Diarrhea Anxiety Symptoms
Diarrhea anxiety symptoms description:
- You find that your bowel movements are unusually loose and watery.
- You are having episodes of runny stools.
- No matter what you do, your bowel movements are loose, watery, and runny.
- You might also have to run to the bathroom often because of on going loose and runny stools.
Diarrhea anxiety symptoms can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may have diarrhea once in a while and not that often, have diarrhea off and on, or have it all the time.
Diarrhea anxiety symptoms may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.
Diarrhea anxiety symptoms can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.
Diarrhea anxiety symptoms can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. They can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.
Diarrhea anxiety symptoms can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.
All of the above combinations and variations are common.
What causes diarrhea anxiety symptoms?
Behaving in an apprehensive manner (worried, fretful, fearful, nervous) causes the body to activate the stress response, which causes the body to secrete stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat—to either fight with or flee from it—which is the reason this response is often referred to as the fight or flight response or the emergency response.
Part of the emergency response changes include causing an urgency to void the bowels so that you don’t have to do that in the midst of fighting or fleeing. Another part of the emergency response changes include suspending digestion so that all of the body’s resources are available for emergency survival action
These changes are often evident when people have to run to the bathroom when frightened or nervous.
When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes. When these responses occur too frequently and/or dramatically, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a semi hyperstimulated state, since stress hormones are stimulants. A body that becomes stress-response hyperstimulated can exhibit similar sensations and symptoms to that of an active stress response. Experiencing diarrhea is an example of how the stress response and/or hyperstimulation can affect the body. Many people experience diarrhea when anxious, frightened, nervous, and/or stressed.
How to get rid of diarrhea anxiety symptoms?
When diarrhea anxiety symptoms are caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active emergency response, diarrhea anxiety symptoms should subside. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
When diarrhea anxiety symptoms are caused by persistent stress, such as from stress-response hyperstimulation, it may take a lot more time for the body to calm down and recover, and to the point where this anxiety symptom subsides.
Nevertheless, when the body has fully recovered from the stress of being anxious, diarrhea anxiety symptoms will completely disappear. Therefore, anxiety caused diarrhea needn’t be a cause for concern.
You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this feeling. Sure, anxiety caused diarrhea can be bothersome, but again, when your body has recovered from the stress response and/or sustained stress, this symptom will completely disappear.
If you are having difficulty containing your worry, you may want to connect with one of our recommended anxiety disorder therapists. Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to overcome what seems like unmanageable worry.
For a more detailed explanation about all anxiety symptoms, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
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Return to Anxiety Disorders Symptoms section.
anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including the anxiety symptom diarrhea.
2. Folk, Jim and Folk, Marilyn. “The Stress Response And Anxiety Symptoms.” anxietycentre.com, August 2019.
3. Hannibal, Kara E., and Mark D. Bishop. “Chronic Stress, Cortisol Dysfunction, and Pain: A Psychoneuroendocrine Rationale for Stress Management in Pain Rehabilitation.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2014.
4. Justice, Nicholas J., et al. “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder-Like Induction Elevates β-Amyloid Levels, Which Directly Activates Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Neurons to Exacerbate Stress Responses.” Journal of Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience, 11 Feb. 2015.
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