The Link Between Stress and The Gut

I read a book many years ago by Dr Michael Gershon who is a medical doctor, he had over 30 years of research on how the nerve cells in the bowel or gut act on the brain. Hence the Brain-Gut Connection…

The Bowel has a major effect on our mood and one of the biggest findings is the majority of your serotine is produced in your gut 95% whilst only 5% is produced in your brain.. so if you get stressed and your bowel becomes constipated then depression or low mood can occur due to no movement of serotonin. This is obviously where I come in as colon hydrotherapy can remove the impacted faecal matter which is why you feel so much better after a treatment.

Unfortunately, stress affects all our lives and is considered the biggest cause of disease and depression in today’s society and can result in:

  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Burn Out
  • Breakdown
  • Unable to Cope/Overwhelm
  • Suicide

 

What Creates Stress

  • Depleted nutrients – High sugar diets, processed foods, overuse of alcohol, lack of protein in our diets and too much caffeine/stimulants.
  • Circumstances e.g. bereavement, finances, work, divorce, illness, pandemic!
  • Overworking/workaholic and no downtime resulting in adrenal overload and fatigue
  • Toxins like microwave towers, mobile phones and electrical devices give off strong electrical fields and electromagnetic pollution.
  • Hormones and medications (overuse of antibiotics).

 

How stress affects the body

When we are under stress, our body switches into “fight or flight mode” and this activates our Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). Our bodies have the resources to be able to cope by producing adrenaline and cortisol. However, because of today’s lifestyle, our bodies can’t differentiate where the stress is coming from as in attack and run or emotional /mental stress work issues, divorce, kids. This results in a constant drip-feed of ongoing stress, so our bodies never truly switch off. Intern, because we are “fight or flight” our digestion is never prioritised.

Rest and digest which is the opposite of “fight or flight” is when we are calm so we can fully digest our food and the acid in our stomach and enzymes plus the peristalsis that we have in our intestines are all working well.

So, in a nutshell, it is crucial that we manage our stress so we have a healthy gut and digestive system.

Impact of Stress on our digestion system

  • Increase or decrease of the motility of the gut – either very embarrassing being caught short going to the loo or constipation and then bloating and gas or a lot of pain in the intestines. Other digestive issues such as IBS or gastroesophageal reflux disease such as acid reflux and heartburn when a burning sensation in the chest can occur after eating.
  • Low stomach acid production – symptoms of IBS such as excess gas and bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, indigestion and heartburn. The acid in our stomach is a fundamental part of digestion as it absorbs the nutrients in our foods – just like filling your car with petrol and the engine running well! The stomach acid is also our bodies front line of defence as bugs and pathogens and bacteria need to be fought off by our stomach acid, so it’s important it is kept at the right PH to prevent this. Small intestinal overgrowth (SIBO), H Pylori and candida overgrowth are the main culprits of a poor digestion system.
  • Inflammation due to the release of cortisol which is the main stress hormone is also inflammatory and can be a big influencer in leaky gut and then potentially a trigger to autoimmune disease. Once you have a leaky gut (and I can speak from experience) we have deficiencies of nutrients due to damage in our digestion for example magnesium. Depletion in Magnesium for example (also due to the farming industry) and it is needed for the bowel to move as well as reducing low blood pressure and essential for brain, heart, and nerve function as well as many other things.

All of which results in a weakened immune system, so the body is more susceptible to illness. This can lead to disease. Disease leads to death … I know you may think ‘dramatic much’ however, you do need to look after the best vehicle you will ever drive…your body!

What can you do to help reduce your stress levels:

💜 Set yourself boundaries and learn to say “NO” that is not being selfish by the way. If you allow people to take all the time, then you have nothing to give back and you cannot give from an empty cup!

💜 Breathing techniques to help with anxiety and stress. Take a deep breath in for the count of 4 and let it out over a count of 6…do this until you feel a sense of stillness…it might surprise you so worth a go!

💜 Practice yoga or going for a walk outside or even a good exercise session. This all results in oxygen being pumped around your body and getting rid of carbon dioxide which is a waste product.

💜 Quiet time… ready a book or doing some colouring or listening to music or a podcast – doing something to recharge your batteries.

💜 Have a sleep routine. I love doing an Epsom bath with candles and relaxing music, followed by a pamper of some lovely body cream and then a bedtime tea like chamomile or a mixture of calming herbs. I also like nice bedding and not looking at phones or anything too stressful i.e., the news for at least an hour before going to bed. Sleep is vitally important whatever our age.

💜 A to-do list. Either written or on your phone and do not give yourself too many things to do all at once. Prioritise so you do not get overwhelmed.

💜 Meal planners and where you can get things delivered if that suits you. I have currently been doing meals that are delivered and you can cook from fresh to save both time and what to cook! There is no waste and plenty of deals out there too!

💜 Gratitude journey. There is always something to be grateful for, focusing on the positives changes your mindset and also be aware of the language you use as well… positive words turn in to positive thoughts and the glass is always refillable so its not just half full or half empty!

💜 Supplements to help support your nervous systems such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola. Always work with a healthcare practitioner, even I have one of those to help me so I can support you.

 

I am delighted to say normal service resumes at Complete Health Clinic from Tuesday 13th April, I am back in my happy place, although the Lowry Hotel is not allowed to open to the public until Monday 17th May…however light is at the end of this very long tunnel! Please book your appointment online!

Take Care #colonicsqueen

Look after yourself, there is only one you! Complete Health Clinic #colonicsqueen #Manchester