The Gut Health Blog

Nervous Poops: What You Need to Know

Jan 01, 2024

As a plant-based lifestyle medicine physician and gastroenterologist, I often see many patients struggling with digestive disorders. One of the many disorders I see is patients with "nervous poops." You are not alone if you think you are also struggling with this issue. Many people struggle with the same thing! Nervous poos are commonly referred to as "anxiety poops" as well. This happens a lot for people dealing with anxiety and stress. Let's review what nervous poops are. We'll cover how they occur, whether they are okay, when you should get help, and how to avoid them.

What are Nervous Poops? 

Nervous poops are caused by the body's response to stress. When we are anxious or stressed, our body releases cortisol. It can affect the digestive system, causing it to slow down or speed up. When digestion speeds up, the colon muscles can contract more. This can induce diarrhea or loose stools.

How Can You Prevent Nervous Poops? 

Occasional nervous poops are normal. But, chronic anxiety can cause ongoing digestive issues. If you're having nervous poops often, you must address the anxiety causing them. Techniques that reduce stress, like meditation, yoga, or therapy, can help lower anxiety. They can also improve digestive health.

Tips to avoid them: 

  1. Pay attention to what you eat. Fiber-rich foods can help with bowel movements. They can also decrease diarrhea.
  2. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. This can reduce the severity. These substances can make anxiety worse.

How Do We Know When It's Something More? 

If you have frequent, severe, or lasting nervous poops, talk to your provider. In some cases, nervous poops can be a sign of a painful medical issue. But, chronic anxiety causes lasting digestive issues. This emphasizes the importance of treating those underlying anxieties. Paying attention to what you eat is vital. Practicing stress-reducing techniques like meditation is also very important. Don't forget to talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned! They can help you avoid or treat nervous poops. Remember, it isn't embarrassing to speak to your doctor about your digestive symptoms. They're there to assist you in getting the care you need and feeling better. Trust us, we've seen it ALL! 


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