STRESS AND YOUR GUT

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You can’t poop…no, wait a minute, now you can’t stop pooping.  You’ve got painful canker sores in your mouth that ruins any chance of you enjoying your food.  Just forget about eating an orange.

Acid creeps up the back of your throat and into your mouth, ruining the enamel on your teeth, scalding all the skin between there and your stomach.

You can’t seem to digest food the way you used to.  You can’t suddenly be allergic…to everything can you?  And when you do eat, you bloat up like a frog during mating season.  Thank goodness for stretchy pants.

Pain…your gut hurts, especially when you’ve had an argument, or you’ve been stopped for speeding, or your Mom dies, or the sun didn’t come out today.

You think you might have an ulcer.

Why are you feeling this way?

Yes, it’s all about stress.

Stress, as you know by now, can be defined as the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response.  The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress is normal, and part of our daily experience.  It can get ugly when you are continually challenged without relief between challenges.

This is a negative stress reaction and leads to a condition called distress.

You are in distress.

What Stress Does To Your Gut

  • Stressful events cause stress hormones to signal the body to shut down digestion, but also signal you to eat carbs like crazy…for energy….and the making of a fat tummy.
  • Blood flow is diverted from the digestive organs to the heart and muscles for a fast “fight or flight” response…to save your butt.
  • Secretion of saliva and digestive enzymes is slowed.
  • Mucus that lines the stomach and bicarbonate that counteracts highly acidic gastric juices is stopped.
  • Intestinal contractions and absorption of nutrients stops, producing the absorption of  low levels of essential minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium and vitamin B.  Does your doctor want you to start having vitamin B shots?  That’s probably why.  You could be anemic.
  • The digestive system isn’t able to secrete enough digestive enzymes to properly digest food…which gives you nausea, vomiting, constipation, gas, and bloating.
  • Problems are compounded because stress impairs the immune system and body’s control of inflammation and wound healing…not good when ulcers develop.
  • Repeated stress can stop activity with the immune system, cold.
  • Less immune activity means more growth of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori or H. Pylori which infects the stomach.
  • Accelerated growth of H. Pylori suppresses the body’s ability to heal tissue damage because it inhibits the production of prostaglandins.  Prostaglandins respond to tissue damage reducing inflammation and accelerating healing.  Cortisol, a stress hormone, snuffs out this chemical.
  • Stress increases the rate of ulcers forming and slows the rate of healing in those ulcers.

Why On and Off High Intensity Stress Hurts More

  • High stress and normal stress, back and forth, confuses the gastrointestinal system.
  • When the high stress is gone, the digestive system is still not fully operational, which puts you at risk for damage to the gastrointestinal track, because the enzymes digest the gut’s lining (YIKES!) in addition to digesting your food.
  • That is why several bouts of intense stress will likely cause ulcers.

STRESS CAN CAUSE

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

We all will experience a bout of irritable bowel syndrome, a blanket name for a host of intestinal disorders like colitis—an inflammation of the lining of the large intestine in which abdominal pain is accompanied by diarrhea and/or constipation, bloating gas, and sometimes the passing of mucus or blood—through the course of our lifetime.

IBS is…

  • Caused by periods of heightened stress.  Stress is a huge trigger.
  • Exacerbated by stressful psychological events elevating cortisol.
  • Felt in the upper abdomen producing pain, constipation, gas, upset stomach and diarrhea.
  • Incurable but can be managed with stress reduction, lifestyle changes, and medication.

Constipation

Constipation is a condition in which it is really difficult for you to empty your bowels, usually because your feces has hardened.

  • Stress can cause constipation, without actually causing irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Causes upper and lower abdominal pain.
  • Is easily treated.
  • Usually goes away after the stressor is gone.

Psychosomatic Pain

Psychosomatic pain is considered psychological in nature with no physical cause that can be determined.

  • Stress is considered a trigger.
  • Can give you stomach pain.
  • Only way to treat the pain is to treat the stress.

Heartburn or GERD

GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a chronic condition in which the lower esophageal sphincter allows gastric acids to reflux into the esophagus, causing extreme heartburn, acid indigestion, and possible injury to the esophageal lining.

  • Stress creates heartburn from stomach juices that are highly acidic.  This acidity stops minerals from being absorbed and can produce osteoporosis.
  • Because stress hormones inhibit beneficial microflora to grow, an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungus like candida can further diminish the immune system.

The one common factor in all of these findings, is that stress affects the digestion system is a very big way.

Eliminating the symptoms of high stress should have a great, beneficial effect on the digestion system.

How do you eliminate stress?

You change the way you process or perceive stress.

And you can do that by using brainwave entrainment.

Brainwave entrainment is a clinically proven technology that alters the brain’s main brainwave frequency by using sound and/or light pulses.  The brain, using the frequency following response principle, mimics whatever repeated pattern is introduced to it, immediately altering its state of consciousness.  You can program the mind to stop releasing stress hormones and then flood the body with feel good hormones that repair stresses damages.

Brainwave entrainment has been shown to be very successful in the treatment of stress.

 

Wouldn’t you like to poop like normal (remember Dr. Oz said it should form a nice coil in the toiletJ), be able to eat tomatoes… be able to eat anything, and not have a bloated, painful stomach?

Well….get de-stressed then.

 

Next week:  Are You Looking Older Than What Your Birth Certificate Says?—It might be stress.

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