Does stress cause ulcers? It is a known fact that stress causes ulcers as a physiological effect on our body. It has been accepted that the organs most affected by stress are in the digestive system. The gut is the only one in which we can live normally.
The stress also causes higher levels of catecholamines (e.g. adrenal hormones) which can lead to inflammation and to inflammatory bowel diseases.
How does stress cause ulcers?
Stress causes the immune system to become inflamed and damaged. This increases the number of bacteria in our digestive system. This in turn leads to an imbalance of the bacteria in our digestive system. Bacteria are essential for digestion but when they do not take part in digestion, we get inflammation and ulcers in the colon, the bowel wall, and the small intestines.
There are very few people who are unaffected by stress. Stress is a common occurrence in the body. It is a natural response by our body to a range of threats, whether physical or emotional. These threats vary with time and place, but the main ones are the changing of environmental conditions and the stress of modern life.
An increased quantity of stress hormones from eating too much of a certain type of food, overeating of an unhealthy food, and excess exercise can lead to a state of chronic inflammation. All these increase production of IL-6 and other inflammatory molecules. This inflammation leads to an increase of mucous membranes in the GI tract, and to the release of certain molecules into the blood stream that affect the immune system.
In the intestine, this leads to the release of histamine, nitric oxide, lactate and other substances which lead to inflammation in the colon and the blood stream. Stress has a wide range of negative effects on health. It is a primary cause of many chronic diseases, some of which can be cured with regular exercise and lifestyle modification.
This list of stress-induced diseases can vary greatly. Some are inflammatory, some are not. Many conditions, including arthritis, asthma and the common cold, are also caused by stress.
How does ulcers happen?
The stomach contains one-third of the human body’s stomach tissue. It contains mucous membrane, and a number of structures such as the luminal mucosa, which plays a crucial role in digestion. The mucous membrane is composed of cells, each containing a membrane-bound chemical substance. These chemical substances are transported by the osmotic pressure through the mucous membrane, and eventually get into the blood. The blood contains a large number of proteins, and it takes time to get these proteins into the cells of the body. The tissues that form the lining of the stomach are called the gastro-intestinal tract.
Ulcers can also be caused by excessive food intake. If the food intake is excessive, these conditions could form. An overabundance of food – due to poor diet, lack of exercise or too much alcohol – can increase pressure on the small intestine and cause ulcers to form.
What are the symptoms of ulcers?
Ulcers are often accompanied by a number of symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal distension
- Blood in the stool
Bloating The symptoms are typically not too severe, although some ulcers are more severe than others.