Stress and diarrhea. What is the connection?

In order to live and function, the human body must eat. Our body absorbs useful substances from food, and the undigested remains form compact lumps that are excreted through the digestive tract.

This is a complex process that is continuously and at all levels controlled by the nervous and endocrine systems. Such multi-level control is necessary to prevent various disfunctions.

Diarrhea is a disorder of the digestive process, in which the body often (three or more times a day) expels undigested or even liquid feces.

The cause of diarrhea can be intestinal inflammation caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, autoimmune diseases of the body.

Other possible causes of diarrhea are congenital or acquired disorders of the nervous system, including those caused by overloading the psycho-emotional sphere. In order to properly treat this indigestion, it is necessary to determine the causes of its occurrence.

If diarrhea is caused by an inflammatory process, it may be accompanied by fever, chills and muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, changes in test results, detection of the pathogen in feces or other fluids. Therapists, infectious disease specialists, gastroenterologists, rheumatologists, and immunologists treat such diarrhea.

Diarrhea caused by damage to the nervous system is detected by neurologists and neurosurgeons. It is stable and long-lasting, when examining a person, it is possible to detect disturbances of sensitivity, movements, control or other processes in the organs of the small pelvis, areas of the spinal cord and brain, various disturbances of consciousness.

If during the examination of a person with diarrhea it is impossible to detect any signs of illness or other lesions of the body, a diagnosis of “psychogenic” or “emotional” or “psychosomatic diarrhea” is made.

This digestive disorder has been known to people since ancient times. It was called “nervous diarrhea.”

Psychogenic diarrhea is treated by psychologists and psychiatrists. There are many theories of psychogenic diarrhea.

For example, Louise Hay wrote that fear, rejection, avoidance and denial of something in life can cause a reaction of literally physiological “rejection of bad” from the body.

Gennady Strashenbaum believed that psychogenic diarrhea can appear in people who feel afraid of important and significant figures, and cannot get rid of these unpleasant feelings associated with authorities.

Liz Burbo noted that people who do not absorb new information well, are afraid of doing something “wrong”, do not cope well with tasks that require non-standard solutions, may develop diarrhea as a reaction to fear and uncertainty.

The key mechanism of the development of psychosomatic diarrhea is considered to be the excessive release of stress hormones, due to which the peristalsis of the intestine increases and the normal absorption of fluid and electrolytes in its walls is disturbed.

Stress itself is caused by anxiety, excessive excitement, phobias, and may be a consequence of physical and mental exhaustion after a serious disease.

When stress is treated and its cause is eliminated, the phenomenon of diarrhea usually disappears.

Our lives are constantly bringing new challenges and reasons for excitement. Therefore, in order to prevent the recurrence of psychosomatic diarrhea, it is desirable to help oneself restore psychological stability – independently, by meditating or performing psychological exercises or with the help of a specialist.