Stress vs. Digestion
When it comes to digesting our food, often our first thought is: I chew my food, I swallow it and my body will do the rest. In an ideal world, this would pretty much be the case.
Mental Health plays a huge role in our bodies physical overall health, and it can end up creating a terrible vicious circle which feels like it is impossible to get out of. Have you ever felt tired after eating, or all the time, bloated after eating, lack of energy, often feel like your anxiety is on a rollercoaster ride and is up and down?
When you are stressed out our body naturally goes into a fight or flight mode. What happens in this mode? It kicks into survival and focuses all of your bodies energy into protecting itself. It will focus on keeping your main organs functioning such as your lungs, heart brain, etc. However, to stops focusing on digesting your food.
When this response is working correctly, it will go up and come back down. However, when suffering from mental health issues you are in a chronic state of stress leaving your body in a constant stage of fight of flight. This leads to your body working much harder, leaving you tired and results in improperly digested food. This is because, your stomach is not going to produce the acid and bile needed to break down the foods, leaving it up to your poor intestines, causing you to be bloated and gassy. Over time of improper digestion, it will cause irritations in your gut lining which could lead to leaky gut, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, and food sensitivities.
So what happens to your mental health when your gut is in this shape? It actually can cause it to become worse, or cause further symptoms. I have talked about serotonin before in my previous blogs, and how it is a hormone that helps us feel happy. But did you know that you have FAR more receptors (little slots that the serotonin plug into) in your gut? Resulting in an imbalance of moods.
In the end, you can see how it is one vicious circle. You might be wondering: “how in the world am I suppose to get better?” That is where I would come into play. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist specializing in Mental Health, I am able to help make a customized dietary and lifestyle plan to help support any imbalances you may.