What is Stress?
Stress is your body’s reaction to pressure from a certain situation or event. It can be a physical, mental, or emotional reaction.
We all deal with stress at some point in our lives. From my years of experience, jobs, family illnesses, and money troubles are mostly the cause of stress. These are the most common triggers but everyone has their own unique cause. According to a recent study, about half of all Americans say they’re dealing with moderate stress. I would advise that not all stress is bad. It can make you more aware of things around you and keep you more focused. In some cases, stress can give you strength and help you get more done. (1)
Causes of Stress
Everyone has different stress triggers. Work stress tops the list, according to my research. Forty percent of U.S. workers admit to experiencing office stress, and one-quarter say work is the biggest source of stress in their lives.
Some of the causes of work stress include:
· Being unhappy in your job
· Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
· Working long hours
· Having poor management, unclear expectations of your work, or no say in the decision-making process
· Working under dangerous conditions
· Being insecure about your chance for advancement or risk of termination
· Having to give speeches in front of colleagues
· Facing discrimination or harassment at work, especially if your company isn’t supportive
Life stresses can also have a big impact. Examples of life stresses are:
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Getting married
- Moving to a new home
- Chronic illness or injury
- Emotional problems (depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem)
- Taking care of an elderly or sick family member
- Traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, theft, rape, or violence against you or a loved one (2)
Relationship Between Stress and Your Gut
Have you been in a position where you have had unreasonable deadlines, been stuck in traffic, had too much to do and not enough time to do it? Most of us are familiar with these kinds of daily stresses that get our heart racing, our breath quickening, and our stomach churning. Of course, just having a digestive condition can be a source of anxiety in itself.
I recommend you CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation where we will discuss your past experience and recommend some other supplements. I have read a couple of studies that shows that a major stressful event long-since passed could still be affecting your gut even now. Being stressed-out causes many of us to overeat and drink too much alcohol, both of which affect our gut.
What is the real effect of stress on our gut? Many studies show that stressful life events are associated with the onset of symptoms, or worsening of symptoms, in several digestive conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and peptic ulcer disease. (3)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
For inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, a study concluded that chronic stress, adverse life events, and depression could increase the risk of relapse in patients. This study identified a variety of mechanisms by which stress affects both the systemic and gastrointestinal immune and inflammatory responses. They note that translating these findings into therapeutic interventions based on stress reduction remains a challenge, as clinical trials monitoring the effects of existing stress reduction techniques on IBD have not shown promising results. (4)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
In a prospective cohort study looking at almost 600 people whose gastroenteritis was caused by the bacterium Campylobacter, researchers found that the people’s ability to handle stress before the infection was a pivotal factor in whether they went on to develop IBS. Those with higher levels of perceived stress, anxiety, and negative illness beliefs at the time of infection were at a greater risk to develop IBS. By contrast, depression and perfectionism did not seem to increase the risk of IBS that’s why I will always recommend that you CONTACT me to explain your unique case when you experience any of these symptoms. (5)
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
I came across a study done at a medical center for women’s health where researchers noted that there was no increased frequency of acid reflux when clients were under acute stress. However, from my experience, chronically anxious clients were more likely to notice a worsening of their symptoms during a stressful event. In other words, a client’s attitude affects their perception of symptom severity. (6)
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Most ulcers result from infection with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Contrary to old beliefs, neither eating spicy food nor living a stressful life causes ulcers. H. pylori bacteria weaken the protective mucous coating of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum, which then allows acid to get through to the sensitive lining beneath. Both the acid and the bacteria irritate the lining and cause a sore, or ulcer. However, some evidence from discussions with clients shows that ongoing stress leads to mucosal lining inflammation, thereby allowing gastric juices to irritate the sensitive stomach lining underneath. (7)
All Digestive Conditions
Stress increases gut motility and fluid secretion. This is why you might get a bout of diarrhea or repeated urges to urinate during or following a stressful event. Stress can both delay emptying stomach contents and speed up passage of material through the intestines. This combination of activity leads to abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. Additionally, acute psychological stress decreases a person’s pain threshold. Have you or someone close experienced something similar? (8)
Stress causes physiological changes, like a heightened state of awareness, faster breathing and heart rates, elevated blood pressure, a rise in blood cholesterol, and an increase in muscle tension. When stress activates the fight-or-flight response in your central nervous system, it can affect your digestive system by causing your esophagus to go into spasms, increasing the acid in your stomach, which results in indigestion, making you feel nauseous and giving you diarrhea or constipation.
When presented with a potentially threatening situation, the sympathetic nervous system responds by triggering a “fight-or-flight response,” releasing the stress hormone cortisol to make the body alert and prepared to face the threat.
Take the Next Step and Schedule Today
Are you tired of masking your symptoms with harsh medications and want to get to the root cause of stress? You could take charge of your health today with a FREE 20-minute phone consultation. We will identify the key areas that need support and give necessary support to show what needs to be done uniquely for your case. Please CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation if you or your loved ones are seeking relief from stress-related issues.
Chen Ben Asher will give you her best care recommendations and and give recommendations based on what’s happening inside your body on a cellular level, in a bid to achieve optimum results. Rest assured that no stone will be left unturned as we look for the root cause!