Stress and Your Digestive System
In today’s fast moving society many of us find ourselves – at one time or another – suffering from the effects of stress, which can manifest itself in a variety of different ways.
Affect of Stress on Your StomachOne of the most common ways stress manifests itself is by attacking the digestive system: conditions that affect the stomach, oesophagus, bowel, colon, liver or pancreas are considered digestive system diseases and disorders but this is not always the case.
These problems can be brought about by stress and also by an inability to take the time out to sit down and eat a meal properly. In this day and age when many of us spend most of our working lives on the move we will invariably find that we have to eat on the move as well and this can take the form of a quick sandwich between appointments or a takeaway snack which does not nourish and does nothing for our stomachs.
Stress can cause many different problems within our digestive systems and stomachs and for the most part these will manifest themselves as heartburn, ulcers, intestinal problems and gastric problems; acid reflux is another common stomach ailment associated with stress.
Not only are we gulping down our food whilst on the move but we are failing to breathe properly throughout the process – which in itself may not sound like particular cause for concern – but add to that an ailment such as heartburn and the problem becomes more severe.
Likewise whilst stressed we sometimes tend not to eat at all because the adrenalin being pumped around our bodies from our brains tends to suppress the urge to eat. In addition to this stress brings about the need for caffeine in large quantities – for those of us who consume it – and this is also cause for concern.
Taking caffeine, stress and nicotine and combining them can lead to some very unpleasant problems with the stomach and the digestive tract and has led many people to find that they are suffering from high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Changing Your LifestyleWhere stress is a factor in your life it is important to ensure that whatever you eat, whenever you eat it, you do so in such a way that the food is properly chewed and digested and that it is not compounded by too much caffeine and not enough exercise.
Many people assume that stress is brought about by spending too much time running here and there – this is also not true – many of us can find ourselves suffering from extreme stress whilst sitting at our desks or indeed at home.
Likewise for some of us stress manifests itself as a need to eat more as a means of comfort, which can lead to obesity, heart disease and problems with blood flow.
If you feel you are stressed – and stressed beyond the point where you can cope with it yourself – consulting your doctor should be high on your agenda. Make the time to see them and ask what can be done to reduce your stress levels.
If you are suffering the effects of stress through your digestive system take the time to make a list of what you eat, when you eat it and what accompanies it – this is also helpful for you GP as he or she should be able to tell you what combinations work and what combinations are simply aiding in your digestive system’s revolt against you.