Digestion Q&A by Dr. Marks

Does stress affect IBS (make it worse)?

Medical Author Dr. Jay W. Marks
Medical Editor Dr. Dennis Lee


The simple answer is yes, stress makes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) worse, but stress makes most things worse. The corollary (natural consequence) is that reducing stress can improve IBS, which may be true. Stress is not believed to be the most important factor causing the discomfort of IBS, however, and, therefore, eliminating or reducing stress-though it might improve IBS-will not eliminate it.

Thank you for your question.

REFERENCE: MedscapeReference.com. Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Last Editorial Review: 4/18/2012

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