You will be surprised to know that stress can invite stomach problems such as indigestion, constipation, heartburn, diarrhoea, pain, bloating, loss of appetite, and even cramping. Thus, eating probiotics, quitting smoking and practising mindful techniques such as yoga and meditation can help deal with stress and even stomach problems. You need to be careful as stress can take a toll on your digestive system. Yes, you have heard it right! When one’s body is stressed, it can increase one’s stomach acid that can cause indigestion, make you feel nauseated and even lead to diarrhoea and constipation.
Are you stressed owing to your personal or professional life?
The problem can also become severe and cause a decrease in the blood flow and oxygen in the stomach, and one may suffer from inflammation, bloating, peptic ulcers, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a digestive ailment that occurs when acidic stomach food or juices and liquids back up from the abdomen into the oesophagus. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease affects people of all ages—from infants to older adults. People with asthma are at more substantial risk of developing GERD. Hence, it is necessary to de-stress and keep all your stomach problems at bay.
Here are a few tricks that can help you manage stress and get rid of stomach problems
- Eat a well-balanced diet: Try to include fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Make sure that you eat foods loaded with fibre. This will help you bulk up the stool and regulate the bowel movements. The bonus point, you will be able to get rid of constipation. Do not opt for aerated drinks, spicy, junk or oily food. Also, eating probiotics can be helpful as it can balance your gut bacteria, help it to flourish and enhance digestion. Doing so can aid digestion. Do not starve and eat from time to time. Also, portion control is the key to manage heartburn.
- Exercise every day: See to it that you stay physically fit and exercise daily. It can help you de-stress, remain calm and improve your digestion and overall gut health. Try yoga and meditation as they are known to be the relaxation techniques. Try to take those frequent breaks at work. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Identify what triggers the stress: If you are often stressed out, then try to identify the potential triggers of stress and write them down. You can opt for counselling to bid adieu to stress. Reduce your intake of alcohol and smoking as that can take a toll on your digestive system and even lead to constipation.
- Stay happy: Try to stay comfortable by diverting your mind. To de-stress and relax, you can try your hand at painting, listen to music, read or do gardening. Speak to your friends or family members about things that stress you out.
Takeaway tip by Dr Roy Patankar, leading Gastroenterologist & Director of Zen Hospital: Seek immediate medical attention before your stress causes serious stomach problems. Do not forget to take medications prescribed by the doctor.
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