcers, cholecystitis, problems with the biliary tract, hernia of the esophageal opening of the diaphragm 3 .

3.Heaviness after eating

The most “harmless” reasons include overeating, as well as eating foods that are difficult to digest, such as mushrooms, beans and fried meat. This sensation can be caused by:

  • gastritis,
  • functional dyspepsia;
  • a stomach or duodenal ulcer;
  • chronic pancreatitis 4 .

The main causes of constipation are considered a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, insufficient fluid intake. Medications that reduce bowel activity (diuretics, antiallergic medications, blood pressure medications) can also cause problems. 5 .

If there is a constant violation of the stool, accompanied by abdominal pain and discomfort, this may indicate IBS 6 . People with this condition should stick to a diet and also help the intestines regain nerve regulation with medication.The drug for the course treatment “Kolofort” was developed specifically for this. The first results from taking “Kolofort” do not appear immediately. And this is very significant: the drug acts on the cause – it normalizes subtle regulatory mechanisms, and does not just eliminate the symptoms. Therefore, to consolidate the result, taking “Kolofort” should be at least 1 month. Before taking, you must consult with a specialist.

5. Diarrhea (bowel disorder)

Diarrhea is caused by impaired intestinal motility due to an unbalanced diet, as a result of severe stress, or taking a number of medications (for example, strong antibiotics), as well as in the presence of IBS.In addition, it can indicate inflammatory processes in the intestines caused by:

  • pancreatitis;
  • cholecystitis;
  • ulcerative colitis;
  • neoplasms 90 240 7 90 241.

Timely diagnosis of the cause of any of the above symptoms can prevent serious health problems. Do not treat yourself with folk remedies or advice from the Internet – see your doctor right away.


Instructions for medical use of the drug Kolofort RU No.: LP-N (000027) – (RG-RU)

List of used sources

1. Facts About IBS https://www.aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs.html

2. What causes abdominal bloating? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321869#treatments-and-home-remedies

3.Heartburn. Medical Author: Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM. Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD https://www.rxlist.com/heartburn/drugs-condition.htm#overview_of_heartburn

4. What is stomach heaviness? https://www.healthline.com/health/heaviness-in-stomach#causes

5. Constipation: causes, dangers and treatment. Kristina Khlebnikova https://med.vesti.ru/articles/polezno-znat/zapor-prichiny-opasnosti-i-lechenie/

6. What Causes IBS? https: // www.aboutibs.org/what-is-ibs-sidenav/what-causes-ibs.html

7. What you should know about diarrhea https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/158634#causes

Digestive psychosomatics – abdominal pain, gastritis and ulcers from stress

A common situation in life. Here are people who eat about the same, but one suffers from a duodenal ulcer – DU, and the other is quite healthy. One person suffers from gastritis and constant indigestion, Helicobacter pylori is found in him during examination, and the other is fine.

Stomach ulcer and DUD are referred to as psychogenic diseases by doctors, since there is a connection with the state of the nervous system, psyche and attacks of the disease. In the language of psychotherapy, this is a real psychosomatic illness. What factors from mental life affect the development of the psychosomatics of the digestive system?

Stress and psychosomatics of the stomach and intestines

The French physiologist Hans Selye developed the theory of stress by studying patients with various diseases, the wounded.He found the same symptoms in completely different lesions of the body and diseases, described a syndrome that is caused by different damaging agents. As a result, he developed a theory of stress, for which the level of action of stress factors and the duration of their action are important. In his experiments with laboratory rats, a causal relationship between stress and peptic ulcer disease was established. That is, if an ordinary rat in a cage is exposed to regular stress, it gets sick, the digestive organs suffer.Psychological testing and observation of patients extends the theory of the occurrence of psychosomatic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract to humans.

Stress tolerance varies greatly from person to person. And most importantly, the strong effect of stress produces the emergence of psychosomatic reactions only if the body cannot respond adequately to a specific stress factor.

Stress occurs for a variety of reasons – as a result of family problems, job loss, separation from a loved one, loss of a loved one due to his death.Divorce, cheating – all this leads to a lot of stress. All troubles and emergency work at the enterprise can also be the reason for the development of digestive psychosomatics – stomach and duodenal ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome – IBS is also known, which torments patients with frequent diarrhea, indigestion, and abdominal pain. But stress does not always lead to gastrointestinal diseases.

The strength of the stress factor can be great, and the person copes. But only for a limited time – then, in order to continue resisting troubles and encounters with serious problems, you need a serious rest and recovery.A change of scenery. This is how animals act – having received some kind of injury or injury – they hide and try to rest in immobility with minimal activity. It happens that a person does not have time to notice this fatigue. It happens that there are no conditions to rest.

A supportive environment, a supportive environment in relationships with friends and family members, is very important for a person to cope with stress. In fact, more often friends are the first competitors, and competitors cannot provide support.The structure and functioning of the family can also be disrupted – especially if psychological problems make home life an additional stressful factor and the person does not get rest at home – and at work he is stressed out, and he does not rest at home.

Why stress leads to damage to the digestive system – diseases of the stomach and intestines.

When a person is faced with a sharp appearance of problems in life – this may be connected with work, with relationships – he, like a biological organism, prepares to fight.The glands produce stress hormones, the heart, as they say, is filled with blood – there is a readiness to fight. Or, conversely, a person must run and hide. The stomach and intestines, and the entire digestive system, as it were, turns off, it is not up to it to digest food.

If we are talking about an animal, then after a fight it rests. A person, depending on his character, can unconsciously continue to fight after a fight, especially after an unsuccessful fight, and even if consciousness accepts the changed conditions, that there is no threat, the ancient parts of the brain may not sleep and continue to command the production of hormones that make the body respond to stress.The psyche itself becomes a stressful factor, in the depths of which the battle, the experience of loss, traumatic memories continue to remain real.

The usual diagnoses in cases of prolonged stress are irritable bowel syndrome, chronic gastroduodenitis – inflammation of the duodenum, biliary dyskinesia – a violation of the flow of bile from the gallbladder into the intestine, peptic ulcer disease.

Stress-related factors are sleep disorders – insomnia, circulation of thoughts, restless sleep with awakenings, nightmares.

If the duration of the stress factor exceeds the body’s resources, then nervous exhaustion, vegetative-vascular dystonia, excessive sweating, a feeling of weakness, the so-called chronic fatigue syndrome occurs. That is, the listed symptoms and diseases are pure psychosomatics. Especially if objectively, in comparison with the normal reactions of others, a person seems to have to cope, but it does not work.

So, the psychosomatics of digestion, associated with inflammation of the gastric mucosa – gastritis, UBD and DU, irritable bowel syndrome – require psychotherapy, special psychotherapeutic methods of self-regulation, and sometimes – the use of psychotropic drugs, which can only be prescribed by a psychotherapist.

Psychotherapy for psychosomatic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

Psychotherapy for psychosomatics of the stomach and intestines is to turn off the stressful regime of the body – to digest food normally, to restore the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines, healthy microflora – is possible only at rest, and not in tension.

Methods of psychotherapy consist of hypnosis, teaching autogenous training, training and the development of a coping strategy.

If DU, PUD or IBS is diagnosed, it is necessary to take the treatment that the gastroenterologist prescribes.And run straight to a psychologist or psychotherapist.

What will the psychotherapist do, how will he treat the psychosomatics of the digestive tract with you?

The focus will be on isolating all the stressors that have an impact. Stress from dysfunctional family relationships, from conflicts at work – this is precisely the field of psychotherapy. A psychotherapist can work with you on the problems of your behavior and relationships. Internal conflicts are also stressful, especially if a person cannot make some important decision for a long time.

Techniques of psychological self-regulation is a special training, you will be taught to do the exercises on your own, using just in order to reduce the body’s response to stress.

Yoga, oriental holistic arts, martial arts are of great benefit in tuning the body to the correct anti-stress wave, there are also Russian national practices.

When for psychosomatics of the stomach and intestines you should contact a psychotherapist

1.You have been treated by a gastroenterologist for a long time and there are no results – ulcers and colitis return in stressful situations

2. You feel that psychosomatic diseases of the stomach and intestines are your experiences and stresses, but you don’t understand which ones and don’t know how to cope with them

3. If digestion is disturbed and you are concerned about pain, swelling, diarrhea or cramps in the intestines and stomach

4. If you smoke and cannot quit, but want to quit smoking

5.If your mood is bad and depressed for more than a month

6. If, along with stomach and intestinal symptoms – pain, indigestion, indigestion, you feel tired or stressed, poor sleep or insomnia

If you follow the modern view of DU and DU, then you should consult a psychotherapist immediately after visiting a gastroenterologist and diagnosing EGDS

What diseases of the gastrointestinal tract require consultation, and sometimes the help of a psychotherapist

You will often be told that you eat irregularly and improperly and, moreover, smoke.Therefore gastritis and ulcers. But psychosomatics cannot be written off if you are exhausted by stress and do not rest, no matter how well you eat, gastritis and ulcers are very likely.

Psychosomatics: symptoms and treatment methods

90,000 Not diarrhea, but nerves | Articles

According to the World Health Organization, the 21st century will bring a dramatic increase in mortality from depression. Some even believe that depression will overtake the 20th century leader – cardiovascular disease and take first place.Russia has every chance of overtaking other countries in this indicator: for more than ten years, reforms have made us experience chronic stress. So there is no way out? Psychiatrist Andrei Kurpatov, head of the St. Petersburg State Psychotherapeutic Center, does not think so. He says that a quarter of all patients who go to a therapist should be treated primarily by psychiatrists and psychotherapists.

How Russians survived perestroika

What are depression and neuroses? Depression is when you have feelings of depression, an inability to have fun, and no interest in work or life in general.This disease can happen from prolonged stress and has a nature studied by doctors: the brain ceases to produce the substances necessary to maintain vitality. If a person is depressed for a long time, he may develop neurosis. There may be mood swings, a feeling of fear, or various phobias (fear of heights, for example). And this can result in an increase in blood pressure or an intestinal disorder. Do you understand? A person comes to a therapist with diarrhea, he begins to treat him from this diarrhea.But in fact, a person has depression and neurosis. But from diarrhea, let’s return to reforms.

Things are interconnected. The reforms have become a chronic stress for us. We all believe that it was difficult for us to change our ideology. Previously, the good of society was put forward – now it is a personal good. They built communism, but collapsed into capitalism. In fact, something else has immeasurably more influenced our psyche.

First, we were forced to change our habits and way of life at once. Secondly, it had to be done (and now this state of affairs has not changed) in conditions when everything around was collapsing and a new system of values ​​did not appear.What kind of psyche will bear it.

The most severe stress, apart from war, is moving to another country. New language, new rules of life, new everything. You, of course, are nervous and try to find yourself in a new quality as best you can. And in 1991 we moved from the USSR to Russia. We are saving our lives, trying to get settled, and at least run away. And around – a “minefield”. There is nowhere to run, there is no goal, and how long to stand in this place is not clear. It turns out to be very stressful. The body is tense, the pressure jumps, the pulse is beating desperately (nature has decided for us how to respond to stress: run or attack), but you cannot take any action.Your energy is directed into the body, destroying everything on the way.

A person is looking for a way to get away from trouble: habits tell us the way – alcohol, an excellent antidepressant. And in the vast majority of short depressive episodes, it will help. In chronic depression, the constant use of alcohol, on the contrary, will quickly intensify the morbid state and bring a person to the grave. That is what we observe: the country is naturally drinking too much. What is remarkable, the majority of heavy drinkers, when asked why they do it, answer “to relax”.

As a result, we got what we got. Painful habits were superimposed on chronic depression and neuroses, and the Russian people poured into a therapist to treat the heart, blood vessels, and intestines.

At the same time, the habit of “being ill” was firmly entrenched in the minds of former Soviet citizens: the only way to obtain the right to a private life in the USSR was a “certificate of incapacity for work.” If you are on “sick leave”, then no one in the USSR could touch you – not the party committee, not the local councilor, not even the police. There was a strong connection: “to get sick – to take care of yourself, your personal life.”Therefore, now Russians are happy to go to the doctor in response to every small glitch. Well, you need to be attentive to your health. But at the same time, it is necessary that the doctor also treats the patient’s health professionally. And in our system of compulsory insurance, doctors monitor only so that a person does not die right during the appointment. If no fatal pathology is found, the patient is invited to “rest”.

A person with neurosis really feels very sick. He suffers from “heart pain”, “dizziness”, “lack of air”, “bloating”.Natural fear for life turns into fear of riding the subway, in the elevator, being in an open space, or any kind of fear. And the person runs back to the therapist. He once again examines him, does not find any fatal abnormalities in the body and makes a diagnosis: “vegetative-vascular dystonia”. The circle is complete. The person is sick, the doctor finds nothing terrible. Only a psychiatrist-psychotherapist can stop this race.

But even if a Russian patient comes across a competent therapist who, seeing latent depression, will send him to a psychiatrist for consultation, then who will go? From Soviet experience, we know that only crazy people go to a psychiatrist, or those who “mow down” from the army or prison.

Here are some clinical examples (names have been changed). Natalia Zamyatina, 31 years old. The first time I felt unwell in the subway was three years ago. I thought it was a heart attack (choking, palpitations, chills). The validol found by a neighboring passenger helped (this is, by the way, a sedative). Since then, Natasha had a “heart attack” every time in the subway. She never left the house without validol. The local therapist did not find anything terrible, for which he was given an unflattering characterization.Natalia has a small child, no husband. There was no question of not commuting to work. Every day, cursing the day she was born, the girl made a terrible forty-minute journey. She turned to a psychiatrist after three years of torture. Three weeks after she started taking antidepressants, Natasha felt much better.

Another example. Alexander Kotlov, 56 years old. Also a heart attack, it seemed that “the heart stopped.” Unlike young Natalia, Alexander Konstantinovich found functional (that is, reversible and harmless for life) cardiac abnormalities.This made him constantly think about dying from a heart attack, the attacks became more frequent, the ambulance came to his work several times a week. For four years Kotlov was treated “for the heart” to no avail, until he tortured his relatives with words about death and talk of suicide. Alexander Konstantinovich was persuaded to go to the Moscow Clinic of Neuroses. Solovyov. After a month, his heart stopped bothering him.

There is no statistically reliable data on how many people suffer from such misfortunes.The head of the department for the study of borderline mental pathology (it is to this area of ​​psychiatry that doctors attribute depression and neuroses) of the Center for Mental Health of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (RAMS), Academician Anatoly Smulevich, in one of his articles, cites data from Western researchers: there, 20% of the population have some or other neurotic disorders. There is every reason to believe that Russians are sick more.

At the same time, psychiatrists-clinicians note not an increase in the number of patients, but, on the contrary, a decrease in the number of referrals.Nikolay Pyatnitsky, a member of the Association of European Psychiatrists, Candidate of Medical Sciences, worked for two years in a psychiatric clinic at the University of Heidelberg (Germany). Now Dr. Pyatnitsky works at the Mental Health Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and consults the 33rd city hospital in Moscow. He believes that patients have become less likely to turn to psychiatrists, because the problem of borderline mental disorders began to be dealt with by those who were previously considered a non-specialist in this area – psychologists and neuropathologists (according to the law in Russia, only a doctor can treat neuroses, therefore psychologists name their type of activity ” psychocorrection “).By the way, in Germany, psychiatrists went through the courts in this dispute and obtained from the authorities a ban on the treatment of patients with neuroses by non-core specialists – they made too many mistakes. Nikolai Pyatnitsky is not so categorical: “Turning to a psychologist, our patient copes with a serious (and exclusively Russian) problem. it is easier to get in touch with us, although in some cases the consultation of a psychologist is enough.It’s another matter if the state took care of educating its citizens and taught them to turn to psychiatrists without fear, then we could avoid many medical mistakes. ”

Therapists themselves, working in hospitals, notice that even if they have diagnosed depression, it is difficult to get a patient to consult a psychiatrist. Dina Ulybysheva, head of the therapeutic department of the 19th city hospital in Moscow, a member of the Moscow Society of Cardiology: “Indeed, a therapist working in a polyclinic may not detect depression in a patient – such a doctor accepts a lot of patients and it is almost impossible for him to spend a lot of time on detailed diagnostics.In the hospital, we always identify patients not just with depression, but even those who are simply prone to the onset of this disease. And we always advise such patients to consult a psychiatrist. But the patient of the word “psychiatrist” is frightened and tells us: “Why, doctor, are you writing me crazy?” Literally now I have a 34-year-old patient with a heart attack. I see in him a masked depression and I advise him to consult (I do not even use the word “psychiatrist”) a psychotherapist. He’s not in any way. ”

Now we have to somehow get out of this situation.

Than the heart will calm down

Psychiatrists do not consider the situation with the mental health of Russians to be catastrophic. Many assume that everything will work out if, firstly, the system of compulsory insurance medicine is corrected and, secondly, if we try to instill a psychological culture in society.

First of all, the state must recognize the impossibility of providing a person with comprehensive free medical support. But it must guarantee a person the “right to life” prescribed in the Constitution.And if there is no threat to life, but there is only a threat to the “quality of life”, then – for your own money. Insurance medicine should track repeated unsuccessful visits to the GP. That is, if a person comes to a therapist for the second time with the same problem and he undertakes to treat it a second time, then the state should not pay for such a doctor for a second visit. Only then will the therapist be interested in making the correct diagnosis and referring – in the case of neurosis or depression – to a psychiatrist-psychotherapist.In turn, the patient will not be able to ignore the referral: if he returns to the therapist, he will simply not be accepted (after all, the doctor will not be paid for a second appointment).

These ideas did not generate much enthusiasm in the Federal Compulsory Health Insurance Fund (FFOMS). One expert noted that the doctor-patient relationship is a hospital problem. “The therapist must be able to convince the patient of the need to consult a specialist with a narrow profile. He bears full responsibility for the health of the person who turns to him,” he added.If the patient is dissatisfied with the work of the doctor and doubts the correctness of the diagnosis, then he can file a complaint with the company in which he is insured, and it will conduct an investigation, according to the FFOMS. In addition, experts say that all patients should be provided with comprehensive medical support, and not only guaranteed the right to life: the right to health is also guaranteed by the Constitution. As for repeated visits to the doctor, the FFOMS believes that the patient should be admitted as many times as he comes – “five times he will not be diagnosed with the disease, and on the sixth it may turn out that it has appeared.”

And, finally, the notorious psychological culture of the population. In the United States, having discovered an explosion of depressive states after the “free sixties”, when society over a decade turned from puritanical to liberated, they created a whole system that made a visit to a psychotherapist not only acceptable, but prestigious.