Nervous Stomach: Prevention and Treatment
According to My Clevland Clinic, the term “nervous stomach” is often used to refer to irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS. But, there are situations when a nervous stomach happens without being a symptom of a medical problem, but it merely occurs due to anxiousness, excessive stress, of fear. This disorder affects the lower bowel or colon and it can happen in both men and women, although it is more common in women between their late teens and forties.
However, despite being common, according to medical science and doctors, it is not an official or diagnosable condition. Be that as it may, the underlying reasons for this disorder are not clear even though there are some potential triggers like colon motility changes, inflammation, change in the intestinal bacteria, and specific environmental and genetic factors.
The Symptoms of Nervous Stomach
According to Health Line, in case one experiences several of the following symptoms, he/she may have a nervous stomach:
- Frequent flatulence
- Upset stomach and nausea
- Stomach “butterflies”
- Shivering and shaking of muscles
- Quick fullness while eating
- Anxiety and nervousness
- A feeling of warmth and bloating in the stomach
- Elevated bowel movements and urination
- Tightness in the stomach
As explained by Health Line, having these signs on a frequent basis and if they worsen as the time goes by, requires from the individual to pay more attention to the stress in your life and digestive health and even better, consult your physician as there may be an underlying cause manifested through a nervous stomach like IBS, peptic ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and anxiety disorder.
What Are the Causes for a Nervous Stomach?
As noted on Anxiety Centre, stress and anxiety are known to stimulate the stress response which then increases the production of the stress hormones resulting in emotional, psychological, and physiological changes that better the body’s ability to fight off the threat or go away (the fight or flight response). One of the physiological changes the response to stress creates is suppression of the digestion because all of the body’s resources are directed to the fighting or fleeing and the stomach muscles become tighter too. All of these processes lead to a higher production of stomach acid and consequently, a nervous feeling in the stomach.
It is also pivotal to mention that the risk elevates in individuals who have a weaker gastrointestinal tract when they are under a lot of stress or when they feel anxious or afraid. Other known contributing factors, as noted on Psychologenie, are excessive consumption of spicy and hot foods, overeating, and lack of physical activity.
As Adrian White denotes, nervous stomach can be treated with the help of specific lifestyle changes, as well as some homemade remedies. Here are the major beneficial homemade, herbal remedies that can help people suffering from this disorder:
- Ginger tea
- Spearmint tea
- Peppermint tea
- Lavender tea
- Lemon balm tea
These teas have antispasmodic properties, i.e. can alleviate spasms and tight muscles. Make sure you also check out the below-mentioned lifestyle improvements that you should implement:
- Reduce the consumption of caffeine
Caffeine is known to trigger anxiousness and nervousness and it also encourages bowel movements, which may be problematic for people with a nervous and sensitive stomach. Drink coffee after your stomach calms down or opt for drinks with a lower amount of caffeine like oolong tea, as suggested by Health Line.
- Incense and essential oils
Incense and diffusing essential oils like lavender, rose, or chamomile may help to reduce the anxiousness in anxious people due to their strong calming characteristics.
- Breathing techniques, meditation, and mindfulness
Practices which help you regulate your breathing and focus on the present moment can be of great aid in decreasing the negative stress.
- Make time to relax and unwind
Finding time to relax in an appropriate space meant just for yourself can be great in teaching you to take control over your nervousness easier, as pointed out on Health Line.
If you frequently struggle with nervous stomach and if all underlying health problems like IBS or peptic ulcers have been ruled out by your physician and if this disorder happens only when you are under a lot of stress or when you are feeling anxious, you need to pay attention to the following aspects of your life to decrease its occurrence:
- Better the health of the gut
A nervous stomach means that you need to lower your stress, but also to strengthen your digestive health by consuming more fiber and foods rich in probiotics that can minimize the negative effect of anxiety on the gut.
- Reduce stress and learn stress management
If you are constantly under a lot of chronic stress and if you experience nervous stomach almost on a daily basis, finding appropriate ways to manage the stress is crucial for suppressing the symptoms.
- Regular exercising
Physical activity, such as yoga, can be pivotal in lowering the negative effect anxiety and stress can have on the digestion, according to Health Line.
- Opt for smaller meals
Bigger meals can often induce stomach nervousness. Therefore, go with smaller and lighter foods that are easily digestible such as spinach, lettuce, kale, etc.
Final Thoughts on Nervous Stomach
Without doubt, suffering from a nervous stomach can have a negative impact on one’s overall quality of life if they do not pinpoint the underlying cause and treat it properly, either with a medical treatment if it happens as a consequence of some medical issue like IBS or peptic ulcers or with homemade remedies such as chamomile tea and crucial lifestyle changes if the reasons for this issue are a sensitive digestive system and susceptibility to stress and anxiety.