The Negative Effect of Stress on Your Gastrointestinal Tract

We are all affected by the stresses in life. Stress is a threat to the homeostasis in our body. The threat can be either real or perceived. And it is our response to these life stressors that impact our physiology.

Excessive stress results in alterations in brain-gut interactions (“brain-gut axis”) that can lead to many GI disorders including:
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • adverse food reactions
  • peptic ulcer disease
  • gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD)
  • negative effects on intestinal microbiota (your healthy gut bacteria)
  • change in bowel motility (constipation or diarrhea)

When patients tell me their GI (gut) symptoms began when they were under extremely stressful situations in their life, e.g. a job change, divorce, problems with their children, a death in the family, it is clear that stress has been a key player in their health problems.

Learning to manage stress is just as important as taking supplements. What are some ways to help deal with stress?
  • learn to meditate
  • practice yoga and other mind-body exercises
  • take time for relaxation and renewal (it’s really okay to take that vacation)
  • be mindful when eating, slow down and chew your food
  • utilize massage as a de-stressor
  • practice gratitude

Our goal at Healing Unleashed is to offer a safe place to tell your story and get the help you need. Call us today 303.986.0492 for a free 10-minute phone consultation with our medical director, Wanda J. Bedinghaus, MD.