So many people, whether they’ve been diagnosed with IBS or not, seem to have niggles with their digestive health. Why would this be? Could it be the stresses and strains of modern life?
The Stress:Gut Connection
In a single word, yes. By understanding a little bit about how our nervous system works a increase in digestive issues isn’t a big surprise. When we get stressed during our everyday life our bodies react in a similar way as our ancestors would have done when their lives were at risk e.g. from a wild animal. Stress hormones flood the body and trigger a ‘fight of flight’ response. In contrast when we’re relaxed our bodies nervous system moves into ‘rest and digest’ mode.
In the past danger, and the related stress response would only last for a short while. However, our busy lives can now be a constant stream of stressful situations, whether it be a demanding boss, juggling family and work or late nights. The key to this, is that our bodies can only be in one mode at once. This means that we’re either in ‘fight and flight’ OR ‘rest and digest’.
We can end up not allowing our bodies sufficient time to ‘rest and digest’.
It might be common but it’s not normal
When things become commonplace we can be tricked into thinking they’re normal, particularly when doctors hand out IBS diagnoses like they’re smarties! It isn’t normal to be constantly on the go. It isn’t normal to feel run down and it isn’t normal to have digestive health problems.
In addition, there seems to be lots more literature indicating good digestive health may have a far greater impact on overall health and wellness that we realised.
You can do something about it
My go to person for digestive health is Dr Jillian Teta. She has an excellent course, which walks you through how to resolve your digestive niggles once and for all. It’s currently closed to new participants, but I’m trying to convince her to do us a special favour and open it up for you.
In the meantime there are three things you can do which may help:
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