1. Anxiety can trigger IBS symptoms
According to Dr. Serge Mayrand, gastroenterologist at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is caused by “a defect in the neuromodulation of the gut.” In other words, there’s a communications breakdown in the chemical and electrical signals travelling between your brain and digestive system. (These are seven of the most common digestive disorders.)
Although anxiety itself isn’t to blame for that defect, stress certainly doesn’t make life easier for those living with the condition.
Not only can anxiety trigger symptoms of IBS, for some unfortunate sufferers, IBS can in turn trigger anxiety. People who experience bowel control anxiety (BCA) fear that their IBS will cause public incontinence. This heightens anxiety, which aggravates IBS symptoms in a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
The fix: If your anxiety has gotten out of hand, there are plenty of simple, expert-approved habits you can adopt to help you manage stress. Home remedies like lavender, omega-3 or magnesium can relieve mild anxiety. For more severe cases, cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of IBS.