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The connection between IBS and Stress : Understanding the link

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, and discomfort. While the exact cause of IBS is unknown, many people with IBS report that stress can trigger or worsen their symptoms.





How stress impacts IBS symptoms

Stress is a normal part of life and can come from many different sources, including work, relationships, financial problems, and health issues. When we experience stress, our bodies respond by releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can affect the digestive system and cause IBS symptoms to worsen.

In addition to the physiological effects of stress on the body, psychological stress can also play a role in the development of IBS. People who experience high levels of stress may be more likely to engage in behaviors that can trigger IBS symptoms, such as overeating, skipping meals, or eating foods that are known to cause digestive problems.


Explaining why we get bloated with we are stressed
Connection between stress and IBS


How do I manage stress with IBS?

Fortunately, there are many ways to manage the connection between IBS and stress. Here are some tips for reducing stress and managing IBS symptoms:

  1. Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can help reduce stress and calm the digestive system.

  2. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity has been shown to help reduce stress and improve IBS symptoms. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

  3. Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for both physical and mental health, and it can help reduce stress and improve IBS symptoms. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

  4. Eat a healthy diet: A diet that is high in fiber and low in fat can help improve IBS symptoms and reduce stress. Avoid foods that are known to trigger IBS symptoms and focus on eating nutrient-dense foods.

  5. Manage stress: Finding effective ways to manage stress is essential for reducing IBS symptoms. This may include talking to a therapist, practicing self-care, or finding ways to reduce stress in your daily life.

In conclusion, the connection between IBS and stress is well established, and it is important for people with IBS to be mindful of the role that stress can play in their symptoms. By making lifestyle changes and practicing stress-reducing techniques, you can help manage your IBS symptoms and improve your overall health and wellbeing.


Our team of Registered Dietitian's at Nutrition and Co, are highly qualified to treat and manage your IBS symptoms, including management of stress. To book your free discovery call click HERE .

If you are ready to get your IBS symptoms under control - book a 1-1 online nutrition by clicking HERE.






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