Given how closely the gut and brain interact, it might seem obvious that the pair often influence each other. Some people feel nauseated before giving a presentation; others feel intestinal pain during times of stress. In any case, emotional and psychosocial factors play a role in functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Treating the whole body
Stress-related symptoms felt in the gastrointestinal tract vary greatly from one person to the next, and treatment can vary as well. For example, one person with gastroesophageal reflux disease might have an occasional, mild burning sensation in the chest, while another experiences excruciating discomfort night after night. As the severity of symptoms varies, so should the therapies, medications, self-help strategies, or even surgeries used to relieve them.
Many people have mild sympoms that respond quickly to changes in diet or medications. If your symptoms do not improve, your clinician may ask you more questions about your medical history and perform some diagnostic tests to rule out an underlying cause. For some people, symptoms improve as soon as a serious diagnosis, like cancer, has been ruled out. Your doctor may also recommend symptom-specific medications. But sometimes these treatments are not enough. As symptoms become more severe, so does the likelihood that you are experiencing some sort of psychological distress.
Often, people with moderate to severe symptoms, particularly those whose symptoms arise from stressful circumstances, can benefit from mind directed therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques. Some people are reluctant to accept the role of psycho-social factors in their illness. But it’s important to know that emotions cause genuine chemical and physical responses in the body that can result in pain and discomfort. Behavioral therapy and stress reduction treatments help manage pain and improve other symptoms in ways that are different from how drugs act. The goal of all therapies is to reduce anxiety, encourage healthy behaviors, and help people cope with the pain and discomfort of their condition.
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 NIV
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NIV
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40 NIV
Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:3 NIV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 NIV
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. Romans 14:1 NIV
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11 NIV
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 NIV
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV
I have set my heart on your laws. Psalm 119:30 NIV
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