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Can Stress Cause Diarrhea?

Can Stress Cause Diarrhea? How It Can Be Treated?

The bodily reaction that happens naturally to the way it responds to the pressure as well as the perceived threat is what stress is all about. A bit of it can be a good thing as it can help motivate you, focus your mind along with improving your performance. However, a greater or chronic amount of stress will be affecting the psychological as well as the physical health of one’s body.

What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Stress Diarrhea?

A massive range of symptoms is possible through the stress that includes diarrhea as well as other gastrointestinal issues. We will be outlining the causes along with the symptoms of diarrhea that are induced by stress along with offering tips on the ways to treat it along with managing the stress that is causing it.

Can Stress Cause Diarrhea

What is Stress Diarrhea?

On ways how stress will be causing diarrhea for decades now is now being checked by the doctors. In one of the studies, the doctors made use of the special instruments to help measure how much the colon had contracted during stressful situations, including the traffic as well as the performance of the tasks that were mentally challenging.

The doctors had even mentioned to their study participants while they had colon cancer in terms of measuring their intestinal responses as it would not be an ethical practice this day.

It was noted that stressful situations could thereby lead to intestinal cramping as it can even lead to diarrhea. 

There have been advances in researches as well as technologies that have been meant for doctors to pinpoint with greater accuracy in terms of how your brain is affecting the intestines.

The stomach, as well as the intestines here, has actually been considered as their own nervous system, according to the researchers. The doctors are noting this as the enteric nervous system, and it significantly responds to the stress hormones that are released by the body.

The hormones are released once triggered, with stress showing the signs of the enteric system in terms of slowing the motility as well as the movement in the stomach along with the smaller intestines.

Similar hormones will be triggering greater movement throughout the larger intestines as it can be the response of the body that is trying to remove the potentially harmful toxins that are present in the body leading to diarrhea.

Why Anxiety Causes Diarrhea

Diarrhea is often accompanied by anxiety as it can happen with the help of the connection that is there between your gut as well as your brain, which is considered the gut-brain axis.

It can act as the nervous system of your gut with the help of the axis that is connecting your central nervous system to that of the enteric nervous system. This ENS will be aiding in terms of regulating the processes present in your gastrointestinal Tract. It can also be affecting your behavior as well as your emotions that would be linking through your brain.

These chemical messengers can carry the signals from your brain to that of your gut as you are distressed. Your gut, at times, will be responding to these signals with the help of the physical symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea as well as nausea.

Tips for identifying triggers

To the person’s gastrointestinal Tract, both stress, as well as anxiety can have distinctive effects on health.

The body of a human has natural physical responses in terms of perceiving the threats made in this environment. The brain will be releasing a burst of hormones that would increase the heart rate as well as raise the blood pressure when it detects the threat. People in this time prefer to have flight or fight responses.

Stress signals are also sent by the brain to the gut through the sympathetic nervous system that creates the feeling of butterflies in your stomach.

These signals are responded to by the gut that thereby releases its own hormones. These hormones are noted for the slow movements in the small intestines as well as the stomach, along with pacing up the movements in the larger intestines. The body does this to help in terms of expelling the harmful toxins along with the outcome of this process that leads to diarrhea.

A person might be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms if stress here causes diarrhea:

  • headaches
  • muscle tension
  • tiredness
  • restlessness
  • irritability
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • sadness


As a person experiences diarrhea that is caused by stress will have to treat these physical symptoms along with the proper management of the stress that had triggered them.

Treating diarrhea

There are several episodes of diarrhea that last for just a few days, and they do not need any kind of medical treatment. There are few ways in which you can help alleviate these conditions along with the symptoms that are associated with helping in the recovery process of a company.

????Keep hydrated: Person suffering from diarrhea have their smaller intestines and the colons that fail in terms of absorbing the necessary fluids and minerals. This dysfunctionality can result in dehydration as people can easily boost their hydration by consuming water and certain juice as well.

????You also need to consume little amounts of carbs: Consumption of bland carbs, including cooked rice and even pasta, is considered a useful way to get the fluids into your body, making them easily digestible.

????Avoid rich or spicy foods: Additional strain will be imposed over your digestive system that can potentially worsen up in terms of prolonging diarrhea with the help of the rich and spicy foods.

Managing stress

Serious health issues can pop up with chronic stress. However, there are several ways in which you can manage your stress in a proper manner by building up resilience in terms of triggering the cause by:

????Identifying stress triggers: A person can make use of journals to keep their record of stress and when these situations come up. The person will be able to take the necessary steps in terms of dealing with them efficiently once they have identified their stress triggers.

????Taking steps to reduce the impact of stress triggers: It might involve the practice of breathing exercises along with counting slowly to 10 along with taking the temporary break off from the stressors.

????Practicing activities to reduce stress: Stress can be alleviated with the help of simple activities.

When to see a doctor

There are several episodes of diarrhea that are quite harmless. However, the underlying medical issues can be indicating the server as well as persistent diarrhea. People should be visiting the doctor if they are experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Diarrhea lasting for more than 2 days in adults and more than a day in kids
  • Symptoms showing dehydration
  • Extreme pain in the abdomen
  • Stools containing pus and blood
  • Stools that are tarry and dark

Stress-induced diarrhea mainly subsides after the passing of this stressful event. However, there is a person who should be seeing a doctor if they are experiencing any repeated or prolonged bouts of stress-induced diarrhea. The doctor might be recommending changes to the lifestyles as well as taking the right medications in terms of managing the anxiety and even stress.

Final Verdict

When the body undergoes a lot of pressure or is perceived to the threats is when the stress happens. It can, however, affect several aspects of the health of a person that would be including their digestion.

As soon after the stressful event has significantly triggered that it has passed, stress-induced diarrhea generally improves. A person should, however, visit a doctor if they are experiencing repeated bouts of the stress of prolonged diarrhea.

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