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Stress & Physical Health

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

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.⁣⁣

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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⁣⁣

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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⁣⁣

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Certain stressful life events have been associated with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and GORD(Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease).⁣⁣

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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.⁣⁣

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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.⁣⁣

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