The Surprising Effects of Stress on YOUR Gut (and Your Health)

Uncategorized Sep 11, 2018

Is your stress, hijacking your gut health? 

If you’ve ever listened to an older friend or family member speaking of the “good ole days,” they might have referred to them as being simpler times. I know when I look at the world my kids are growing up in, it seems more complicated and difficult.

Along with the evolution of society came an overall increase in day-to-day stress that we are all working to manage. Today I want to talk about how stress can impact your gut health and what you need to be doing to protect your health.

First a quick lesson on stress…

You’ve probably heard the analogy about a bear walking into the room and your body’s immediate transition into “fight, flight, or freeze” mode. It’s a natural change of state that’s been around from the beginning of time to protect us from (and help us survive) those severely stressful events that we encounter.  The problem is that the fight or flight response was never designed to be a long-term solution; which it has become today.

How Stress Impacts Your Gut...

Stress has the ability to tap into your immune system and shifts the balance of the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut, which leaves you more prone to bacteria and parasite overgrowth, tons of pain and discomfort, and the inability to cope with life. Most of us tap into our stress response daily for the constant demands of our jobs, commutes, to do’s, and needs of others. Your body can manage the non-stop stress response for years; however, beware that your body will rob and steal whatever it needs (from wherever it can find it in the body) in its attempt to restore balance.

When the gut bacteria are not in balance, they can create their own stress response or even produce hormones and neurotransmitters that can alter the body’s central stress response system.

Stress also puts a halt to digestion and absorption. This means that if you are eating while stressed out, then you aren’t fully digesting and absorbing it (even if you’re eating healthy, clean food).

It’s all tied together, managing stress and having proper nutrition for a healthier gut, and your gut in turn has a huge influence on your overall health and how you look and feel.

Stress management is so important, that I’ve had clients take a break on the nutrition side to seek counseling or focus on their stress management. Stress is here to stay, and you can’t change its effect on your body, you can only change how you’re managing the stress in your life.

Creating a System...

You need systems in place to manage your stress. Here are a few suggestions to keep stress “in check” in your life:

  1. Limit your exposure to the negative news stories.
  2. Edit your to-do list to only those most important, so you don’t always feel behind on life.
  3. Let go of pointless arguments that don’t really matter but create stress as they rob your time and energy.
  4. Avoid or limit stressful people in your life who continuously stir up drama and drain your vitality.
  5. Try massage, chiropractic care, or acupuncture, because bodywork helps reduce stress and can even enhance digestion.

How many of these stress busters do you have in place? 

Here’s what I’ve been saying, and seen over the years: you will either spend your time preventing disease and using many of these solutions to improve your daily self-care OR you will spend your time managing disease as you are forced into sick-care.

You only have one place to live – YOUR BODY – respect it and support it with self-care. Self-care doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone either. Create a support system that allows you to better manage your stress, and your gut will reap the all the benefits too!

 


Let me help by personalizing a stress busting nutrition plan for you. Call my office at 970-444-2121 or email me at [email protected], to book a 30 minutes one-on-one coaching call with me. We will simplify your starting steps to healing your gut so you can live happier, healthier, and have more fun! 

 

 

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