Stress Series Part 2 of 3 – WORDS JESSICA SCOT YOUNG | NUTRITIONIST
In today’s fast-paced society, stress has become a part of modern-day living. From work and financial pressures to relationships and poor lifestyle habits, stress can take a toll on both our mental and physical health. One area of our health that is significantly impacted by stress is our gut health.
Stress has a cascading effect on the body. Some of the signs that stress is negatively impacting your digestion include:
- Increased digestive issues -including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. These issues may persist or worsen during periods of heightened stress.
- Increased food reactivity – stress can increase the intestinal permeability of the gut (aka leaky gut) and heighten visceral hypersensitivity, which means you are more reactive to a wider range of foods because the
- Increased food cravings – stress can trigger cravings for high-sugar and high-fat foods, which can negatively affect gut health. This can lead to an imbalance in the gut microbiota, resulting in discomfort and weight gain.
- Weakened immune system – chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making the gut more susceptible to infections and imbalances in the gut microbiota. This can lead to increased susceptibility to illnesses and longer recovery times.
- Increased inflammation – stress triggers the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body. Over time, chronic inflammation can damage the gut lining and disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Altered mood – stress can negatively affect the communication between the gut and the brain, potentially leading to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. These conditions can further exacerbate gut health problems in a vicious cycle.
- Skin Issues – stress can trigger or exacerbate skin conditions like acne and eczema due to its impact on inflammation and hormonal balance. Elevated stress hormones can lead to increased oil production in the skin and inflammation, contributing to skin problems. What is not detoxified in the gut, will come out through the skin
- Hormonal conditions – stress can worsen the symptoms of hormonal conditions such as endometriosis, PMS and PMDD. Increased stress response can lead to increased pain perception and inflammation, intensifying the discomfort associated with these conditions.
Do you identify with some of the above symptoms?
Want to improve your health?
Let’s start working on your gut!