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Remember when we said that everything is connected and we briefly mentioned the "brain-gut axis"? Well it is now time to dig in. No, not that kind of "dig in" (although we are always hungry, hehe). Let's dig into the brain-gut axis! The brain-gut axis is the connection and communication between our brain and gut which include the vagus nerve, the immune system, gut hormone signalling and metabolic functions (National Library of Medicine, 2017). 


THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON THE GUT

Here is a LIST of effects that stress can have on your gut. 

  • Studies have shown that stress can cause gastrointestinal problems like bloating, cramping, inflammation, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and muscle spasms in the bowel (American Psychological Association, 2018). 
  • Stress can affect your digestion, absorption of nutrients and gas production. 
  • Stress can weaken our gut barriers therefore allowing more gut bacteria to enter the body. 
  • Chronic stress has the potential to weaken your immune system which can lead to many gut issues like Dysbiosis, an imbalance of the microbiome in your gut and skin. 
  • Stress can actually cause a bacterial infection which can cause or trigger ulcers. 

In short, we gotta protect our barriers! 

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

DIET is one of the most important modifying factors in the brain-gut axis (Harvard Health Publishing, 2020). What have you been eating? Do you eat healthy? Do you eat on time? Did you know it's actually scientifically proven that food does make you happier? Check out our food and happiness journal! Dive into the ties between your food and your mood. A sweet treat could be the best ”cure” for a stressful day! 


How do we keep ourselves and our microbiome healthy, balanced and stress free? Our bodies need at the least 40 micronutrients to function at optimum levels (Harvard Health, 2021). Micronutrients consist of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and phytonutrients. Research suggests that most Americans are not getting enough of these important micronutrients (American Psychological Association, 2018). Taking supplements like multivitamins, minerals, fatty acids (Omega 3-6-9), antioxidants, amino acids, prebiotics and probiotics can help keep your body and microbiome healthy, balanced and stress-free. Read more about supplements and what you should be taking year round in our journal!


Sources:

“Stress & the Gut-Brain Axis: Regulation by the Microbiome.” National Library of Medicine, 19 March. 2017, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29276734/

“Stress Effects on the Body.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body.

“The Gut-Brain Connection.” Harvard Health, 19 April 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection.

“Understanding the Stress Response.” Harvard Health, 6 July 2020, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response. 


DISCLAIMER: THIS POST DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AS MEDICAL ADVICE. THIS POST IS NOT MEANT TO TREAT, CURE, PREVENT, OR DIAGNOSE CONDITIONS OR DISEASES; AND IS MEANT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANY NEW TREATMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS.

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