Here's why stress causes diarrhea + how to stop it

Here's why stress causes diarrhea + how to stop it

Let's talk about how your butt is connected to your brain! Yes, you heard it right, your mental health and gut health are more closely linked than you might think. Stress affects everyone differently, and unfortunately, it can cause one inconvenient symptom that most people would rather not discuss… diarrhea. So, why does stress lead to more bathroom trips, and how can we calm our brains (and bowels)? Here's a little bit of science courtesy of our scientists at Çava Health on the subject:

Yep, you guessed it right—diarrhea is a common physical symptom of stress. The primary culprit for those stress-induced poops is something called the “gut-brain axis,” or GBA. This helps your central nervous system communicate with your enteric nervous system, a web of 100+ million nerves stretching from your esophagus to your butt hole.

When your brain experiences stress or anxiety, it triggers your fight or flight response. This raises your blood pressure and sends a signal to your gut to release cortisol: a stress hormone known to speed things up in the large intestine. The result? Loose bowel movements.

Don't worry, you're not alone. Doctors have studied the link between stress and diarrhea for almost a century. In fact, high-stress situations correlated strongly with intestinal cramping, as discovered by doctors back in 1947 who used instruments to measure men’s colon contractions during stressful situations, like performing difficult tasks or sitting in traffic.

But here's the good news! We can help calm our bodies and minds to prevent stress diarrhea by following a few simple tips:

Firstly, get physically active. Exercise is an awesome stress management technique. Physical activity boosts endorphins and takes your mind off the daily grind. Bonus: physical activity is great for your digestive system too.

Secondly, pay attention to your diet. Stress might tempt you to hit the drive-thru hard, grab some booze, or both. These might relieve your stress for a few minutes, but they don’t do your brain (or butt) any good in the long run. Instead, go for unprocessed foods that are packed with fiber and vitamins. Translation: fruits and veggies.

Lastly, talk it out. Whether it's your job, relationship, or personal stuff, talking to a friend or family member about stress can go a long way in calming you down. So go ahead and vent!

One more thing before we go. Loose, watery stools are a pain to clean up—literally. That's why we recommend trying our PODDI Bidet, a fresh-water ultra-slim bidet attachment that attaches to any standard toilet, right under the existing toilet seat. It's easy to install and is a great solution for all your bathroom hygiene needs, especially when you're dealing with stress diarrhea.

Back to blog