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Can Stress Make You Bloated

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What Causes Wind Gas And Bloating

Stress Can Make You Bloated! – Dr. Weston Explains

Everybody has gas-related symptoms from time to time. In most cases, this is part of the natural working of the body and the symptoms soon pass. Some people complain they are feeling bloated all the time. As mentioned above, people are occasionally sensitive to normal amounts of gas in the tummy. The reasons for this are not entirely clear.

There are some conditions associated with larger than normal amounts of gas in the tummy:

Increased Health Risks From Visceral Fat

According to Harvard Health, visceral fat may increase your risk for:

Genetics influences where your body stores fat. Hormones, age, and how many children a woman has given birth to also play a role.

Women tend to add more visceral fat after menopause, when estrogen levels drop.

Still, there are things you can do to lose belly fat.

First, avoid all those lose belly fat fast solutions, because theres no quick fix. Making lifestyle choices with a slow, steady mindset is your best option to help establish long-term positive results.

Here are some recommendations:

Things To Tell Your Doctor:

  • Is the symptom located in the upper or lower abdomen?Is it in a concentrated area?
  • Is your bloating or distension associated with burping?
  • Do you experience nausea or vomiting?
  • Is the symptom associated with pain in your abdomen?Upper or lower?
  • Does the bloating or distension relate to passing gas or a change in your bowel habits ?
  • Are your symptoms related to food? Which ones?
  • Do they occur right after eating?
  • Do your symptoms increase during the day or improve during night hours?

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The Key To Relieving Heartburn Bloating And Even Stress

Despite a burning sensation rising up into the throat and that gnawing feeling right beneath your rib cage, heartburn is usually caused by too little stomach acid, not too much.

Hypochlorhydria, or a low concentration of gastric acid, has been linked to a long list of disorders related to digestive, immune, and brain function.

Common symptoms of hypochlorhydria include:

How To Treat Stress

Feel bloated why?

There are several things you can do to reduce the effects of anxiety and stress on your gut. There is a direct link between our microbiota and our stress hormone system alterations in our gut microbiota may lead to a heightened or suppressed hormonal response to stressful situations, says Dr Ashton. The direct approach would be to identify the stress trigger and try to remove it, or alter its impact, from your daily life, where possible.

If you feel yourself getting stressed out with a task take a mini-break from the activity.

For instance, Dr Ashton suggests, you may get stressed by not being prepared for some activity at work like giving a presentation make sure that you allow plenty of time to adequately prepare and rehearse to prevent or reduce anxiety.

Think about how you can calm your day from the beginning walking some of the journey to work rather than all of it being spent on busy trains or in traffic jams.

If you feel yourself getting stressed out with a task take a mini-break from the activity by making a hot drink or writing a list of things you would like to do with your weekend before returning to your work.

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Medications And Other Therapies

Some medications and other treatments have been found to help ease the symptoms of bloating and distension. Your doctor may talk to you about some of these options, depending on your symptoms and other health related considerations.

Antispasmodics: These can relax the muscles of the bowel and provide relief. Examples include dicyclomine and hyoscyamine in the United States and otilonium bromide or pinaverium bromide available in Latin America and some countries in Europe and Asia and a combination of pinaverium bromide with simethicone in some Latin America countries.

Probiotics: These dietary supplements contain live bacteria that help balance out the existing bacteria of the intestines. Some that include a relatively low level of probiotic bacteria are available over the counter or in yogurt varieties. Other options include Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome in general, and Bifidobacterium animalis DN-0173 10 for patients with IBS with constipation .

Rifaximin: This antibiotic is only slightly absorbed and can be used for short periods of time. Usually it is used to lessen bloating in people with IBS whose symptoms do not include constipation, or in those with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Other options: Medications that increase fluid content in stools, lubiprostone or linaclotide for example, may also be used.

How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating

If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:

If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:

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The Many Ways Anxiety Causes Bloating

Bloating is actually a very common symptom of anxiety, especially for those with anxiety attacks. What’s interesting is that many different issues can cause bloating including, but not limited to:

  • Hyperventilation The main reason that anxiety leads to bloating is the result of hyperventilation. Hyperventilation is when you take in more air than you need. Hyperventilation causes several additional anxiety symptoms, but both before and after hyperventilation it’s not uncommon to feel pressure in your stomach and possibly experience burping.
  • General Air Breathing Similarly, even without hyperventilation, you may find that you start to over-breathe during anxiety attacks and swallow more oxygen than necessary, especially if you’re prone to swallowing during these attacks. Swallowing oxygen is known to bloat your stomach, and may lead to significant belching and stomach tension.
  • Affected Digestion It’s also possible for anxiety to affect digestion. Anxiety shuts down a part of the brain that handles digesting food. Stress itself puts a great deal of pressure on your stomach and abdomen, and upsets hormone and neurotransmitter balance. That may create an environment where foods that could normally be digested easily end up being digested poorly, leading to the creation of gas and bloating.

These are some of the most common ways that anxiety creates bloating, and the reason that so many of those living with anxiety every day suffer from severe bloating symptoms.

Can Stress Cause Me To Feel Bloated


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Can Stress Make Your Belly Bloat

In some people, stress slows down digestion, causing bloating, pain and constipation, while in others it speeds it up, causing diarrhoea and frequent trips to the loo. Some people lose their appetite completely. Stress can also worsen digestive conditions like stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

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Stress Effects On The Body

Stress affects all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.

Stress effects on the body.

Our bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses, but when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body.

Musculoskeletal system

When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stressthe bodys way of guarding against injury and pain.

With sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up all at once, and then release their tension when the stress passes. causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness. When muscles are taut and tense for long periods of time, this may trigger other reactions of the body and even promote stress-related disorders.

For example, both tension-type headache and migraine headache are associated with chronic muscle tension in the area of the shoulders, neck and head. Musculoskeletal pain in the low back and upper extremities has also been linked to stress, especially job stress.

Relaxation techniques and other stress-relieving activities and therapies have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension, decrease the incidence of certain stress-related disorders, such as headache, and increase a sense of well-being. For those who develop chronic pain conditions, stress-relieving activities have been shown to improve mood and daily function.

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Drinking Too Many Carbonated Bevvys

If youre a big club soda fan, and you find yourself bloated more often than not, you may have to lay off the fizzy drinks for a while. All those bubbles can make you feel puffy and uncomfortable.

Because these drinks are loaded with you guessed it gas and the consumption of gas bloats the digestive system, which can potentially cause discomfort and a distended stomach. If youve been guzzling sparkling water and wondering why your waistband is starting to feel uncomfortable, it may be time to switch to still water.

What Happens When Your Body Is Stressed

Does Stress Cause Stomach Bloating

When presented with a potentially threatening situation, the sympathetic nervous system a part of the bodys autonomic nervous system, which regulates bodily functions like the heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure responds by triggering a fight-or-flight response, releasing the stress hormone cortisol to make the body alert and prepared to face the threat.

Stress causes physiological changes, like a heightened state of awareness, faster breathing and heart rates, elevated blood pressure, a rise in blood cholesterol, and an increase in muscle tension.

When stress activates the flight-or-flight response in your central nervous system, Dr. Koch says that it can affect your digestive system by:

  • Causing your esophagus to go into spasms
  • Increasing the acid in your stomach, which results in indigestion
  • Making you feel nauseous
  • Giving you diarrhea or constipation

In more serious cases, stress may cause a decrease in blood flow and oxygen to the stomach, which could lead to cramping, inflammation, or an imbalance of gut bacteria. It can also exacerbate gastrointestinal disorders, including:

“Although stress may not cause stomach ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease, it can make these and other diseases of digestion worse,” Koch says. So its important to take measures to be in control during stressful situations and find ways to keep yourself calm.

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Try Calming Diffuser Oils Or Incenses

Herbal incenses, or essential oils used as aromatic diffusers, have been known to help some people with anxiety.

Purchase products with calming herbs like chamomile, lavender, vetiver, or rose. Follow the products directions. Combine this with some relaxing time and space for yourself when dealing with a nervous stomach.

The Link Between Gut Health And Mental Health

In the past, researchers believed that mental health issues could create problems within the digestive system. Those who were anxious or depressed were more likely to experience stomach or intestinal disturbances. Thus, the answer to can stress causes constipation or stomach pain is, yes.

However, more recent studies show that it could be the other way around: gut health may affect mental health. In fact, many scientists believe that all disease begins in the gut.

Read Also: What Does The Term Leaky Gut Mean

Fix Bloating From Anxiety

All of these can provide some relief from bloating, but won’t prevent bloating from coming back. You can also check your trigger foods, and see if there are foods that tend to cause more bloating when you’re anxious.


Anxiety affects the gut, it affects breathing, and it affects sleep. All of these things can lead to bloating, and what adds to the complications is that bloating can also affect anxiety. Once you feel bloat, you often have to just let it and fade away, but eventually it will become important to address the anxiety itself.

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Its A Sneaky Side Effect Of Your Medication

How to fix a Bloated Stomach naturally in 4 minutes

Some medications can disrupt the bacterial balance in your gut, cause you to retain fluid, change digestive function or cause GI damage if taken long-term.

For one, opioid pain medications commonly cause constipation that brings about bloating, per April 2016 research in the âScandinavian Journal of Painâ.

A few additional drugs on the list of bloat-causers, Dr. Borkar says, include steroids, antibiotics, birth control pills, aspirin, NSAIDs like ibuprofen and anti-diarrhea medications. Surprisingly, supplements like multivitamins or iron supplements can do it too, she says.

âBanish bloating:â Dr. Borkar’s advice is to avoid fiber-rich foods and prioritize stress-reduction strategies if you’re taking these medications on a short-term basis.

You can also talk to your doctor about whether there is an alternate medication you can switch to or a lower dose available.

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How Do You Relieve Bloating From Stress

While it may not be possible or easy to do, ideally, we want to address the stress that is contributing to the bloating. This may be the root cause for many.

However, as mentioned above, following periods of stress we can enter a vicious cycle. Here the imbalance in the gut microbiome makes us more sensitive to stress and then the additional perception of stress can then further disrupt the gut.

In these cases, it can be most helpful to address the imbalance in the gut and the perception or exposure to stress at the same time.

There are several tools and approaches to use to help rebalance this.

What Is Stomach Bloating

What is stomach bloating a sign of? Can it point to an underlying health condition?

Luckily, in many cases, it isnt anything to be alarmed about. It can usually be cleared up by making some simple changes to your diet and routine, although not always.

For many people, the cause of excessive gas in the intestines boils down to:

  • Inadequate protein digestion
  • Inability to break down sugar and carbohydrates fully
  • Imbalances in gut bacteria

Stomach bloating can however sometimes signify serious health problems lurking below the surface. For example, its one of the most common candida symptoms and also tends to develop when from other conditions, including allergies, hormonal imbalances, thyroid dysfunction, gut troubles and inflammatory bowel disease.

Other potential causes of bloating can include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome, especially if youre constipated
  • Digestive disorders like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Fluid retention
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain types of cancer

Many different things can affect gut health, the ability to metabolize food properly and the bodys way of naturally eliminating waste. Because so many different factors can contribute to stomach bloating including some that seem totally unrelated, like sleep or stress its possible to become bloated any time of the day or month.

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Manage Stress In Your Life

A nervous stomach could mean that youre simply in a nervous state. Are you undergoing a lot of stress lately? Do you have a big event, job interview, or nerve-wracking experience coming up? You could just be nervous about it, and it will pass.

If youre dealing with chronic stressful experiences and a lot of nervous stomach symptoms every day, on the other hand, finding time and ways to manage that stress is essential. Your nervous stomach could then subside.

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The Fight Or Flight Response

7 Eating Habits That Make You Bloat

The digestive system is particularly susceptible to stress as the CNS essentially shuts down or slows down gastrointestinal function via the ENS when there is a perceived threat. The body responds to stress by producing stress hormones which rapidly increase our physical and mental ability to deal with the dangerous situation. During this state of hyperarousal, processes such as digestion that arent essential for physical exertion are repressed in favour of those which focus on dealing with the stressor.

Blood flow to the gut, intestinal motility, intestinal permeability, digestive enzyme production and protective mucus secretion are all affected7 by stress. This is why anxiety and bloating often go hand in hand. When stressed and anxious, many experience sensations such as: butterflies in their stomach, nausea, a choked up feeling, trouble swallowing, indigestion, heartburn and perhaps even diarrhoea.

When the stress or danger that we are facing is short-lived, the stress responses brief inhibition of digestion is of little concern as normal function returns once the perceived threat has passed. However, with chronic or ongoing stress the digestive system remains subdued, making it difficult to digest food effectively, predisposing not just the gut, but the entire body to problems8.

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How Stress Affects Your Gut

If you ever suffer from tummy troubles during a stressful episode, this is because your anxiety levels are connected to your digestive system.

‘There’s evidence that the brain and the gut communicate with each other via numerous systems and do not function independently,’ says Dr Ashton. ‘Because of this interconnected relationship it means that if one system is disturbed it will result in the other system being disturbed. In simplest terms: mental stress at work = tummy upset.’

Higher Cortisol Levels Linked To Abdominal Obesity

Higher long-term cortisol levels are strongly related to having abdominal obesity, according to a 2018 review study.

However, not all people with obesity have high cortisol levels. Researchers suggest genetics may play a role in glucocorticoid sensitivity.

Short-term stress can cause belly issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Irritable bowel syndrome can be the result of long-term stress. If you already have IBS, stress can worsen gas and belly bloat.

Certain health risks are associated with having obesity, but having abdominal obesity may be a bigger risk factor for comorbidities and mortality rate.

There are two types of belly fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.

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