Doctors refer to a nervous stomach as nausea or bloating, that are unrelated to any gastrointestinal condition.
Anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, over exhaustion, tension, and bad eating habits are some of the causes for a nervous stomach.
Symptoms associated with nervous stomach include:
- delayed gastric emptying
Children also commonly experience symptoms of a nervous stomach. They may describe their symptoms differently than adults. They may refuse to go to school, get cranky, cry all the time or frequently report stomach pain without having any signs of an infection.
The GI system has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system. Nerve endings in the stomach are designed to respond to stress hormones transmitted from the brain. This is part of the “fight-or-flight” response, which causes stress hormones to signal the stomach to slow down so that more blood can pump to the heart, lungs, and muscles.
People can experience high levels of stress on a regular basis, which can mimic those of a “fight-or-flight” response. Some stress-related triggers of a nervous stomach include:
- An upcoming event, such as a test or presentation
- Hating your job
- Peer presure
- Financial problems
- Relationship or family problems
- Bad nutrition
- Changes at work
- The death of a loved one
- Chronic illness
- Lack of sleep
A nervous stomach can give someone “butterflies” in their stomach, or even make a person feel as if they need to vomit. Recognizing the reasons why you have a nervous stomach or at least boiling it down to 3 or 4 major causes will give you some idea how to proceed with treatment. The following are some possible treatments depending on the severity of your issue.
- Therapy may help to treat stress and anxiety that cause a nervous stomach.
A doctor can begin to treat a nervous stomach by identifying the stress triggers in a person’s life. Some of the potential triggers that a person might need to address to reduce their symptoms include school, job, nutrition, drugs, work, family, or relationships.
Examples of treatments for nervous stomach include:
- Therapy: Seeing a psychiatrist or therapist may help a person make changes to reduce the stress in their lives. Speaking out the issues that are making you uncomfortable in your life helps relieve tension and accumulative stress. No one can eliminate stress entirely, but a therapist can also help a person identify ways to better cope with stress when they do experience it.
- Medications: In some instances, a person may need to take medicine to reduce their anxiety and stress levels. Treating anxiety and depression may also help to reduce the incidence of nervous stomach. While you should consult your family physician in regard to taking any medicine, remember that medicine is “not forever” and as the symptoms subside it is important to cut back on drug use following doctor’s supervision.
- Meditation: Meditation can reduce anxiety and stress by enhancing a person’s focus and mindfulness. Meditating involves sitting or lying down in a quiet room and focusing on one’s breathing. Taking even 10 to 15 minutes a day for meditation can help a person reduce their nervous stomach symptoms.
- Foods: Avoid foods that can worsen a nervous stomach. Examples of these include dairy products, spicy foods, carbonated drinks, excessive sugar and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, chocolate, soda, and tea.
- Stress-relieving activities. Engaging in activities that help reduce stress, such as exercising, journaling, reading, listening to music, or talking to friends, can help. Sometimes a person may also find they can relieve stress by reducing the number of commitments in their daily schedule.
- Use natural remedies. These include ginger, which can be sipped as a tea, chewed on as a root, or taken as a supplement. Drinking peppermint tea or smelling peppermint oil may also reduce nervous stomach symptoms.
A doctor can also recommend specific treatments according to a person’s individual health
Treating any underlying stressors may help reduce the incidence of nervous stomach, alleviate symptoms, and improve a person’s quality of life.
© Copyright – Hector Sectzer