On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I share how stress can effect your IBS.

How does stress effect IBS? Andrea Hardy, RD discusses why IBS symptoms get worse with stress in this Instagram post.

Do you know how stress effects your IBS? ????⁠

IBS is a ‘stress sensitive’ disorder – meaning symptoms get WORSE as stress increases. ⁠

This can be triggered by both good AND bad stress. Stress triggers the gut brain axis to cause symptom flare ups and exaggeration of symptoms.⁠

For example – when I public speak for a big event, my IBS is at it’s worst not only leading up to the event, but for hours (or the whole day!) afterward. ⁠

I often times get my patients to jot down their stress triggers, so we can explore each situation. ⁠

Mine are:⁠
1) Excitement – travel, a big event, meeting new people⁠
2) Public speaking – I love it, but my gut gets WAY overstimulated⁠
3) Conflict or difficult conversations – these aren’t always negative, but my gut gears up before in response to planning these conversations! ⁠

Knowing YOUR stress triggers can help you to better take charge of your symptoms. You can:⁠

1) Make a management plan. When I know I’m going to be speaking I know where the nearest bathroom is, practice deep belly breathing to activate my parasympathetic nervous system, and utilize both pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies to manage my symptoms as best I can. ⁠

2) Work with a therapist. Therapy can help you to change how your body responds to stress. Our psychologist, Kirsten, does a combination of mindfulness, CBT, and somatic work (sensing the body) to help patients better understand how their body reacts to stress, and change how they cope with it. ⁠

Looking for help with your nutrition? Book an appointment with our private practice gastroenterology dietitians at Ignite Nutrition.