Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Stress

Stomach Pain from IBSEven though the exact trigger of irritable bowel syndrome is not yet identified, a lot of doctors think the disorder has a relationship to the body’s immune system.

Because tension can adversely impact the immune system it may also make the signs or symptoms and episodes of IBS worse. If you suffer from IBS, stress can increase the frequency of symptom episodes, and amplify the severity of those episodes as well as conflict with the effectiveness of your IBS treatment plan.

Stress Induced Spasms

Stress can easily induce colon spasms in folks with irritable bowel syndrome. Whenever your brain is stressed or overwhelmed by an event or thoughts, it releases chemicals. These chemicals work on the nerves in the colon and can cause the intestines to contract, or spasm, too fast or too slow.

Just like the heart and the lungs, the colon is partially controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which responds to tension. These nerves control the regular contractions in the colon and bring about abdominal pain at stressful times. People frequently experience cramps or “butterflies in their bellies” when they are really nervous or troubled.

Overly Responsive to Tension

In people with IBS, the colon can be overly responsive to even slight conflict or tension. Stress makes the mind extra aware of the feelings that arise in the colon, making the person perceive those feelings as uncomfortable. Any time you eat while feeling burdened those spasms can speed up or slow down the digestive system to the point where you start getting signs or symptoms of diarrhea or even constipation. An overactive digestive system may also generate an excess of gas when exposed to tension. This gassiness can lead to bloating, cramping and also perhaps severe abdominal pain.

People with a high desire to achieve may also put themselves as well as their digestive system under undue pressure and are likely candidates for irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, there is an interesting study that suggests IBS sufferers usually tend to fall into one of a couple of ‘types’: those who consistently put others before themselves, and those who drive themselves extremely hard.

CRF for Future Relief?

In an attempt to discover efficient treatments for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, researchers have investigated the numerous substances which have been released during the stress response. One substance that looks to have major significance in the stress response is corticotrophin-releasing-factor (CRF). CRF is really a family of peptides, which are molecules that link amino acids that are found in both the brain as well as the gut.

Within the brain, CRF receptors are found in the areas related to digestion and emotions as well as the autonomic nervous system. Within the gut, CRF acts within the colon to enhance mucous and water secretion, affects the rate of colon contractions, and seems to be related to the sensation of abdominal pain. It’s thought that a better comprehension of the role of CRF could lead to refinements in the creation of medicines which aim at IBS signs and symptoms.

Fight IBS by Fighting Stress

Some evidence suggests that IBS is actually impacted by the immune process, which fights infection in the body. For just about all these reasons, stress management is an important component of treatment method for IBS.

Stress management options include:

  • Stress reduction training and relaxation therapies such as meditation
  • Routine physical exercise such as walking or yoga
  • Alterations to the tense circumstances in your life
  • Adequate sleep
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