How does stress and stress affect gut health


How does stress and stress affect gut health?

Who among us has not been subjected to psychological pressure or tension at some point in his life, whether because of your manager who wants you to complete all work tasks as quickly as possible, or to meet the needs of your children in terms of school and other expenses, or even to seek that job that you aspire to get.

Unfortunately, stress and stress do not only affect the psychological or emotional state, but also harm the body, especially the digestive and immune systems. Many cannot realize that the real cause is anxiety and stress, so they are concerned with treating side effects, such as headaches or abdominal pain, completely ignoring the core of the problem.

Here is some important information about the effect of stress on the digestive system and the body in general, and the right ways to maintain your psychological and physical safety.

What happens to the body in times of severe psychological stress?
There is a close relationship between the brain and the intestine, where the nervous system partially controls the digestive system, and in the lining of the digestive system there are nerve cells called the enteric nervous system that help in many processes, such as swallowing, the release of enzymes, and the classification of food; Therefore, many doctors and experts consider the stomach to be a "second brain". 

When exposed to extreme stress and anxiety, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol and becomes in a “fight or flight” state, which in turn causes physiological changes, such as increased heart rate, breathing, and muscle tension, in addition to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and bacterial imbalance in the stomach. In this case, patients resort to taking medication for diarrhea to relieve these symptoms and restore balance to the digestive system.

Symptoms of nervous tension that should not be ignored
Symptoms of anxiety and stress are divided into psychological and physical symptoms. If you notice a recurrence of any of them, you should look for the real cause and treat it early so that the matter does not get worse:

psychological symptoms

Constant fatigue: a general feeling of tiredness, fatigue and lack of energy throughout the day.
Mood swings: An anxious person experiences mood swings between feelings of joy, sadness, anger, crying, etc
Absence of psychological comfort: lack of a sense of reassurance and psychological peace.
Constant thinking: A person with stress tends to think negatively and remember the worst situations and memories.
Isolation: avoiding gatherings, going out with friends and family, and tending to be lonely.

physical symptoms

Headache: Constant thinking leads to headaches and fatigue.
Digestive disorders: Stress and stress increase the chances of developing irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal inflammation and peptic ulcers.

Rapid heartbeat: Due to the "fight or flight" response, the heart rate and breathing increase, resulting in pain and tightness in the chest.
Insomnia: Insomnia and difficulty sleeping are the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Forgetfulness and lack of focus: The mind begins to wander and forget with the increasing daily pressures.

3 best ways to combat stress and anxiety 

Fortunately, every problem has a solution, including stress. There are several ways and means that will help you overcome it and enjoy a life full of comfort and peace.

Exercising regularly

Exercise and sports in general reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, because they help in the secretion of endorphins, which improve mood and deep sleep, and give you a feeling of satisfaction and self-confidence. 

One of the problems that people with stress fall into is constant negative thinking, and here comes the role of exercise in distracting the mind, even if for a short period. Many psychiatrists encourage their patients to exercise to relieve depression, and there is strong evidence showing a 20-30% reduction in depression in adults who exercise daily.

Rebalancing the bacteria in the stomach

Stress and anxiety lead to an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in the stomach, thus causing digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and indigestion. Therefore, many experts recommend taking probiotics or foods rich in beneficial bacteria because they improve digestion, relieve abdominal pain, eliminate stomach bloating and gas, as well as strengthen the immune system. Some of the most important probiotic foods are:

- Cow's milk and ribs
Cheese such as roquefort, cheddar, and gouda
- Apple cider vinegar
- Kimchi (a fermented Korean food)
- the Garlic

Be tolerant of yourself

With the fast pace of life, we forget to take care of ourselves and take the time to think productively about our lives and our goals. We are in a constant struggle instead of deliberation and containment, seeking perfection and leaving ourselves trapped in anxiety and sadness. But there are several exercises that can be practiced to reduce the burden of psychological conditions:

Practicing yoga and meditation: These exercises provide peace of mind if a person continues to practice them with deep breathing techniques.

Observe thoughts: Sometimes negative thoughts take over our minds without us noticing. Watch how you think and try to stay away from thoughts and memories that cause sadness.

Stop comparing: It is easy for a person to fall into the trap of comparisons and find himself dissatisfied with his life, work or home because he always compares himself to others.

Quit smoking: Smoking increases stress and heart rate, as it exposes you to severe physical diseases, such as cancers and ulcers.