Hi, I am doctor Leen. I am a general practitioner and a functional medicine doctor based in London. Stress is a normal body response when exposed to internal/external pressure. When it is an acute stress (lasting for a short period of time) it doesn’t usually cause negative impact but usually protects us from an internal or external danger. However, when a stress reaction becomes chronic (lasts for a longer time) it starts to have negative impact on our body.
One of the main hypothesis is that prolonged stress can disturb the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which leads to cortisol dysfunction, ineffective, reduced levels of cortisol or increases receptor resistance leading to heightened adrenergic tone and excessive inflammation
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐠𝐮𝐭:
Most of us notice changes in our gastrointestinal tract when we’re stressed. These can include tummy cramps, pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, heartburn etc.
There is some evidence that suggests that stress can affect:
1. Food absorption
2. The balance of bacteria in the gut
3. Production of cytokines which can cause inflammation
Certain stressful life events have been associated with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and GORD(Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease).
𝐏𝐓𝐒𝐃 (𝐏𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫) is strongly associated with poor physical health. One study found a 27% increase in the rate of heart disease and mortality in people with PTSD. In another study PTSD had a 46% higher risk of developing an autoimmune disorder than people without PTSD.
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐞 𝐚 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐠𝐮𝐭:
1. Meditation, relaxation to improve Pscyhological stress
2. Improve your diet. Eat multicolored whole food that were recently alive
3. Trial of pre/probiotic, read my previous post for more information.