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  • Stress is known to affect the course of gastrointestinal disorders by exacerbating symptoms, suggesting that there may be a stress-symptom association with the disorders.
  • Stress affects gastrointestinal motility (speed with which food/waste is processed) and it influences the endocrine and immune systems which are mediators of the inflammatory process.
  • Symptoms of stress can be any of those often associated with anxiety or depression.


Tips for reducing stress:

  • Ensure that you engage in activities that allow you to relax. For example making time to meditate, go for a walk, engage in slow monitored breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation, etc.
  • Stop 'wishing' the situation will change - act in a proactive way.
  • Stop criticizing what happens as a consequence of gut related problems and concentrate on 'how' to solve the problems.
  • Spend more time with family and friends.
  • Identify a set of simple activities you can do that will reinforce positive feelings. Set time aside to read a book, magazine, newspaper, etc.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself. Once a goal is achieved, develop a new one.
  • Talk to someone when you need advice or help.


If you are interested in other gastrointestinal-focused information and intervention websites developed and hosted at
Swinburne University of Technology,
please go to:

IBSclinic.mindovergut.com for individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBDclinic.mindovergut.com for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease


This website and its content is not intended or recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.

© 2014 Swinburne University of Technology | CRICOS number 00111D