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How to Cope With Stress-Related Stomach Issues

By HERWriter
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coping with stomach issues that are related to stress iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Once you determine that your irritated stomach and other gastrointestinal issues are related to stress and anxiety, it can be challenging to overcome this complicated mind-body problem.

Experts share some tips as to how you can say goodbye to both the mental and physical complications that stress and anxiety can cause.

Kristen K. Brown, a celebrity stress coach, said in an email that in order to put an end to stomach problems caused by stress and anxiety, you can try making more time for yourself, and conquering the main stressor in your life.

“Often we think we are generally stressed out, but when you dig deeper, stress is really originating from one place but spilling over and affecting everything else,” Brown said.

“Start to build in a couple of minutes of quiet time a few times a day to just stop and focus on the present moment. We are always thinking about what's next, and that causes life to spin out of control sometimes, which leads to stress - and the biological symptoms like stomach problems that goes along with it.”

Elika Kormeili, a licensed therapist, sent the following coping tips in an email:

1) “Make sure to get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep is both a physical and mental stressor.”

2) “Develop a relaxation practice. Find a relaxing activity you enjoy and do it every day. It could be a calming Yoga class or something as simple as learning proper breathing techniques and taking a bath.”

3) “Be aware of your habits that could be causing stress such as procrastination, poor time management, lack of organization or poor personal boundaries.”

David Clarke, president of the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association, said in an email that in order to relieve gastrointestinal issues, the cause of stress needs to be identified.

He said common sources of stress include issues that a client is dealing with that are associated with an increase in symptoms, abuse, depression, post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.

“When these are treated successfully and the GI problems improve in parallel, then you have strong circumstantial evidence that the stress caused the GI symptom,” Clarke said.

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Very informative blog! One of my friends has some painful stomach spasms and then she used antispasmodic drugs that literally changed her life.

December 19, 2012 - 3:28am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.