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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Stress = diahrea


 flatfoot - Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:20 pm

I have noticed that if i am stressed or nervous i get diahrea and side pains bad. Is that normal? I have noticed it a lot lately because i am moving and am allways stressed .... i will go to the bathroom 12- 20 times a day.
Is this normal? why does it happen? And id there anything i can do to stop it or help it at all?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:25 pm

User avatar Dear flatfoot,

Stress is a known cause of diarrhea and in this case diarrhea may remain all through the stress period. Stress induced diarrhea is common in people with IBS. IBS is believed to be due to autonomic dysfunction or hormonal imbalance that can be easily controlled by simple changes in the lifestyle, diet.
Commonly people who have IBS complain off one of the following symptoms:
Abdominal pain or colic
A bloated abdomen
Gaseous distension
Either Diarrhea or constipation or an alternating between both of them
Mucus containing stool
Stress increases the frequency and the severity of symptoms in almost all cases.
Super added infectious GI attack will worsen also the symptoms.
Certain types of foods contain, chocolate, milk and alcohol might aggravate the condition

The symptoms and signs of IBS are very non specific and shared by many other conditions affecting the GI tract. The diagnosis although made by exclusion of other causes, however abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation lasting at least 12 weeks is the main criteria for the diagnosis of IBS.

•The symptoms and signs of IBS are very non specific and shared by many other conditions affecting the GI tract especially, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are caused by inflammation of the wall of the GI tract and stress is known to worsen these conditions.

Only by complete history, physical examination and investigations , the correct diagnosis can be reached. I advise you to be checked by your doctor for proper management.

Best regards,

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