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Gut Health and Chronic Stress

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Gut health is paramount to our overall mental and physical health. Stress can cause havoc in our gut. Those ‘gut feelings’ could be indicators that something is wrong that needs to be addressed.

One of the most common places that stress affects us is in our gut. Prolonged and untreated stress can eventually lead to permanent damage such as –

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  • Leaky gut
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • IBS
  • Spastic Colon
  • GERD
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Food allergies and sensitivities

 

What happens in our Gut when we are suffering from Chronic Stress?

The gut goes through various changes during stress. To keep it simple, gastric secretions, mucosal permeability, sensitivity and blood flow are all affected. The gut bacteria (good and bad) become unbalanced.

The ‘gut feeling’ that we sometimes get, which can be from butterflies to nausea is caused from the brain-gut axis.

It is quite a complicated subject so in brief. At times of stress, certain receptors in the brain change the balance in our gut.

Certain hormones are then produced, usually in excess, such as cortisol which causes further digestive disturbances.

As mentioned, if this all goes unnoticed, ignored or untreated, it leads to inflammation in the gut.

It could then also lead to skin issues, such as acne, rosacea and eczema.

Gut and Mind Connection

As you know, I am adamant that we should view ourselves in totality.

It is clear that one of the most important factors for gut health is stress management, which is directly linked to lifestyle.

Nutrition, exercise and self-awareness are all important. Followed by making the sometimes, very courageous decisions, to make the necessary changes.

A Few Ways That We Can Support Our Gut

  • Pre and probiotics. Store bought probiotics are very expensive and for me a better way of getting these very important components into our system is from food. Kefir, fermented foods such as Sauer Kraut and Kimchi. Apple Cider Vinegar, kombucha, ginger beer are all rich in both.
  • Omega three fatty acids. Again, you can buy supplements but rather try foods that are high in omega such as eggs, dairy products (kefir above), Fatty fish (salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel), cod liver oil, chia and flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Vitamins A and D

More and more research is showing that a healthy gut is paramount to good health. Not only of the body but of the mind as well.

Unhealthy intestinal flora is linked to depression, bi polar, auto immune disease and a myriad of other health issues.

It then stands to reason that what we put into our mouths should be of huge importance. We are not only feeding ourselves for today but also investing in our future health and wellness.

Take the time to adopt wholesome eating habits. Couple this with appropriate exercise and mindfulness.

If you are over or under weight, get sick often or suffer from physical pain or discomfort it is an indicator that the balance is out. The reasons may be due to many factors but are inextricably linked to our lifestyle.

Make the necessary changes and your health and wellness will fall into place.

Our gut can be considered as a second brain or third eye. It is always sending us messages.

Take the time to listen up!

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