Does being chronically constipated depress you or does diarrhea brings in a feeling of anxiety or nervousness?
How Do Emotions Affect Bowel?
Our bowel movement affects our emotions But you should also know that it is vice versa. Our emotions are linked to our digestive system. When there is a nervous or an anxious feeling, there may be a feeling of going to the bathroom or when going through a stressful time there might be burning in the stomach or indigestion or loss of appetite.
Stress and Constipation
Stress can upset the stomach and tense the muscles. This leads to constipation. Some depression medications are known to reduce gut motility and slow down the bowel movements.
The stomach is also referred to as the second brain by some scientist1, as it is researched to have more neurons than the spinal cord and operates with a similar suit of neurotransmitter as the brain.
Also, people with depression are known to have a low level of serotonin and it observed that the gastrointestinal system use serotonin.2
Serotonin is present in enterochromaffin cells of the gastric mucosa. This can be released into the blood or lumen of the gut. Serotonin is known to inhibit gastric secretion and stimulates the production and release of gastric and colonic mucus.3
Stress and Diarrhea
The stressful situation in many people can lead to cramping in the intestine and cause diarrhea. Stress triggers the release of hormones which signal the enteric system to slow down the motility of the stomach and small intestine. These are the corticotrophin-releasing hormones. These hormones can trigger more movements of the large intestine causing diarrhea.
Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Stress also impacts the people with irritable bowel syndrome, as these people have colon more susceptible to stress. In IBS the intestine, react more quickly to the stress. It is also researched that 50-90 percent of people who receive treatment for IBS have anxiety or depression.4
Stress is also known to affect the people suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease as these conditions damage the intestine.
How to Manage Stress And Other Emotions?
To bring in relief in such condition, it is very important to know how to manage your emotions. You can do or engage yourself into activities which can keep your emotion balanced.
Spend time doing activities which appeal to you such as gardening, a walk in the park, or any artwork. Take out time for your hobbies as they are equally important as your housework. This will give you a happy feeling.
To ease the stress you can also take help of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and prayer. Turn away the distraction while meditating. Bring in thought which can help you feel better about yourself.
Be physically active. Exercises help release stress and make you feel better. It also helps in bowel movements. Take a walk for about 20 minutes or can also go for a swim every day.
Meet friends or talk to family members regarding it. Never think you alone are dealing with stress and its related conditions.
It is important to see a doctor if, the at-home treatment are not giving results, you have thoughts of self-harm or if you are using alcohol or drugs to cope with the condition.
Most of the people benefit from counseling and identify better ways to manage stress.
Emotion and bowel affect each other. A balance in both is very necessary. If your emotions are affecting your digestive health it can lead to inconvenience and interfere with you going out and enjoying in public.
However if you experience an occasional bowel movement brought on by feeling of excitement, it’s nothing to worry about. But if the condition is chronic don’t be late to give it a thought and try solving it out.