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A 24-year-old male asked:

can stress. depression or anxiety change ur bowel movements? if so how can it. & would it make it last a long time

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lonna Larsh
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Certainly: All of these can change our bowel movements. It is very common to get diarrhea from anxiety. Some people develop constipation when they are under a lot of stress (the body can't relax enough to poop). It's very individual how a body will react. And yes, these changes can last years. The gut is very sensitive to changes in the rest of the body.
Dr. Lynne Weixel
Clinical Psychology 36 years experience
Yes, it can happen: It's too complicated to explain well here, but connections between emotions and digestion are strong ; evolutionary. Threat(fear) ---> flight or fight response animals' digestive systems either tighten or loosen the bowels so as to not be burdened in that way. If stress is chronic, so can this be. Our gut has more serotonin cells than our brain! it's interesting - look it up if you want.

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Last updated Jan 22, 2020

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