Stress and Digestion

Stress has a Negative effect on your digestion.

As I’ve mentioned before, your digestive tract has to be a in a state of relaxation in order to digest food. Why is this? Because when you are in a sympathetic, or stress state, our body is set to feed blood and nerve innervation to the systems that would give you the ability to run away from a threat. You do not need to digest to do that, in fact digesting would slow you down.

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It really is True.

So, when you are stressed (and it doesn’t have to be from being chased by a tiger), you shunt blood flow away from the digestive tract and slow down peristalsis, the muscular wave that moves food through your intestines. It also prevents stomach emptying, which can lead to more indigestion or abnormal fullness after eating.

We all want our digestion to be symptom free.

At the level of the tissues themselves, you will reduce the production of amount of protective mucus you form, which can lead to gastritis, which is an inflammation in the lining of the stomach, and secondarily to ulcer formation, which is a severe inflammation of the lining which also hosts the H pylori bacterial infection.

If something is wrong with digestion, then you’re not absorbing properly.

Along with this process you decrease your stomach acid production, which means your food isn’t digested as well, triggers for more digestive enzyme release doesn’t happen, bacterial growth isn’t inhibited in the right areas, and you can also develop acid reflux.

Acid Reflux is a sign of poor digestion.

Reflux can happen because the sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus doesn’t close tightly enough, and the trigger for it to close is actually having enough stomach acid! I’ll leave a longer discussion about acid reflux for another day though.

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