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Stress and Gut Health!

Stress and Gut Health!
Kevin Cleary

Health Products For You can help explain the connection between stress and how it may affect your gut health, even causing diarrhea.

It is well established that stressful situations can cause physical reactions in our bodies. While stress is a “normal” response to some environmental stimuli, it can negatively impact our stomach and intestines. We are wired to respond to stress for survival, but how does stress cause us to possibly have diarrhea?

How does Stress Affect Us?

Many believe that stress is a part of our evolution to survive. The “fight or flight” response when we experience an anxious moment elevates our heart rate, puts us on alert, and causes our muscles to tense. This biological response is meant to help us avoid danger, not necessarily deal with everyday stress related to work, family, or other issues. In the 1940s, a study was done by researchers Almy & Tulin to see how much the colon contracted during stressful events. It turns out that stressful situations can lead to intestinal cramping and diarrhea. Symptoms of stress can include:

While this is only a partial list of symptoms, stress can affect each individual differently. Chronic, long-term stress can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. Researchers have even found that stress can impact the colon of those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Those with IBS have a greater intestinal response to stress than those without.

How to Treat Stress Diarrhea?

There are numerous reasons we could experience diarrhea. A stomach bug or something you ate could simply be the cause. So how do you treat diarrhea that is caused by stress? These treatments can mean identifying any underlying stressors and addressing them. If stress diarrhea is suspected, some options include:

  • Avoid foods that further irritate your gut such as dairy, carbonated beverages, and caffeine.
  • Identify potential stressful situations.
  • Eliminate unnecessary events/activities that cause stress.
  • Try activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, or just listening to music or reading to relax.
  • Breathe slowly. Hyper-ventilation and panic attacks go hand-in-hand and contribute to stress.
  • Eat bread since bread has a natural tendency to reduce diarrhea.
  • Probiotics can be preventative.

The key is finding what puts you in a relaxed mode to minimize or eliminate stress so your gut and intestines can do their job properly. Health Products For You has some options for treating diarrhea.

  • Proctor & Gamble Pepto-Bismol Anti-Diarrheal: Safe to be used by adults and teenagers alike, this nausea/diarrhea fighter contains Bismuth Subsalicylate and is clinically proven to instantly provide relief from diarrhea.
  • Johnson & Johnson Imodium Anti-Diarrheal Oral Solution: The proven formula of this antidiarrheal contains 1 mg of loperamide hydrochloride per 7.5 mL in an easy-to-take liquid medicine with a mint flavor. It is designed to work by slowing down your system and restoring a natural rhythm/balance.
  • McKesson Geri-Care Anti-Diarrheal Caplet: Used to treat diarrhea, these tablets contain 2 mg of loperamide hydrochloride for those six years of age and older. It is clinically proven to control and provide symptomatic relief of acute diarrhea.
  • Loperamide Antidiarrheal Caplets: These can be used for recurring/longer-lasting diarrhea from everything from Crohn’s disease to ulcerative colitis and stress diarrhea. Ideal for adults and teenagers, dosage should be given accordingly, and each caplet contains 2 mg of loperamide hydrochloride (similar to Imodium.)
  • Digestive Advantage Probiotic Intensive Bowel Support Capsule: The unique 2-in-1 formula supports overall digestive health and can prevent digestive issues. The friendly BC30 probiotics can defend against digestive issues, including diarrhea. A proactive anti-diarrheal capsule.
Digestive Advantage Probiotic Intensive Bowel Support Capsule

Digestive Advantage Probiotic Intensive Bowel Support Capsule


Stress can lead to many physical ailments, but it’s hard to ignore intestinal distress or diarrhea associated with stress. Identifying stressful situations and avoiding food and drink that can exacerbate stressful situations go a long way to minimize the effect of stress on our intestines/colons. There are OTC options for treating your stress diarrhea, so use them as a backup plan to recover from gut issues.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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