All feelings produce changes in our body and stress is no exception . In a stressful situation, the heart rate may rise, blood pressure may rise and blood is diverted from its route, going to the arms, legs and head to quickly think, fight or flee.
This is expected to be a temporary response to aid survival, but when stress becomes chronic, as is the case with millions of people reading this article, it can betray health, causing damage to intestinal and digestive health. Learn more in our post!
Digestive system and brain are more connected than you think!
The brain has a direct effect on the stomach, as thinking about eating can release acids in the stomach before meals get there, for example. And this connection can happen both ways. In other words, a disturbed intestine can send signals to the brain, just as the disturbed brain can send signals to the intestine. Therefore, upset stomach or intestines can be the cause or result of anxiety, stress, or depression. This is because the brain and the gastrointestinal system are closely linked – so closely that it must be seen as a system.
Problems that stress can cause in the gut
The stress response causes a number of harmful gut events, including:
- Reduced nutrient absorption
- Reduction of intestinal oxygenation
- Around four times less blood flow to the digestive system leading to reduced metabolism
- Reduction of enzyme production in the intestine – around 20,000 times!
How to prevent this type of problem from recurring?
To be sure that the presence of these gastrointestinal problems has to do with the stress experienced in a given moment, just consulting a gastroenterologist doctor even for the correct diagnosis. In addition to passing the appropriate treatment, the indication, for sure, will be for you to “put the brakes on” and look for alternatives to slow down the fast pace of everyday life.
Have you been through this? Need help? Make an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists and stop suffering!