Stress Can Cause Abdominal Pain
In many cases, however, the psyche also plays a not-insignificant role. After all, the entire digestion process is controlled by a dense network of 100 billion nerve cells, which surrounds the entire gastrointestinal tract and is in direct contact with the brain.
The enteric nervous system, as is the term for this “belly brain,” independently controls all processes of digestion, stimulates the organ musculature and processes the signals of the receptors. Gastroenterologist Erckenbrecht stated that “we [he and his students] have investigated the frequency and intensity of medical students’ complaints of belly pain every six months and one week before the state examinations.”
The result was hardly surprising: immediately before the examination, the number and the intensity of functional dyspepsia symptoms, i.e. those without organic causes, increased dramatically. However, with many people, the symptoms occur without stress. Irregular or hectic meals can trigger them as well as nicotine, medication or too much alcohol. This gets the gastrointestinal musculature out of line. Why, however, some people cannot tolerate sour or sweet food isn’t precisely known. Frequently, there are intolerances to certain food ingredients, which lead to bloating and abdominal pain in many patients.