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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Stress-Gut Connection

What does your digestive health have to do with stress? Well, more and more research shows a link between your stomach health and mental health. The bacteria in your gut can play a key role in how you think and feel. 

Similarly, stress and anxiety can kick your digestive system into overdrive and make you more susceptible to the following stomach woes:
  • Stress can cause your esophagus to go into spasms. 
  • Stress can an increase the acid in your stomach causing indigestion.
  • Stress can make you feel nauseous.
  • Stress can cause diarrhea or constipation. 
  • Stress can worsen stomach ulcers, celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBS).
Managing Stress to Maintain Healthy Digestion
Regular physical activity has been found most effective when it comes to keeping stress under control to aid digestion. Exercise relieves tension and stimulates the release of feel-good endorphins to improve mood. Other stress reducers that serve double-duty include: 
  • Practice relaxation therapy. This can include yoga, meditation, massage, hypnotherapy, progress muscle relaxation, and sound therapy. 
  • Try talk therapy. A mental health professional can teach you new coping skills for dealing with stress. After 12 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy, 70 of people with IBS saw improvement in their symptoms, according to one study.
  • Stick to a gut-friendly diet. Aim to eat fiber-rich foods (vegetables, legumes, and fruits), probiotics found in food like yogurt and kefir, and drink plenty of water.
  • Scale back on bad habits. Coffee and cigarettes, which are both stimulants, can cause anxiety and interfere with your digestive system, leading to stomach ulcers and heartburn.
Ease Anxiety to Help Addiction Recovery 
Stress inhibits progress in your addiction recovery journey. To combat this, The Haven at Pismo Beach offers a variety of holistic therapies that relieve tension and complement your customized treatment plan. To learn more, call: 805-202-3440.