Health

Stress makes stomach pain worse – VnExpress


Stress makes intestinal motility less active, increases gastric acid secretion, reduces mucus protecting the mucosa, making stomach pain worse.

Stomach pain represents damage and inflammation inside the stomach. There are many causes for this disease, but the most common are stomach ulcers, HP infection, pain relievers abuse… Causes of stomach pain are also common but few people pay attention to stress. .

Master, Doctor Huynh Hoai Phuong (Center for Endoscopy and Gastrointestinal Surgery, Tam Anh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City) said that the brain and intestines are closely connected through the central nervous system. . When a person is stressed, hormones and neurotransmitters are released into the digestive tract, causing vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow to this organ, and at the same time, releasing cytokines that cause the condition. inflammation. These effects slow down the perfusion of the internal organs.

Doctor Hoai Phuong explained, if the cells lining the stomach do not receive enough blood, they will be deprived of oxygen and die. Stress also reduces intestinal motility, increases acid secretion in the stomach, and reduces mucus that protects the mucosa. Acidic substances will stagnate in the stomach, increasing the contact time with the gastrointestinal mucosa, eroding the gastric mucosa, increasing the risk of ulcers. Stress can also disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut and reduce antibody production, affecting gastrointestinal health.

Of digestive problems caused by stress, the most common is an upset stomach. The disease is characterized by pain in the epigastric region, burning sensation inside the stomach, heartburn, belching, nausea… Besides stomach pain, a variety of other digestive problems can arise such as: constipation or diarrhea, increased frequency of defecation, nausea, loss of appetite… In people with diseases of the stomach and duodenum, stress makes the condition worse. If not treated promptly, the disease can become chronic or lead to gastric bleeding complications, threatening the patient’s life.

Stress is a common cause of stomach pain Photo: Shutterstock

How to relieve stomach pain caused by stress

According to doctor Hoai Phuong, if stomach pain is caused by stress, the preferred treatment method is stress management. Patients can increase exercise. Physical activity reduces stress and stimulates the production of endorphins, which improve mood. Other relaxation therapies such as yoga, meditation, music… are also chosen by many people.

Get enough rest, get 8 hours of sleep every night and don’t stay up late to relieve stress and improve memory. Patients should be careful not to deal with stress with a diet that is harmful to the digestive system such as eating too much snacks, eating a lot of sweets, abusing alcohol… Supplementing with adequate nutrition, eating a lot of green vegetables , limit fat, avoid stimulants to help the stomach better. If home self-care methods do not work or the pain interferes with daily activities, the person should see a doctor.

Doctor Huynh Hoai Phuong advises patients.  Photo: Tam Anh General Hospital

Doctor Huynh Hoai Phuong advises patients. Image: Tam Anh General Hospital

Hoai Phuong further recommended that, although it rarely happens, stomach pain may not be caused by stress but is a warning sign of other diseases such as peptic ulcer, stomach bleeding, cancer. Stomach cancer, pancreatic disease…. The patient should be examined by a doctor if stomach pain is accompanied by symptoms such as weight loss, poor appetite, black or bloody stools, vomiting a lot, high fever…

Phi Hong

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