Why Do I Have to Go to the Bathroom When I’m Nervous?

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Let’s say you’re waiting for an important, nerve-wracking interview and all of the sudden your stomach rumbles and you feel like you have to run to the bathroom. We’ve all been there.

And gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Raj has an explanation.

Q: “When I get nervous, I feel like I have to go to the bathroom,” asks Facebook fan Lisa. “Why does this happen and is there anything I can do?”

A: “As a gastroenterologist, I hear this all the time,” says Dr. Raj. “Our brain and our gut are so connected.”

But what can you do to soothe your stomach (especially if you have to hold “it” in)?

RELATED: You May Be Going to the Bathroom All Wrong: Should You Squat or Sit?

Dr. Raj’s simple solution: Try focused deep breathing to relax your body and calm your nerves.

“If you dampen down those chemicals that are released, that’s going to calm down your gut as well,” she explains.

Another option? Whip up a simple ginger-infused water (or try this punchy ginger lemonade). Drop a few slices of fresh ginger root into hot water and let it steep for a few minutes before sipping it as a simple stomach-soother.

Of course, if you’re really concerned, says Dr. Raj, you can always take an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicine.

(But as always, check with your doctor first!)

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