The digestive system is very perceptive to states of stress and anxiety

So much so, that nervous gastritis becomes a common and painful condition that many of us have ever experienced. What can we do in these situations?

Stress and nervous gastritis often go hand in hand . Heavy digestion, vomiting, pain in the pit of the stomach, heartburn, swelling of the abdomen ... The symptoms associated with this condition can be very varied and annoying, to the point that, on occasions, it greatly limits the quality of life. How can it be that emotional states affect the balance of the organism in such a way?

The reality is that both stress and anxiety are huge determinants when it comes to health and well-being . Thus, nervous gastritis or functional dyspepsia is one of these disorders orchestrated by a chronic release of cortisol. The so-called stress hormone can take its toll on many of the body's functions.

There is also another obvious fact. The link between the brain and the digestive system is more than significant. We cannot forget that the stomach is lined by extensions of the nervous system. Any alteration, any state of stress maintained over time, ends up altering many of its most basic tasks ...

Let's learn more about it.

Stress and nervous gastritis: symptoms, causes, treatment

Gastritis is one of the most common digestive tract problems. However, in recent years, primary care physicians see a significant increase in another type of condition: nervous gastritis or functional dyspepsia . This condition is not mediated by stomach diseases, but is triggered by everyday stress. The one that we do not manage, the one that comes with the lifestyle, with the pressures, the worries , the anguishes ...

Thus, research works such as those carried out at the University of Konkuk (Korea) indicate that epidemiological data show a clear relationship between emotional stress and gastrointestinal disorders . Stress and nervous gastritis are not only the face of the same coin, but they are also an increasingly recurring factor.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms associated with gastritis caused by emotional states are usually very diverse . However, it is common that we see the following manifestations:

  • Persistent stomach pain or upset.
  • Burning sensation
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of fullness, having eaten a lot.
  • Swollen belly
  • Slow digestions, with belching.
  • Headache.
  • Want to vomit.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Tiredness .
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reflux.

Stress and nervous gastritis: what are the causes?

We know that the origin of nervous gastritis is stress. However, the decisive thing is to understand why, in what way an emotional state can lead to this type of affection of the digestive tract. Studies such as the one carried out at Michigan State University indicate the following:

  • In order to digest food we need gastric acid . This occurs when the pH of the stomach stimulates the release and activation of various digestive enzymes. For this to happen, we need acetylcholine, a type of neurotransmitter, as well as hormones such as gastrin and also chemicals such as histamine.
  • Now, when we have been suffering from stress or anxiety for months, all these processes are altered and the first thing that happens is that the gastric pH is deregulated . This is when the inflammation of the mucous membranes appears.
  • Also, the blood flow to the stomach decreases and makes the stomach more prone to ulceration.
  • On the other hand, stress and nervous gastritis are related because this emotional state causes an increase in cortisol in the blood . The latter affects the digestion and absorption of food, slowing down these processes and accompanying them in addition to inflammation.

How can we treat these states?

The treatment of nervous gastritis is more complicated than that of common gastritis. It is because we must add the psychological strategy to the medical strategy, otherwise, it will have no effect and what is worse: health can worsen. Therefore, the most successful thing in these situations is to have the supervision of professionals. Let's see what resources and keys will help us.


First, and to reduce inflammation, pain and discomfort, antacids such as the classic omeprazole or pantoprazole are often prescribed. These drugs must always be prescribed by doctors.

Improve your diet and lifestyle

Consuming fruits, vegetables, fiber, and probiotic foods will gradually improve digestive health. It is also important to avoid the consumption of carbonated drinks, alcohol or any juice or packaged drink with high levels of sugar.

  • We will avoid taking naps right after meals.
  • Ideal if we eat slowly, chewing without haste and avoiding drinking water during the meal. Better after her.
  • To this, we must add a change in lifestyle habits. Stress is often the product of our days without rest, of sleeping little and going to bed at one hour every day. It is time to make changes, to take care of our routines and also to include some physical exercise.

Cognitive restructuring and problem solving techniques

Among the most effective techniques to reduce stress we have, without a doubt, cognitive restructuring . It is a strategy of cognitive-behavioral therapy aimed at modifying our negative, obsessive and harmful thoughts for our own well-being.

The idea is to shape a more rational and healthy approach capable of orienting ourselves towards more adjusted behaviors.

On the other hand, learning problem-solving techniques is appropriate. Thanks to them, we can tackle everyday challenges with better resources.

Techniques of breathing and relaxation

Techniques such as Jacobson's relaxation or deep or diaphragmatic breathing stand out as good everyday resources to reduce stress. Practicing them daily can make a good change.

To conclude, since we know that stress and nervous gastritis go hand in hand, let's try to take care of our thoughts and emotions a little more. Well-being always starts from within and health is also attending to what we think and feel.

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