IBS, stress & the brain

We know there is a link between IBS and stress. Now there is more evidence out there to suggest how they are linked.

Experts believe that IBS occurs when the delicate relationship between the nerves, hormones and electrical activity that link the bowel and the brain is disrupted. Because of the connections between the bowel and the brain, it is now known that high stress levels can trigger IBS.

Pain sensors in the colon are more sensitive in a person who has IBS than in the digestive system of someone without the condition, and it is this, that causes them to respond strongly to stimuli.

If you have never thought about a connection between the brain and the stomach, imagine the butterflies you get before making a speech, or the nerves you feel during a discussion that turns into a heated argument.

Now that we know the brain triggers the signals that cause IBS, it is up to us to limit the amount of stress we let in. It is also up to others to limit their stress, so that their stress isn’t passed on to us.


15 Apr, 2014

4 thoughts on “IBS, stress & the brain

  1. I don’t have IBS, but I do get stomach problems occasionally if I’m under tremendous stress along with other symptoms like a headache or just pain in my neck area.

    Good information to know. Thanks Ilana.

    1. You’re welcome. Thanks Lisa. I had no idea until I did my own research on some of my symptoms, whether I had IBS or not. It’s one of the most common conditions and not easy to diagnose.

      Even if we don’t have IBS, stress creates problems with ill health, so it’s always worth trying to cut down on stress, whether we’re stressed ourselves or someone else is making us stressed.

  2. Interesting post. I never thought about IBS symptoms in that way, but as described it does make sense.

    It is now widely known that stress in itself can lead to serious health problems and it is a good idea in general; to have as little stress as possible.

    When this is not always possible we have to deal with stress in a way that minimises how it affects us.

    1. Thank you. Any amount of stress will affect us and for those like me who deal with IBS that can be quite a challenge.

      I have become a dab hand at dealing with my own stress in ways that helps me cope with what I have to deal with, including IBS, but when stress comes in from people around me, then it makes what I deal including IBS, a lot more challenging.

      It’s so much harder to minimise those affects when the stress is coming from someone else.

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