Can Stress Cause Diarrhea? How to Treat it?

Have you ever gone through a period of worry before appearing for an exam or job interview? If yes, you may be having anxiety. Anxiety is a normal emotional response in stressful environments. However, if you feel excessively anxious in normal situations, then it is considered abnormal and falls into an anxiety disorder. Additionally, anxiety disorders are highly treatable by medications and psychotherapy. Well, that’s being said, is anxiety a disability?

Keep reading to find out the connection between anxiety and disability and how to benefit from it.

Can Stress Cause Diarrhea?

The answer is yes! Stress can cause diarrhea by activating the sympathetic nervous system, decreasing blood flow to the gut, and reducing water and sodium reabsorption. 

Let’s go into how stress can cause diarrhea to understand the concept better. 

How Can Stress Cause Diarrhoea?

The gut, also known as the enteric nervous system, works in coordination with the sympathetic nervous system during stress. The sympathetic nervous system plays a key role, especially when you encounter any threat. However, it becomes problematic when you are facing it for a long time. 

The blood flow changes direction from the gut to your muscles to provide more energy, which leads to slow digestive muscle contractions and reduces digestive secretions that further cause indigestion or diarrhea. 

If stress is causing diarrhea, then you may experience the following symptoms as well:

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fatigue 
  • Sleeping issues
  • Sadness 
  • Reduced libido
  • Anxiety 

Anxiety and Diarrhea

If the question, “Can stress cause diarrhea?” is still pinging your brain, then you would be surprised to know that according to research on 819 Korean high school students, 24.5% of individuals with anxiety were suffering from chronic diarrhea. 

It means anxiety triggers diarrhea and can lead to other gut issues like IBS (inflammatory bowel disease). People with anxiety are found to have higher levels of interleukin-1 beta, which disrupts the protective barrier of the gut and reduces water and sodium reabsorption, which leads to diarrhea. 

Your brain picks up messages from visceral nerves (that supply your gut), such as pain signals, which promote your brain to send another signal to speed up your bowel movements. 

Another cause of diarrhea includes disrupted intestinal flora and decreased production of antibodies, which happens due to some chemical compounds that are released in response to anxiety. 

How to Treat Stress-Induced Diarrhea

The stress-induced diarrhea or anxiety diarrhea can be managed at home with some dietary changes and over-the-counter medications. 

You can follow the below-mentioned tips to manage diarrhea at home:

Start with a Bland Diet

If you are experiencing excessive indigestion, you should avoid spicy food and opt for soft food like vegetables, bread, pasta, eggs, milk, etc. It is important to avoid food with excessive cheese, raw vegetables, food that contains a lot of sugar, tough or fibrous meals, etc. You can reset your gut health by including prebiotics and probiotics and removing artificial sweeteners from your diet.

Increase Fluid Intake

Do not take caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda. It may further worsen the symptoms. Instead, fruit juices, water, and broth will prevent dehydration. 

Take Medicines

Over-the-counter medications like Imodium may help relieve symptoms. After a doctor’s consultation, if you have other GI problems, you may need to start with antibiotics or laxatives. 

How to Prevent Stress-Induced Diarrhea?

Can stress cause diarrhea even if you take good care of your gut?

If you are suffering from stress and diarrhea, it is essential to take good care of your mental and gut health. Since both are connected bidirectionally by parasympathetic and sympathetic pathways, they form a gut-brain axis. 

Therefore, calming down your stress or anxiety may prevent diarrhea. 

Here are some ways to prevent anxiety and diarrhea: 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This is a one-on-one session with a psychologist. It can help you regulate your emotions, and you can learn some ways to manage your stress or anxiety. 
  • Exercising: Introducing exercise into your life may help reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins that lift your mood. 
  • Relaxation Therapy: Relaxation techniques can help you manage stress. We provide sound therapy at Mocean wellness center in NYC that works on relieving stress by stimulating parasympathetic nervous response and reducing anxiety. 
  • Identify Triggers: Monitor your stress. Try to look for its triggers, as sometimes it gets challenging to find what is actually causing the anxiety. Think of the things or events that bring up the emotions of anger, sadness, frustration, or irritability. 

How Long Can Stress Cause Diarrhea?

Typically, diarrheal episodes last two days, but diarrhea triggered by stress or anxiety will last until the stressful events pass. 

Stress-induced diarrhea can last two weeks, but monitoring other signs and symptoms accompanying diarrhea is essential. 

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, then consult your healthcare provider to rule out other health conditions:

  • Bleeding in stools or Melana 
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Dehydration
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fever more than 102 F and lasts for >3 days
  • Unexplained weight loss 

Chronic diarrhea lasts up to one month and is the result of serious medical issues like

  • Food intolerance like gluten or lactose
  • GI problems like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or IBS
  • Side effects of medication like cancer-fighting drugs or antibiotics.

Get Effective Therapy for Stress-Induced Diarrhea in NYC

If you want to calm down your anxiety and improve your gut health, then you have come to the right place. 

At Mocean Wellness Center in NYC, our professionals examine your gut to find issues without using any invasive procedures. Our experts work on your health holistically and have also developed ideal ways of dealing with your stress levels. 

We offer clients a 30-minute session to relieve stress using different techniques, such as sound therapy, infrared sauna therapy, and red light therapy. 

The Bottom Line

The brain and gut are linked bidirectionally with each other. Therefore, stress is responsible for provoking your body’s sympathetic response, which leads to many physical conditions, including diarrhea. It would be best to learn some stress-management techniques to avoid diarrhea. 

Contact us immediately and book an appointment at our longevity center in NYC to save yourself from stress’s negative impact on your health! 

Then we create a health plan tailored to your needs.

Based on the results, we develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual to promote optimal health. With 1-on-1 consultations, cutting-edge technology, and a team of experts who care about getting you better, MOCEAN offers you a comprehensive road map on how to become the healthiest version of yourself.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.