GUT HEALTH AND STRESS

Stress has an almost immediate effect on our gut and digestive system. This is why we are likely to experience spasms in the stomach when we are stressed, or feel butterflies when we are nervous. The gut and brain are connected to each other via a system of nerves called the Enteric Nervous System and are thus constantly communicating with each other. This is exactly why the gut is also called the second brain. What happens in our mind directly affects our gut and vice versa.



THERE ARE VARIOUS WAYS HOW STRESS AFFECTS THE GUT

Cause inflammation of the gut lining and increase intestinal permeability leading to leaky gut. Leaky gut is the core of most of health issues today.
Shift body from a state of “rest and digest” to a state of “fight and flight”, thus shutting down all digestive processes.
It can alter the ratio of good and bad gut bacteria and lead to dysbiosis, thereby dampening the immunity as 80% of the immunity lies in the gut.
Affect the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that are produced in the gut. A hormone called serotonin is a happy hormone and is made in the gut.
It can alter bowel movements and either result in watery stools or constipation.
Unmanaged stress can also result in behavioural changes when it comes to eating and make us binge eat, overeat or reach out for excess sugar, tea, coffee, fattening foods, fried foods that can further damage the gut.



HOW TO REVERSE THE EFFECTS

Maintain a good probiotic ratio in the gut. One can focus on the intake of probiotics as well as prebiotics. This helps replenish the good bacteria in our gut and get rid of excess bad bacteria.
Practice deep breathing.
It is the quickest way to calm the mind and hence the gut. It helps shift our body from a state of stress to a state of calm in a matter of a few deep breaths.
Add natural gut healers like pure cow ghee, coconut oil, omega 3 rich foods, L-glutamine, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Minerals like zinc play a vital role in keeping your intestinal lining healthy.



PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN

Since stress is an inevitable part of life, the only precaution is to develop a better handle over stress by adopting effective stress management techniques. Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, gratitude practice, positive affirmations, visualisations, acceptance, sound therapy, art, are some of the best and most effective ways to manage stress levels on a day-today basis. Such stressrelieving activities should be practiced every day to ensure that your gut isn’t affected by the stressors you may encounter on a daily basis.

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