Did you know that it’s not only what you eat, but how you feel that impacts your gut health?
Stress is a consequence of our modern lifestyle.
We don’t necessarily have to feel flustered and anxious for our body to be stressed. Our thoughts are enough to trigger a stress response in the body – things like having a busy mind, worrying about an upcoming task, mulling over a disagreement, being stuck in traffic, thinking about everything you need to get done and never getting any downtime.
Thoughts like this switch on the ‘flight or fight’ response in the body by activating the sympathetic nervous system. This is fine short-term, but for most of us, the stress is chronic. Humans are not made to handle the stress response in the long-term.
The sympathetic nervous system shuts down digestion, given that digestion is not important when your life is in danger. This creates inflammation and digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation, because food is unable to be broken down and ferments in the colon instead.
Chronic stress is known to promote gut disorders including inflammatory bowel disease. It does this by creating changes in the gut bacteria which trigger a response by the immune system. The immune system attacks the gut, causing inflammation and ulceration (Gao et al, 2018). This is like the rusty nail analogy I spoke about in terms of food, but in this case it’s more like someone is hammering in the nail.
I have had a very healthy diet and taken high quality supplements for years. What I found was, they would work at first, but then I would go back to feeling the way I used to and having all the same symptoms.
It wasn’t until I addressed my stress and anxiety through understanding where these feelings were coming from in the first place, that my gut issues finally improved.
I also speak to people every day who tell me that they’ve tried cleanses, detoxes, gut powders and all sorts which helped at first, but never long term. The reality is that if stress is disrupting the gut microbiome, even the best diet in the world won’t be enough. We need to find out where the stress is coming from and address it.
If you’re ready to become empowered to end your gut issues, then book in a complimentary Gut Health Discovery Session so that we can get clear on what’s happening for you and whether I can help you. Don’t wait for a health crisis to act – let’s get these issues sorted starting TODAY.