Have you ever witnessed a vibrating effect on your stomach, butterfly feelings before doing something stressful or frequenting the loo often without suffering from a stomach upset? Then, ideally you are suffering from a nervous stomach.
Practically, nervous stomach is not a diagnosis as such and physicians use it as a term to describe symptoms of nausea, indigestion, anxiety, bloating and changes to bowel movements that are totally unrelated to gastrointestinal conditions. Stomach-related problems many-a-time denote involvement of stress or anxiety. I’ve myself stressed upon the underlying connection between the gut and the brain as the gut too contains nerves just like the brain. Both share many similar nerve connections and any traumatic event, chronic stress or nerve-wracking episodes disrupt the digestive system badly. At the same time, anxiousness or stress produces a certain number of chemicals in the body that affect the digestive process as they disrupt gut flora and antibody production too. All these exist as underlying reasons for a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
A nervous stomach sometimes reflects the symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or gastroenteritis. Common symptoms experienced by the individual include:
As mentioned earlier, the stomach has its own set of nerves that respond to stress hormones triggered from the brain. These hormones signal the stomach to slow down so that more blood can be pumped to the heart and lungs as a part of the fight-or-flight response. In this busy world people regularly experience stress and a few examples of such stressful situations that trigger a nervous stomach include:
The condition is due to the person’s response to events and calming yourself is the best way to bring back your stomach to a normal state. Simple events such as presentation or test can take anytime up to 30 minutes or so for the body to return to normalcy, but graver situations take more time to recover and might even exist until the symptoms are totally removed from the body.
Practicing meditation, relaxation techniques such as breathing and doing yoga can help an individual accelerate the recovery process. Few other tips that help include eating smaller meals frequently, eating a light meal when stressed, having a positive outlook in life, relaxing as much as possible, avoiding sugary foods, avoiding taking antacids, calming down, doing light- or moderate-intensity exercises and analyzing the factors that cause anxiousness. Distancing ourselves from stress is simple when we follow the tips and techniques given at www.firsteatright.com.
Physicians often treat patients by suggesting therapies (working with a psychiatrist), meditation, medications, foods (avoid caffeine-rich beverages such as coffee, tea and soda), stress-buster activities (listening to music, reading book, dancing or reducing the number of commitments in your daily schedule) and natural remedies (consuming ginger in any form). Singling out the stressors in a person’s life and minimizing them can reduce frequency of occurrence of nervous stomach and make his/her life better.
Dietitian Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.