It was the moment that you were told that he didn’t love you anymore, maybe when you lost your job or that someone had passed, your insides dropped (not literally but figuratively of course). That pit in your stomach, the rush of heat to your face and that hard swallow as though your airways were trapped with a plum pit. Maybe you’d bloat easily (heck maybe you still do!) or your bowel movements lose form and became urgent. Or maybe, just maybe an inconspicuous burp surfaces when you’re stressed burning your throat with acid. So if you can relate to one or more of these issues or heck, if you’re human, then listen up because:
Stress and digestion go hand-in-hand and the following information will be vital to your health.
Stress, Digestion & Bloating
I swear to you that roughly 9 out of 10 women who come to see me in private practice all suffer from bloating and most will agree that it’s within a half hour window of eating. Some will even report that digesting protein is difficult. The reason for this is because we require stomach acid (a.k.a. hydrochloric acid) to breakdown our food, turn on our energizing vitamins like vitamin B12 and activate our protein enzyme, protease.
So how does stress factor into this? Well get this, the more stressed you become less stomach acid you’ll have making the breakdown of your food really difficult early on in the digestive process.
Solution: If you know you’re going through a bout of stress, or if you suffer from the symptoms above, naturally give your stomach a little acidic kick. Roughly ten minutes before you eat, take 1 teaspoon of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
Stress, Digestion & Loose Bowel Movements
If you’re someone who suffers from loose bowel movements during stress, then listen up. A 2011 study coming out of McMaster University revealed that when we’re stressed our body actually consumes our friendly gut bacteria (think probiotics). The reverse is actually true: Less friendly gut bacteria actually increase our stress hormones. And as we’ve seen above, more stress, less stomach acid, so now can you see the catalyst of effects?
Solution: Add more fermented food like kimchi to your world or take a probiotic (roughly 15billion per live cell) daily with food to reinoculate good friendly gut bacteria.
Stress, Digestion & That Gut Feeling
If you’ve ever felt stress and felt it immediately in your gut it’s because there is nowhere other than your brain that contains more neurons on it than your large intestine. For many of us stress can trigger nausea, constipation and knocks on your back bottom door wanting to come out…fast. So what can we do?
Solution: Taking deep breaths (and actually counting the inhales and exhales to match) from your abdomen rather than your chest will stimulate you vegas nerve. This may sound hokey but this incredible nerve starts in the medulla oblongata, which controls heart rate, breathing and digestion. This nerve can become underdeveloped/deactivated if the body is in a constant state of fight-or-flight due to the stress and anxiety that comes with living in today’s society. This keeps the sympathetic nervous system in survival overdrive: your breathing becomes rapid and shallow, your heart rate increases and digestion becomes impaired.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been stressed at some point or another, but rather than feel that you’re overwhelmed and out of control, realize that you do have more power than you think.
So in the meantime, my pay-what-you-can Stress Detox that relaunched two weeks ago will be closing its doors on January 31, so don’t miss out.
I mean what do you have to lose other than a big back of monkey stress that’s not serving you?
Time to go lady balls to the walls…