What is stress doing to our digestion?
Almost every client I see, tells me they’re having problems with their digestion – but why?
Symptoms such as bloating, excess gas, cramping pains, alternating constipation and diarrhoea, and just general digestive unease, are all too common for many people – but they shouldn’t be.
Most of my clients immediately think that it’s something to do with food – an allergy or intolerance. And, while this can certainly be the case, it’s definitely not the only factor to be looked at.
In fact, the first thing that I consider when I have a client come to me with digestive difficulties is, how stressed are they?
For many people, stress is a major factor in digestive disturbances.
The stress response is so very powerful, that it immediately affects our capacity for digestion, by moving blood away from our internal digestive organs, towards the muscles in our arms and legs – so that we can ‘fight-or-flight’.
This ‘fight-or-flight’ response, is the stress response that is only supposed to be activated when we are in real and immediate danger. However, in our frenetic society, with such a fast-paced and rushed way of living, for many people the stress response is consistently firing.
Every part of the digestive process can be (and will be!) affected by the stress response – it’s a physiological action that’s impossible to avoid.
The only way to fix this element of digestive disturbance, is to work on supporting your body through the stress response, by working on nervous system and adrenal gland function. Nutrition, supplementation, herbal medicine, lifestyle, and emotional / mental stress management are all of fantastic use in this scenario.
I have seen many people who have reduced the stress in their life, and supported their bodies to manage such stress far better through natural medicine, completely overcome digestive troubles.
So, if you’re having ongoing problems with your digestion, and you’re also under quite a lot of stress, I urge you to consider the link between the two.
There is so much that can be done with Naturopathy, and other holistic treatments, to support your body to overcome that constant stress response, and restore natural function to the digestive system.
Please don’t underestimate the massive effect that constant stress has upon your entire health picture. If you feel overwhelmed, burnt out, or depleted, then it’s very likely that stress could be getter the better of your wellbeing.
Come on down to Quay Health, to see me and find out what we can do to help you with your digestive difficulties!
Beth Bridges Naturopath