Why Anxiety Makes you Poop (and How to Fix it Today!)

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Today you’ll learn why anxiety makes you poop and how to take back control over your bowels.

Specifically, you’ll learn why it happens and how to stop it.

Let’s dive right in!

anxiety diarrhea

What is anxiety?

Excessive worry, prolonged stress or trauma can cause anxiety. When you are living under stress for too long, or worry for long periods of time, your body becomes very sensitive to its surroundings and becomes scared of danger… as you were living in danger for long periods of time (worry). 


Your mind cannot distinguish a real threat from a perceived threat… and worry and stress are perceived threats to your mind. When you are under “threat” for too long, your mind doesn’t want to take any risks and makes you anxious.

But don’t worry! This is completely normal, and your mind has your best interest at heart like it always does. When you are more anxious, it means your body’s fight or flight system is currently working too well. It means your body wants to protect you from the real (but almost always) imagined danger that it perceives. 

The Truth About Anxiety Poop…

It turns out that your brain and gut have a very strong connection. Having issues with your bowels creates problems with your mental health, and vice versa.

When you are in a state of anxiety, your brain releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These are the hormones that make you feel on edge. But when these hormones rush through your veins, the gut starts to respond to these hormones.

Guess what… anxiety poop starts to happen. 

Your gut starts to produce watery stools, which causes diarrhea, or the complete opposite: constipation.

According to Maya Eid, a clinical nutritionist, during states of anxiety the hormone “serotonin” increases in your gut, which causes spasms to happen… and they cause unexpected bowel movements.

anxiety diarrhea

Why does anxiety make you poop?

Anxiety is just a fancy name for the body’s fight or flight response. Because of this fight or flight response, our ancestors survived for thousands of years, which is why we should be grateful for it. 

If you would be living without your fight or flight response, you probably wouldn’t read this… as you might have crossed the road without any fear of being hit by a car.

But why does anxiety make you poop? Being in a state of anxiety takes a lot of energy from your body, because it has to deal with the perceived threat “outside” of the body. 

Because your body is always efficient with its energy, it decides that digesting food isn’t a top priority right now, because it has to deal with the perceived threat first. Digesting food takes a huge amount of energy from the body, which is the reason why the mind says:

“Well let’s stop digesting food right now. If I don’t survive this threat there won’t be anything to digest at all… let’s stop using energy for digestion.”

And that causes your anxiety poop, as the body either starts to get rid of your poop (diarrhea) or puts it all on hold (constipation).

This is why you have anxiety poop.

anxiety diarrhea

How to solve anxiety poop?

You probably want to know how to solve anxiety poop, as it is extremely annoying. It is something I still struggle with now and then. There are actually two tips you can use to experience less anxiety poop. They work hand in hand, so listen carefully:

1. Changing the food you eat
The first thing you can do to fix your anxiety poop is by changing the foods you eat. Try to limit your intake of:

  • Caffeine
  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Soda and sugary drinks
  • Heavily processed food
  • Alcohol
  • Refined carbohydrates

Instead, try to eat more whole foods. These foods are better digestible and healthy for your bowels. Think of eating more vegetables, fruits, drinking smoothies and increasing your intake of nuts & seeds.

These foods have a positive impact on your digestion. I personally love to drink a smoothie full of veggies, fruits and seeds in the morning, as it helped me a lot with making my bowels healthier.

2. Working on the cause of your anxiety
Unfortunately, simply changing the way you eat doesn’t improve your anxiety poop. Of course it helps, but there is more you have to do if you want to fix your anxiety poop. The best thing to do is therefore to decrease feeling anxious. Simply changing the way you eat will not cause the body to change what it does when you feel anxious. 

When you learn more about what anxiety is, how it happens and discover new ways of coping… THEN you decrease your anxiety poop. You eliminate triggers, work on your mental health and learn what makes you anxious. By knowing these things and also by understanding what to do when you feel anxious, you can learn to fix your anxiety poop.

If you want to learn the powerful 3-step response to ease your anxiety instantly, then download my FREE Guide to learn it as well.

Because when you know how to respond when you suddenly start to feel anxious, you ease your anxiety, which results in less anxiety poop.

Having less anxiety poop is not just eating healthier, but learning how to cope in new ways and making anxiety your friend, instead of your enemy.

To help you overcome your anxiety, I created a limited time FREE training that you can watch. It will explain the top 3 mistakes anxious people make and what they should do instead to ease their anxiety.


You now learned how anxiety poop is caused and why anxiety poop happens. When you have anxiety poop, your body simply takes the energy away from your digestion, towards the perceived threat… which causes diarrhea or constipation. 

You also discovered that simply changing how you eat doesn’t cause anxiety poop to never happen again. To overcome anxiety poop, you have to work on the cause of your anxiety, and learn to cope in new ways. Only when you eat better foods and work on your anxiety at the same time, the magic starts to happen.

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Author: Wouter Manders

Wouter is a mindset coach from The Netherlands. For many years he suffered from depression and anxiety. It gave him the motivation to coach people on overcoming their anxiety, out of first hand experience. With more than 6000 blog visitors a month he helps many people on their road to having less anxiety.

About Wouter

Wouter is a mindset coach from The Netherlands. For many years he suffered from depression and anxiety. It gave him the motivation to coach people on freeing themselves from anxiety. With more than 6000 blog visitors a month he helps many people on their journey towards less anxiety.

Do you want less anxiety today?

Watch this FREE Limited Time Training on how to Free Yourself from Anxiety in 60 days!

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