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Stress Can Cause “Nervous Stomach” But What’s The Link Between Negative Emotions And Uncomfortable Digestive Symptoms?



The Link Between Negative Emotions And Uncomfortable Digestive Symptoms

Have you ever wondered about the etymological meaning of the phrase ” butterflies in the stomach”? Is an idiomatic expression that means you are anxious and have a nervous feeling in your stomach.
For example, I used to get butterflies in my stomach during public speaking sessions.
Are you also aware that the communication system between the gut and brain is known as the gut-brain axis?

What Is Gut-Brain Axis?

The gut-brain axis consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking the emotional and the cognitive center of the brain with the peripheral intestinal function.

The Link Between Stress And Nervous Stomach

Having understood these pathways by which the brain and the gut create a communication channel of interaction to effect chemical changes around the visceral organs in the stomach, understanding the link between negative emotions and uncomfortable digestive symptoms should therefore not present any difficulty.

The gut microbes tend to produce a neurotransmitter ( A chemical substance that is released at the end of a nerve fiber by the arrival of a nerve impulse) called gamma-aminobutyric acid ( GABA), which controls feelings of fear and anxiety one’s gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness or elation.

The Relationship To Emotion Managing Stress

The gut which is also referred to as the second brain, the gut, and the brain are two separate entities, yet intimately connected, as a result of this connection, we can feel emotions in our gut through the gut-brain axis where information is sent in form of chemical signal to either increase or decrease physiological functions of the visceral organs.

Effect Of Negative Emotions On The Gut

Emotion is a form of energy, these emotions can be in the form of sadness, fear, stress, and anger. These can constitute a form of energy or the experience of energy moving through the body, and these energies can generate a current that either increases or decreases the movement of the gut and the content within it.

Role Of Vagus Nerve

In between the brain and the gut is a particular type of nerve called the Vagus Nerve, it transmits messages in two directions. The Vagus Nerve is the major neuronal connection between the gut and the brain, it connects the brain to gut and other vital organs.


Signals are sent via the nerve into the brain, and the brain transmits signals to the peripheral body and gut.
Gut instinct and visceral sensations are transported up to the brain via the vagus nerve. It is the translator from the gut to the brain.
Although the small and the large intestines display a considerable degree of independent neural control and are capable of functioning outside extrinsic neural control.
However, the esophagus and stomach are much dependent upon extrinsic neural function.

Meanwhile, a nervous stomach is caused by emotions which are transported in the form of energy as stated earlier. A nervous stomach could mean two things, either there is an underlying medical condition from which such an individual is suffering, or could mean just as the name implies anxiety or stress-related conditions.

Common Symptoms Of Nervous Stomach May Include:
•Butterflies in the stomach
•Cramping or knots in the stomach
•Feeling anxious
•Shaking or shivering of the body
•Stomach flatulence

Also Read: 7 Healthy Lifestyle Factors Help To Lower Depression

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