How Do I Know If Its Anxiety And Not An Ulcer
Its not uncommon to find yourself concerned that your struggle with stomach pain is not from anxiety or stress at all. For example, you may find yourself concerned that instead of anxiety, what you are really struggling with is an ulcer.
Only a doctor can diagnose whether or not your pain is from an ulcer, but there are some clues. The clearest signal is if you have any blood in your stool or acid burps . Thats often a clear sign of an ulcer. Also, if the pain or discomfort tends to occur after eating and isnt related to a similar condition, GERD , its possible you may have an ulcer.
However, this is complicated by the fact that ulcers can be caused by long-term stress and anxiety, as they stimulate the production of extra stomach acid. This excess acid in the stomach breaks down the gastric or intestinal lining and cause open wounds that may harm your health.
Can Stress Cause Stomach Bloating
In the same way that anxiety and stress can produce stomach pain and diarrhoea, stress can be responsible for some cases of stomach bloating. Whilst anxiety and stress can cause the digestive system to speed up, they can also pause the digestive process causing digestion to slow down, resulting in symptoms such as constipation and bloating.
Bloating is typically described as a feeling of fullness in the belly, usually caused by excess air or gas. It can be caused by a variety of anxiety and stress related factors such as hyperventilation and digestive issues .
Bloating caused by stress and anxiety may take several hours to several days to sort itself out, there are some exercises and techniques that can be used to reduce the time and frequency that these digestive problems occur, these will be explored later in the article.
How To Calm Your Anxious Stomach
Is stress upsetting your stomach? With a worldwide pandemic causing massive disruption to our normal way of life , its not surprising that stress-induced anxiety levels are higher than ever. In order to help you combat unwanted gastric side effects, weve gathered several tips for how to relax an upset stomach when stress is inevitable, and how to know when you should consult a gastroenterologist.
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Stomach Pain Due To Stress Symptoms: Causes And How To Relieve It
Stress has become a part of our life in todays world. Millions or perhaps billions of people live under stressful condition. While many of us consider stress to be a mental ailment, it is not so. Stress can have serious implications on all spheres emotional, mental as well as physical.
Stomach pain due to stress is not uncommon. Perhaps at least 30 to 50% of people, who live under stressful condition, may feel its effect in their stomach. Panic, anxiety and other stressful conditions can interfere with the nervous system of the body.
What Can Parents Do To Help
The first thing our experts suggest is something parents should not do, or at least try not to do: Let kids avoid things they are afraid of. It can be very tempting when children are complaining of a headache or stomach ache to let them stay home from school, or skip the party or the game theyre worried about. But avoidance actually reinforces the anxiety.
If were allowing them to avoid it, says Ms. Greenspan, then theyre not able to learn that they can tolerate it. The message needs to be: I know it hurts, I know its uncomfortable, but I know you can do it.
Another things parents should not do is ask children leading questions like Are you worried about the math test? Questions should be open ended, to avoid suggesting that you expect them to be anxious: How are you feeling about the math test?
If the problems your child is having are disrupting his ability to go to school consistently or concentrate at school, participate in activities, socialize with peers he might have developed an anxiety disorder that should be treated by a mental health professional. The treatment favored by most clinicians for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy . CBT helps kids as young as 5 years old identify their anxiety and learn skills to reduce it.
The techniques clinicians teach children to calm down body and mind can also be deployed by parents, for children with less impairing symptoms.
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How To Overcome Abdominal Pain From Anxiety
If you’re concerned about your abdominal pain, especially if it is significantly disabling or doesn’t appear to let up even when your anxiety has gone away, it never hurts to see a doctor. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of your pains and discomforts.
There are some strategies you can use to try to overcome this pain. They include:
- Stretching Even though anxiety may be contributing to your muscle tension, the tension is still tension like any other. Stretching is a good way to relieve this tension and make sure that you’re not over-straining your muscles in a way that will cause pain or discomfort.
- Healthy Eating While healthy eating can’t prevent all indigestion and discomfort, it can prevent some of it. That’s why it’s valuable to make sure that you’ve changed your diet to one that is less prone to causing indigestion. Healthy eating, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, does make an impact on stomach pain.
- Exercise Exercise may create pain at first, but over time it will make it easier for your muscles to overcome pain and discomfort. In addition, exercise is a very powerful anxiety reduction tool, so exercise could have added benefits for helping you overcome your anxiety issues.
Of course, the best way to stop your abdominal pain is to stop your anxiety, and the best way to stop your anxiety is to commit yourself to empirically validated treatments.
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The Enteric Nervous System
The enteric nervous system refers to the neurons controlling the digestive system. This âsecond brainâ is connected to the central nervous system â the brain and spinal cord. This system relies on neurotransmitters to communicate with the central nervous system and may affect mood.
After sensing food, the nerves of the enteric nervous system communicate with muscle cells to initiate contraction, moving food along the intestines.
In response to stress and in disorders such as IBS, the enteric nervous system may function abnormally. For instance, levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin may be altered, or nerves may become hypersensitive. This may lead to gut symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, or constipation.
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Can You Have Nerve Damage In Your Abdomen
Abdominal wall pain is typically caused by nerve damage. This may occur from tight anatomic structures, after surgical procedures such as laparoscopy, following trauma, or from radiation or a tumor. Depending on the situation, the nerve can be injured by compression, stretch, rupture, or direct damage.
Why Does Stress Upset My Stomach
Your digestive tract has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system . It contains 100 million neurotransmitters, neurons, and nerves that are located throughout your entire gastrointestinal system. Have you ever been excited or nervous and felt like you had butterflies in your stomach? Or gotten bad news that made you feel sick to your stomach? Or maybe youve gotten a gut feeling about someone after first meeting them. These are all examples of how your emotions can physically affect your digestive tract.
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What Is Neuropathic Pain And How Do You Treat It
A goal of neuropathic pain treatment is to identify the underlying disease or condition thats responsible for the pain, and treat it, if possible . An important goal is that your doctor will aim to provide pain relief, help you maintain typical capabilities despite the pain, and improve your quality of life.
Medication For Sciatica Pain
A number of medications can be used for the treatment purposes of Sciatica pain. Following are the popular medication for the Sciatica pain.
- To ease muscle spasms, prescription muscle relaxants
- Aspirin, acetaminophen or NAAID like ketoprofen, naproxen
- Antidepressants for chronic pain
Aspirin is not suitable for the child age 16 years old or younger. It can increase the risk of Reyes syndrome. Many doctors also prescribe injection for the patient to reduce the pain. Medication is normally injected into the area around the spinal nerve. These injections have a great effective if the cause of the pain is irritation ore pressure from a ruptured or herniated disc.
Physical therapies are also very popular to treat Sciatica Pain. Though bed rest is not recommended, but you can try several positions as well as activities that will give you comfort and will reduce your pain. There are some physical exercises that are also very helpful. These exercises can also help to prevent the Sciatica Pain from coming back! The exercises can vary according to the type of your pain. It is very important to take the advice of a physician to know what types of exercises will be best for you.
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Are There Foods That Reduce Stomach Pain
Anxiety-related stomach pain is not usually the result of your diet , so there arent necessarily any dietary changes that can help reduce stomach pain.
That said, those with panic attacks are more prone to experiencing more severe stomach discomfort, even when no anxiety is present. In other words, when you have panic attacks, its possible to have stomach pain even without a panic attack.
Also, those with anxiety attacks and severe anxiety are prone to whats known as over-sensitization. That means that they are more likely to notice and feel smaller, normal changes in the body, and these can trigger an anxiety attack. So if your diet does contain foods that cause you gas, stomach discomfort, or mild indigestion, it may be best to avoid them because the slight amount of discomfort could feel worse than it should and may trigger a panic attack.
Thats why healthy eating is important in those that get stomach pain with anxiety. Make sure youre getting:
- Whole-Grain Carbohydrates
Also, if you suffer from stress-induced hyperacidity, then it is recommended that you consume dairy products and non-spicy foods. In moderate amounts, over-the-counter antacids may be needed as well.
In addition, if possible, try to avoid eating until youre too full. Those with severe anxiety sometimes interpret the full feeling as pain, and this could trigger a panic attack and further pain.
Rash Caused By Stress
A rash is a change of the human skin which affects its color, appearance, or texture, A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, chapped, dry, cracked or blistered, swell, and may be painful.The causes, and therefore treatments for rashes, vary widely.
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What Is A Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve occurs when excessive pressure is placed on one of the bodys nerves by surrounding tissues. Any inflamed, diseased, or misaligned tissue can compress the nerves, including muscles, tendons, cartilage, bones, and intervertebral discs. Tumours and other growths can also cause a pinched nerve.
When a nerve is pinched, it can disrupt its function leading to numbness, pain, tingling, or muscle weakness. The precise nature of these symptoms will depend on the nerves that are affected.
If you had a herniated disc that was compressing the sciatic nerve in the lower back, you might have symptoms that affect the legs or feet. If a swollen muscle is compressing a nerve in your forearm, you may experience symptoms in your hands.
Where Is Sciatic Pain Typically Felt
An individual suffering from sciatica feels pain due to radiating along the sciatic nerve. It starts from your lower spine and travels to the back of your leg and down the buttocks. Various problems in your lower back can cause the sciatic nerve to become irritated or pinched, which then causes nerve pain in these areas.
The pain is generally felt in one leg only. Sciatica symptoms include a type of pain that may be searing or sharp. Burning pain is also a type of pain possible.
You will experience different kinds of muscle pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, or arm pain, depending on where your sciatica is located. Different nerve roots produce other sensations and different pain signals based on location.
Sciatica is most commonly associated with the lumbar spine and sacrum. The source of your sciatic pain will create slightly different symptoms from each other.
L4 Nerve Root
Pain in the hips, thighs, inner knees, calves, and feet may be caused by irritation to the L4 nerve root. The thighs and hips may feel weak, and the calves may feel numb.
If sciatica is at the L4 level, the person may lose the ability to bend their foot or walk on their heels, and their knee-jerk reflex may be decreased.
L5 Nerve Root
S1 Nerve Root
The third, fourth, and fifth toes may also be numb or tingling in individuals with sciatica from the S1 level.
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Can Anxiety Give You Diarrhea
Absolutely. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that when a person experiences extreme anxiety, the body responds by releasing certain hormones and chemicals in response. These can disrupt the delicate balance of the gut microbiome, leading to diarrhea. In addition, anxiety changes how the brain reacts to signals from the GI tract, causing the brain to misinterpret anxiety as an indication that digestion is moving too slowly. This causes the brain to send signals to speed up digestion, leading to a churning feeling in the stomach and intestines and resulting in loose stools.
Why Does Stress Cause Problems In The Digestive System
Theres increasing evidence showing that theres an important relationship between the brain and the digestive system. This is sometimes called the brain-gut or gut-brain axis.
Communication between the two can affect activity in the brain and in the digestive system. This is why stress can cause symptoms in the stomach and the gut, and why the reverse is also true having digestive problems can make us feel very stressed and anxious.
When were in a stressful situation, our bodies tend to have a fight or flight reaction. Hormones are released which prepare us to act, by keeping us alert and energised.
The theory is that when these stress hormones are released, digestion slows down or even stops altogether so that the body can divert its energy to managing the perceived threat. This slowing down of the digestive process causes the symptoms of bloating, constipation, and pain.
We also know that in some people, stress can cause the opposite problem, speeding up the digestive process and causing diarrhoea.
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Effect Of Anxiety On Your Digestive Tract
Stress and anxiety can have a physical effect on your digestive system. Anxiety causes some hormones and chemicals released by your body to access the digestive tract. While there, they play havoc with your digestion.
This impacts negatively on your gut flora microorganisms that are found in the digestive tract that help with digestion. Interference in the digestive process causes a decline in the production of antibodies, thus creating several digestive-related problems for you.
You may then experience symptoms such as:
- Cramping in the stomach
Anxiety can be caused by any number of factors from public speaking to family get-togethers. If your gut cramps every time you have some event coming up, it may be due to anxiety.
Think back to times when you have been stressed or anxious. How did your stomach behave? Did you feel an ache or sudden onset of heartburn? If your answer is in the affirmative, you may have experienced anxiety-related stomach pain. If you already deal with anxiety, a doctor or therapist can help you manage it.
One way to keep track of your stomach troubles journaling. A few weeks of journaling should reveal if is caused by mental issues. You can associate your discomfort with the immediate event before trouble struck.
Moreover, it helps you chronicle how your aches come and go as your tummy responds to stress and anxiety.
Why Do I Have A Nervous Stomach
Most likely, youll get a nervous stomach because youre simply nervous. It can happen to anyone.
The brain and gut are connected via the vagus nerve, one of the largest nerves in the body. This nerve sends signals from the brain to gut and vice versa, increasing digestive irritability and irregularity when stress and anxiety occurs.
If you have symptoms of a nervous stomach on a regular basis and especially if your symptoms are progressively getting worse, you may need to give more attention to your stress levels and digestive health.
In rare instances, nervous stomach may signal an underlying health problem. If nervous stomach is a common experience for you, check in with your doctor.
They will help rule out other issues that may be affecting your stomach, such as:
In even rarer instances, nervous stomach may be related to gallstones or vagus nerve damage.
Otherwise, nervous stomach is a completely normal occurrence that is easily managed.
Certain treatments are a quick fix for a nervous stomach. However, if its a common and troublesome occurrence, heres some more holistic lifestyle approaches that may be helpful.
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How To Reduce Stress
Aside from managing the physical symptoms of stress, the only way to truly make a difference is to address the root of the problem the mind. Whilst its true that stress is not a physical condition, there are ways of managing it and improving your physical health.
Experts have suggested that good ways to reduce stress are meditating, breathing exercises and calming exercise such as yoga. Try to take some relaxing walks outdoors as exercise, combined with fresh air and sunlight, are fantastic natural mood-boosters.
You should also consider your work life are you staying late, or continually worrying about deadlines? Some people may find that their stomach pain or similar symptoms worsen while at work. If this sounds like you, take steps to address this work stress. Speak to someone at work and tell them how you are feeling. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
Some individuals also find that therapy or counselling can really help their stress, which subsequently will hopefully lead to fewer stomach problems.