Can stress cause constipation: Who has never suffered from constipation when going on vacation or before an examination? Fear of the unknown, overwork, stress. To what extent is our transit regulated by our psyche? Are the intestines our “second brain”?
Answer in our tip.
Can stress cause constipation: Digestion and Constipation
As much as our meals or our sleep, our life is regulated by our passages to toilets! Passages that are subject to certain inconveniences including constipation.
Constipation is a frequent transit disorder. It affects one in five people in France, and particularly women. We talk about real illness from the moment we go to the bowel less than three times a week.
Although not serious, it is a discomfort for the people who have it and causes certain disorders of which:
- Abdominal pain
- Intestinal pain.
Going to the saddle is usually a natural function that does not have to be thought out to be performed by the body: just as digestion or sleep are programmed to set up automatically, going to the bowel should remain an act of reflex.
However, when these functions become deregulated, there is often a tendency to focus on them. Is stress a factor of constipation or is constipation a stressor?
Nice to know: women are more likely to suffer from constipation than men.Hormonal causes explain this finding. Indeed progesterone, more abundant during the second half of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, would make the intestines lazy.
We recommend reading the article: Karo syrup for infant constipation
A stressful phenomenon
Constipation, as well as insomnia, the dysfunctions of our organism, provoke anxious reactions that allow them to self-maintain.
Without being directly caused by stress, which no scientific study proves, constipation is, in itself, a stressful phenomenon. Moreover, then, through a vicious circle effect, the more we deal with it, the more we risk aggravating it. The so-called natural functions normally do not have to be present in mind to be executed by the body: digestion or sleep are programmed to work in automatic piloting. Thinking about it regularly is already interfering with their proper functioning. A fortiori when their haunting evocation then leads to particular behaviors, spend hours on the toilet waiting or abusing laxatives, which aggravate the intestinal disorders. So it is a challenge: in the case of constipation, we must find a solution … without thinking too much.
Giving priority to the needs of the body
For the body to regain it is natural conditioning, it must be restored to its freedom. If your diet is balanced in fiber and you are not too sedentary or even motionless, the next step is to give your body time.
Not a fixed time set for half an hour three times a day in the toilet. If these stations in the shower do not fall at the right time, they have no other result than to strengthen the anxiety and to malign the sphincters. It is when you want to give yourself time to go. Without dithering: it is always possible to interrupt a discussion or a telephone call.
In the same vein, as elimination reflexes are triggered about half an hour after the first drink, do not rush into public transport immediately after swallowing his morning coffee. It is better to get up a quarter of an hour earlier, to drink a little after awakening and to spare enough time to be still at home, in peace, when envy will manifest.
Stress and constipation: which is the origin of the other?
It is commonly accepted in the scientific community that anxious people are more prone to constipation and functional coagulopathy than others.
This is why we observe a so-called ‘occasional’ constipation during habitual changes that disrupt the individual such as:
- Before and during a trip: stress of luggage, departure, change of environment;
- During holidays with friends: apprehension of the toilets in community, the smell, and the noise;
- During a shift in diet: less fiber, junk-food.
Should we conclude that these are disorders of psychological origin? In fact, the most likely are that anxiety, depression, and stress are merely contributing factors.
However, in the case of chronic constipation, the psychological aspects are not to be neglected. As with sleep, elimination functions can be inhibited when you think about it too much.
If it is not proven that stress is the cause of constipation, it is admitted that constipation, even occasional, causes significant stress in the sufferer.
The fact of being constipated and of thinking only of that can cause drifts such as:
- An abuse of laxatives
- A social phobia
Nice to know: the irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are very common in Western countries where they represent nearly half of the consultations patterns in gastroenterology. They appear more easily in the thirty-year-old woman.
Methods of prevention against constipation and stress
To overcome constipation and act on fear, it will be necessary to change some habits and put in place some practical measures such as:
- Drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of liquid (water, tea, fruit juice) per day;
- Going to the bathroom as soon as the need arises to limit stress conditions;
- Not to restrain yourself: to go to the toilet is something natural and nobody will hold you rigor of an odor too pronounced or an incongruous noise;
- Dramatize the situation: laugh at it if necessary, this will help make the thing less “taboo.”
On a more physiological level, we advise you to:
- practice regular sports: competition contributes to strengthening the abdominal and massaging the intestines and thus improve transit;
- enrich its fiber diet: they retain water, increasing stool bulk, accelerate transit and stimulate contractions of the gut;
- take the time to eat quietly, calmly and avoid eating “on the go.”
In the case of severe terminal constipation and severe persistent pain, consult your doctor.
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