Do you find yourself getting nauseous and physically uncomfortable when you’re experiencing anxiety? Everyone knows the feeling of a stone in the pit of the stomach when they’re super stressed out or worried, but is there any connection between your gut health and anxiety?
Are these things psychosomatic?
We’re here to talk about it so that you can help understand the pains in your gut, anxiety symptoms in the stomach, and more.
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Your Stomach’s Influence on Anxiety
Anxiety doesn’t always come before the aches and pains in your gut. Sometimes your gut is influencing your anxiety instead.
But how does that work?
First of all, not all anxiety is going to be aided with increased attention to your gut health. Anxiety as it relates to comorbid mental conditions isn’t likely to see much relief from this.
That said, if anxiety is mild and it’s a standalone condition, you might be surprised about what a revised diet can do.
There’s evidence to suggest that an unbalanced gut is a risk factor for anxiety. In a study on probiotic use in anxious patients, over half of them found an improvement after beginning a probiotic regime.
While the sample size is small, it’s a promising sign.
It can also be helpful to have a more balanced diet overall. Including enough Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber may improve your mind-stomach connection.
Your Anxiety’s Influence on Gut Health
As you probably assumed, the same concept works both ways. Feeling nauseous before an anxiety-inducing event like a speech, a big test, or a first date, is common. Why are these things connected?
Anxiety can lead to indigestion. Eating before one of these events (which is common advice) can make things worse. Some people even find themselves vomiting when they get too anxious.
While there’s some logic being eating to “settle your stomach”, your poor digestion may reverse your good intentions.
Anxiety makes your body release cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. This hormone tells your body to produce extra stomach acid. This acid can irritate your digestive system and lead to the discomfort that you’re used to experiencing.
Chronic anxiety that’s being managed with talk therapy or medications may lead to long-term digestion problems that you’re having trouble fixing. Even with the best relief products and solutions, the problem persists.
This might indicate that it’s time to talk about your gut with your therapist or psychiatrist. Getting rid of the anxiety may be the key to getting rid of your sour stomach.
Gut Health and Anxiety: More Connected Than You Think
If you’re experiencing problems with your gut health and anxiety simultaneously you might want to consider whether or not they’re connected.
Once you rule out all of the other potential problems, looking at your stomach issues through the lens of a psychologist instead of a medical doctor can give you some insight. Will clearing up your gut clear your anxiety? Will managing your anxiety help reduce the pain in your gut?
There’s only one way to find out.
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