If you’ve ever had “butterflies in your stomach,” you know how inextricably linked your mind is to your digestive system. Unfortunately, this link can have uncomfortable consequences for those who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Los Angeles. When stress piles up from dealing with your condition or the other responsibilities of your daily life, the impact it has on your mind can also impact your gut, making the symptoms of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease much worse.
Why Does Stress Make IBD Worse?
Stress isn’t the cause of IBD, but can make it difficult to find relief from the condition. While the true cause of IBD isn’t known, the immune system is believed to play a role in Crohn’s and colitis, and stress has a big impact on your immune system.
When you feel stressed out, your body responds by releasing hormones like adrenaline and molecules called cytokines to deal with whatever problem you face. These incite the immune system into action, causing inflammation that can quickly lead to an IBD flare-up. Stress also impacts your digestion in other ways—it will cause your stomach to empty slower and secrete more acid, while the passage of food through your intestines can speed up or slow down when you’re under stress.
Stress Management for IBD
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. It is often caused by big changes and life events, but those living with IBD also experience a great deal of stress from merely coping with their medical issues. For this reason, stress management techniques are especially crucial to anyone who suffers from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
There are many ways to reduce stress, but those suffering from IBD in Beverly Hills may find these most useful:
- Support groups. IBD can make you feel like an outsider, but having someone else to talk to who understands your predicament can make all the difference. You can find a support group in your area through the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America or find online support on the social media platform Crohnology
- Exercise. It may not seem inviting when dealing with the pain of IBD, but exercise can make a huge difference in your stress levels and overall health. Low impact activities may be best if you’re coping with symptoms, while meditative workouts like tai chi and yoga can help you take stress management to another level.
There’s no denying it: IBD can be stressful, and all that stress can make the condition more difficult to deal with. Try these stress reduction techniques and others to make your struggle with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis easier.