The stomach and intestines are easily affected by stress. Teens may find themselves getting stomach aches or diarrhea, for example, before exams or a much anticipated date or other major event.
Relaxation exercises, reassurance and talking about their feelings with supportive family members or friends may help these teens and their digestive tracts to calm down.
Other teens have more chronic problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or colitis, or diarrhea and constipation may alternate. Stress management techniques and avoiding spicy foods can help. While all chronic problems should be checked by a physician, teens who suffer from stomach ulcers or ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the colon with resulting cramps, bloody feces and diarrhea) need regular medical care and possible psychological therapy to further reduce stress.