Anxiety and Digestive Health: How are they Linked?

Woman suffering from anxiety and digestive health

While the symptoms of anxiety are primarily mental and emotional, living with an anxiety disorder can affect every part of your body, including your digestion. Have you ever heard someone say they were so nervous, their stomach was tied in a knot? Emotional and mental disorders like anxiety can have very real physical consequences.

Dr. Geoff Nugent and the rest of the mental health counseling experts at Nugent Family Counseling Center help patients living with problems like anxiety to address symptoms in every part of their bodies. If your stomach upset or digestive problems are really connected to your anxiety, we can work with you to improve your condition.

The Nugent Family Counseling Center team supports people living with anxiety from locations in San Jose, California, Los Gatos, California, and Reno, Nevada. If other ways of repairing your digestive health have not been successful enough, could getting your anxiety under control be the solution you need?

Anxiety and digestive distress

There are lots of ways that your anxiety disorder can negatively impact your digestive health and wellness. Here are just a few.

The gut-brain connection

Some people with anxiety experience otherwise-unexplained gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances like stomach pain, cramping, and constipation. The physiological stresses associated with anxiety, and the close connection between your stomach and your brain, can literally make you feel like your stomach’s been tied in knots after an anxiety attack.

Stress and your metabolism

When you have anxiety, your body releases the hormone cortisol. This hormone can negatively impact your metabolism. The long-term damage to your metabolism by an anxiety disorder can leave you struggling to balance your nutrition and digestive health.

Eating and anxiety

The emotional stresses of anxiety can affect your food choices and behaviors, as well. Anxiety might make you try to establish control over your life by restricting your food intake. Or, you might compulsively self-soothe with food in unhealthy ways. Both extremes of irregular eating can wreak havoc on your digestive wellness.

Recovering from anxiety

The good news is that anxiety often responds well to knowledgeable, experienced treatment. The team at Nugent Family Counseling Center can help you better understand your anxiety. We work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that you can have confidence in.

Depending on your unique needs, you could benefit from:

  • Counseling or psychotherapy, with approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Interpersonal support with group therapy
  • Alternative techniques like hypnosis and aromatherapy
  • Anxiety management with prescription medication
  • Microcurrent electrical therapy and neurofeedback, retraining your brain away from unhelpful anxious patterns

For the support you need to tame your anxiety and restore balance and regularity to your digestive health, get in touch with the mental health experts at Nugent Family Counseling Center. You can schedule a consultation with one of our counselors by calling now, or schedule online today.