We have frequently referred to stress and anxiety as they are often fundamental to the causes and solutions to IBS. As with most issues we felt it prudent to examine exact taken from WebMD.
Can Excessive Worry Make Me Physically Ill?
Chronic worry and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems. The problem occurs when fight or flight is triggered daily by excessive worrying and anxiety. The fight or flight response causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can boost blood sugar levels and triglycerides (blood fats) that can be used by the body for fuel. The hormones also cause physical reactions such as:
Inability to concentrate
Shortness of breath
Trembling and twitching
When the excessive fuel in the blood isn’t used for physical activities, the chronic anxiety and outpouring of stress hormones can have serious physical consequences, including:
Suppression of the immune system
Short-term memory loss
Premature coronary artery disease
If excessive worrying and high anxiety go untreated, they can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Although these effects are a response to stress, stress is simply the trigger. Whether or not you become ill depends on how you handle stress. Physical responses to stress involve your immune system, your heart and blood vessels, and how certain glands in your body secrete hormones. These hormones help to regulate various functions in your body, such as brain function and nerve impulses.
IBS and anxiety is often chicken and egg. Are you anxious because of your IBS, or did your IBS evolve as you had issues with anxiety? However you arrived at the point whereby both anxiety and IBS are a problem the simple fact is that you need to deal with it.
Dealing with anxiety is one of the many things in life which is going to be variable upon your own personal belief system. Our frequent reticence to suggest any given path to treatment is based around our knowledge that many people have strong and clear ideas on how they perceive medicine and natural therapies for example.
Without sliding into that debate, the key issue is that you both acknowledge and treat anxiety at the earliest opportunity, hence the provision of the above list. If you are feeling as though any of those symptoms are affecting you, then the longer you wait to address them, the worse the associated symptoms will become.
Many of us are raised in environments which espouse the need to stay strong and tough it out. There is absolutely nothing wrong in this sentiment if you are also made aware that one of the toughest things to do is ask for help.
Knowing you have a problem, facing it and dealing with it is far harder than simply burying it, despite the notion that this may be seen as the strong thing to do. If you have anxiety, if you are starting to feel that anxiety is creeping into your life, then our message is simply to address it before it becomes the dominant factor in your life.