Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Problems & What are the Stomach Problems Caused by it?

Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Problems?

When we think of anxiety and our stomach in a single sentence, it is difficult to fathom the connection between the two. One is an organ (stomach) where the other is an emotional state of mind (anxiety). However, the reality, which many may be surprised to know, is that Anxiety and Stomach Problems often go hand-in-hand. Studies reveal that in some individuals, anxiety is directly related to or is the direct cause of stomach problems. Many a times, the stomach problems caused due to anxiety become chronic in nature and become a source of frustration for the patient. Stomach problems caused due to anxiety can be difficult to diagnose and manage.

According to medical professionals, mind and the stomach have a robust linkage as both are affected by similar neurotransmitters and hormone; and both our mind and stomach are highly sensitive to changes in the chemical patterns and to stress. This is the reason why Anxiety and Stomach Problems frequently go hand-in-hand. Given below are some common stomach problems caused due to high level of stress and anxiety and some methods to cope up with the stomach problems and other symptoms.

When a person suffers from severe anxiety, they are likely to have stomach issues. So in order to treat stomach problems, it is important to treat the underlying anxiety, which is causing them. To know the severity of your anxiety and stress, you must take an anxiety test under the supervision of doctors and get personalized treatments and recommendations to overcome anxiety and reduce the symptoms of stomach problems.

Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Problems?

What are the Stomach Problems Caused by Anxiety?

The most interesting fact about Anxiety and Stomach Problems is that it can occur in people of any age and at any time of their lifespan. The general population usually suffers from stomach issues in the case of severe anxiety attacks and symptoms, while other suffer from gut problems throughout the day when they are under the attack of intense anxiety. You are required to undergo an anxiety test to know the severity of anxiety you are suffering from and get appropriate recommendations and customized treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms and anxiety attacks so that your stomach problems are relieved and your gut health is restored. Below are the most common types of stomach problems that are caused due to anxiety attacks.

Indigestion Caused Due to Anxiety

People that are suffering from persistent anxiety are likely to suffer from stomach problems like indigestion issues. However, the prime mechanism that leads to indigestion during anxiety is still vague, but it is thought to occur from the following reasons.

  • Adrenaline – Adrenaline is the chemical that is released excessively during anxiety. This chemical compound is liable to make changes in the processing of nutrients, especially the glucose and when the body experiences a change in nutrient processing, it affects the digestion severely and hence leading to stomach problems.
  • Neurotransmitters and Hormones – As already mentioned, anxiety, digestion and gut is mainly affected by the similar neurotransmitters and hormones. So, when a person is suffering from anxiety, the balance of neurotransmitter and hormones in body gets disturbed, which leads to stomach discomfort and other stomach problems.
  • Stomach Acid – The stomach acid is also affected during anxiety. The acid reflux is more commonly affected when the person suffers from severe anxiety. The stomach starts releasing excessive stomach acid during stress and anxiety and this increases the production of stomach acid, which causes heartburn and poor digestion.

Bloating & Gas Caused Due to Anxiety

Although bloating and gas is directly associated with indigestion, they are also considered to be different problems in their own way. A person suffering from anxiety and stress are likely to have gas and bloating problems. Since the nutrient processing is affected due to stress and anxiety, it may lead to bloating and gas; but sometimes bloating and gas can also be caused due to other factors like air swallowing, which is the common symptom of anxiety attack, especially hyperventilation. Hyperventilation and air swallowing leads to air buildup in chest and stomach and this increases the chances of belching and flatulence. The person may also experience significant discomfort and pain.


Hyperventilation is the condition which causes perceived stomach problems and other stomach issues. This condition also causes air swallowing, nausea; extreme stomach pressure and other stomach related symptoms. Hyperventilation is the condition that is commonly found in people with panic attacks caused by Hypersensitivity, it is a common mental condition where it becomes harder for the patients to overlook the repulsive sensations in their body. So, patients who are hypersensitive will find it difficult to overlook the stomach problems and hence they feel them more severely than others.

These were some of the common stomach problems caused due to anxiety. Stress and anxiety has reflective effect on body and mind, and can contribute greatly towards stomach problems according to the way you breathe, eat and the way you sit when you are suffering from anxiety and stress. There are different ways through which you may suffer from stomach problems caused by anxiety and stress.

Remedies for Stomach Problems Cause Due to Anxiety

To overcome the symptoms of stomach problems, you are required to treat your anxiety by evaluating its severity level. There are some strategies, which you need to use to reduce the symptoms of stomach problems caused by anxiety.

  • Breathing Exercises – One of the best remedies to tackle anxiety and stress leading to stomach problems is breathing exercise. Relaxation exercises that mainly focus on breathing effectively is important. If air swallowing and hyperventilation are the common causes of stomach problems, then controlled and gradual breathing can help calm the stomach thus alleviating stomach problems caused by anxiety along with decreasing the chances of air swallowing symptoms.
  • Other Exercises – Since exercises increase stomach acid, the condition of stomach problems may worsen if you exercise in the wrong manner. There are specific exercises, which help control your anxiety level and improve hormonal balance in body. These exercises also help in boosting your mental and physical health and your heart health. Improved muscle tone is an added benefit of exercise.
  • Consuming Healthy Diet – No matter what you eat in situations like this, anxiety will definitely create some type of stomach problems. One of the best remedies for stomach problems caused due to anxiety is you must avoid eating foods that are hard to digest during stress and anxiety, as it puts lot of strain and stress to your stomach and worsens the stomach problems. So, eating a healthy diet is important to effectively alleviate the symptoms of stomach problems caused due to anxiety and stress.

These were some of the methods that you may implement when you are suffering from anxiety attacks and also to prevent stomach problems. You may consult your doctor and undergo a test to evaluate the severity of anxiety and get treatment and personalized recommendations to overcome anxiety and stomach problems.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 15, 2017

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