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Nervous Stomach Ache

Nervous Stomach Ache

A nervous stomach is a condition when the stomach feels bloated and/or cramped. It can be quite annoying to deal with. To find more about its causes, symptoms and remedies, scroll down.
Loveleena Rajeev
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2018
Nervous stomach cannot really be categorized under any specific disease. Doctors generally use this term for an array of stomach-related conditions such as indigestion, bloating, or even changes in bowel habits. Diagnosis is usually done by a doctor after diagnostic tests fail to reveal a specific cause. Most of the time, it is a result of stress and / or anxiety.
Nervous Stomach
Possible Causes
  • One can get a stomach ache if he is stressed out! I know it's hard to believe unless one has gone through it. However, it is true. Our digestive system and its processes can get severely affected by altering emotions and conditions like stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders.
  • Our mental state affects our physiological state as well. Some doctors believe that when a person is stressed, excess acid is produced by a churning stomach leading to symptoms mimicking heartburn.
  • The condition, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), in combination with stress and anxiety, can cause a nervous stomach ache.
  • In children, it is often seen as a fallout of peer and academic pressures they have to go through.
Caution:
  • Chronic stress can induce as well as aggravate stomach ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, people tend to worry about issues such as health, money, or career all the time, and if someone is suffering from irritable bowel syndrome at the same time, the condition gets aggravated even more.
Associated Symptoms
As a nervous stomach is not a disease, its symptoms depend upon what has caused or aggravated it. Common symptoms are:
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea alternating with constipation
  • Mucus or blood in stool
  • Chronic abdominal pain
Other symptoms include
  • Ulcers
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Regurgitation (acid reflux)
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Bloating after a meal
  • Stomach discomfort or pain
  • Belching
  • Flatulence
At times, overeating or eating foods one is allergic to can also lead to the above symptoms. Most symptoms last for a couple of days, but when they become a regular feature, they can cause a whole lot of complications that can easily disrupt daily routine.
Helpful Remedies
Nervous stomach ache can be managed with medication and certain lifestyle changes.
  • Depending upon diagnosis and severity, your doctor may prescribe psychotropic medications, anti-nausea, or diarrhea and constipation medications.
  • And for those suffering from nervous stomach anxiety, antidepressants are prescribed.
  • Antacids are also prescribed to help alleviate stomach ache by reducing bloating, acid secretion, and gas.
  • Beside these medications, herbal remedies also help in reducing indigestion problems. Herbs such as peppermint, ginger, chamomile, etc., have carminative properties that either prevent the formation of gas in the alimentary tract or help in passing easily. They are mild and can help alleviate common gastrointestinal problems.
  • Valerian, kava kava, catnip, tarragon, angelica, fennel, anise, etc., are herbs that cannot only relax an upset stomach but also soothe the mind.
  • Regular exercise and a proper diet can keep the mind and body nourished and healthy.
Managing a Nervous Stomach

Nervous stomach can be really distressing when a person has an important event coming up like an interview, a presentation, or a business meeting. To control nervousness and associated stomach ache in such instances, one can use the tips mentioned below so that the problem can be handled in a better way.
  • Stay calm and composed.
  • Speak slowly and practice deep breathing when you start feeling nervous.
  • Prepare for the event beforehand. By doing so, you will be more confident about handling the situation.
  • Do not worry about being noticed by others. It is not so easy to figure out a nervous person by simply looking at the face.
  • Keep your frustration away! You may not be the only person feeling nervous. There may be many people around you with the same feeling. It's just that you remain unaware of who they are.
  • Practice meditation and deep breathing techniques like Pranayama regularly.
Stress, anxiety and depression definitely contribute to a nervous stomach ache. In most cases, the stomach ache is temporary, however, when it takes up a chronic form, it is time to go to a doctor.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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