Chronic and sporadic stress disrupt regular bowel movements and contribute to constipation. Adding fiber, fluids, and laxatives to alleviate constipation makes it worse, and perpetuates stress even more. The information on this page will help you break this vicious cycle.
Yes, it does, and very significantly.
● First, ongoing low-level stress and anxiety
suppress the gastrocolic reflex — an unconscious action by the
gastrointestinal tract that precedes a bowel movement;
Cause and effect: This happens for several,
biological, evolutionary, and personality-type reasons. According to
researchers, personality “accounted for about as much variance in stool
output as did dietary fiber.” And from what we already know about
fiber‘s profound laxative effective, that‘s saying a lot! As you can
see, following the “don‘t worry, be happy” advice stands true for
constipation as well.
● Second, people in
moderate-stress situations, such as weddings, entrance exams, lawsuits,
job problems, and endless others tend to suppress the urge to move their
Cause and effect: If you let the stress to
interrupt essential bathroom breaks, you turn yourself into what is
known as a “tight ass” personality-type! Tight ass once, tight ass
twice, and constipation becomes life‘s permanent companion! It happens
because suppressing bowel movements, even once, enlarges and hardens up
stools. In turn, larger stools necessitate straining. Straining leads to
enlarged internal hemorrhoids and anorectal nerve damage. This causes
incomplete emptying, that makes stools even larger, and —… Bingo! You
are reading this transcript…
● Third, a truly
high stress situation often causes diarrhea that, in turn, disrupts
bowel movements and results in constipation;
Cause and effect: I explain the reasons behind
this phenomenon here.
But that is usually not the end of it, because diarrhea causes the
disruption of bowel movements, contributes to nerve damage, enlarged
hemorrhoids, and may lead to inflammatory bowel disease, that, in turn,
sets up an alternating pattern of diarrhea and constipation for the rest
of one‘s shortened life.
● Fourth, many
people under stress seek relief by taking medication for depression,
anxiety, bi-polar disorder, or simply self-medicate themselves with
illicit drugs or alcohol;
Cause and effect: All of these lifestyle
enhancers not only blunt life‘s stresses, but also the entire GI tract,
and that is why constipation is one of the most prominent side effects
of mood-enhancing drugs, whether prescription or illicit. Alcohol action
is even worse — it dehydrates stools and suppresses intestinal
peristalsis all at once.
All of the above equally applies to infants, toddlers,
children, adults, and particularly to seniors, who are already affected
by many other problems related to constipation.
Sorry, I can‘t help you to reduce stress, but
eliminating constipation certainly will take the brunt of it!
To learn more about the connection between stress and
constipation, and how to prevent or reverse stress-related constipation,
please visit this page for additional information.
Stress tends to recede and go away, but not constipation. Once it hits you, it tends to linger for the rest of your
life, and to get more severe with each passing
year for reasons I explain on The Bulls' S..t
In The China Shop page.
Here is what you can do to prevent this from happening to
● Since moving the
bowels is mainly a subconscious process — consciousness can only
interrupt the bowel movement already in progress, — it may mean that you are
suppressing the 'emerging' urge to move the bowels while under stress.
Therefore, be aware
of this distinct possibility, and don't do it.
● If you don't have time or inclination to study this site, or under too much duress to tackle 'crapology,' start from using all
or some of the components of the Colorectal Recovery Kit to eliminate immediate constipation, as well
as to begin the process of healing and reconditioning the bowel. The actual choice
of components depends on the severity and duration of your constipation,
and related factors described on the accompanying pages.
If am not big fun of 'fixing' up stress with neither
pharmaceuticals nor nutraceuticals, because these substances either numb your mind, or to mask the side-effects of stress, while the
stress itself and your responses to it remains unchanged. On top, almost
all of these 'remedies' suppress involuntary muscle control and nerve
function — the two functions absolutely critical for having regular and
unassisted bowel movements.
It is a well-established fact that some people respond
to exact same stressful event less or not at all, while some — a great
deal stronger. This means that it isn't the stress event alone that is
the sole culprit behind health-related problems, but the ways your mind processes it.
A good example is your perception of encountering a
police cruiser while driving. If you aren't speeding, running the red
light, or driving without insurance, you are only happy to see the caps
watching out for your safety. If, on the other hand, you are guilty of
any of the above infraction, you are likely experiencing a knot in the
gut — a common adjunct of stressful events.
Same trigger, different circumstances, and a completely
opposite mental reaction.
Obviously, it is best to avoid infraction of
any kind. Since it isn't always possible — you don't chose a boss who is
a jerk, or anticipate a late plane, or a crying child aboard, or a stolen
laptop, — God, these things are endless, — you may as well train your
mind to process stress events without destroying yourself in the process. This skill
will not only protect your heart and mind from accelerated
wear-and-tear, but also your bowels.
How do you do this kind of training? Well, you may try getting yourself enrolled into the CIA
or KGB program for spies, and they'll teach you mind conditioning
techniques by essentially, exposing you repeatedly to high stress
events, and desynthesizing your perceptions and reactions. Their
approach is crude, but effective, especially for young recruits.
If you are too old for that, or fail the admission test, or
don't have the appetite for the James Bond's lifestyle, enroll yourself
into the yoga class, and learn conscious mind control through breathing,
mediation, relaxation, and thought-vectoring techniques.
are a good, diligent student, you may discover the nirvana in the
bathroom even without my help. And if not, then click here.