It’s one of those things that seems obvious, but a study to back up the claim helps. Stress, according to a new study, changes how the gut works. You want your gut to be semi-permeable, but stress changes things so there’s more leakage of nutrients, more pathogens getting through, an increase in inflammation, and more symptoms like diarrhea (and it changes the composition of your good gut bacteria, too). While the study focused on measuring physical stress, psychological stress can be presumed (and might be something more people are familiar with).
Physical stress isn’t just intense daily exercise, it can be a chronic illness (like chronic Lyme Disease or a cold or sinus infection you can’t shake). Psychological stress isn’t just worry, it can be a full schedule or other pressures. In any case, the result on the gut is the same.
Start with prevention. Don’t do extreme exercise, and manage psychological stress with some calming activities or meditation. Regularly checking in with yourself not only helps with stress, but with catching early symptoms of illness, so take a few minutes each day for self-care.
If stress can’t be avoided or you’re coming off of some, help yourself with some extra support.
And what may be the biggest support of all: make sure there’s a steady stream of probiotics in your diet. Fermented foods (pickled foods that need refrigerated, yogurt, kefir, etc.) can fit in your diet a bunch of different ways. Or get the wide-variety of strains from a high-quality probiotic supplement like Flora MGR.
What calms you down? Share your tips for fighting stress in the comments: