Stress and Your Gut

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Weekly challenge (I mean, opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us!

I talk all the time about the gut connection to other areas of the body—like when your gut is out of balance and it affects your brain, your skin or your joints. I also talk about the many ways your gut becomes imbalanced in the first place—like with antibiotics, acid blocking medications, poor diet, and stress.

Yes, even stress affects your gut. Stress-relieving therapies are high on my list of things to include in a healthy lifestyle. It has been known for a while now that stress can throw the gut out of balance. A recent study follows up on this by showing that not only do gut bacteria levels change with stress, but those changes also affect immunity.

The researchers of this study plan to further evaluate whether gut microbial changes are the reason that certain diseases worsen under stress. It’s a vicious cycle—stress alters the gut microbiota, which leads to worsening of symptoms, which adds more stress… and on and on.

Break the cycle. Find some kind of stress-relieving activity, like massage, meditation, yoga, tai chi, exercise—anything that brings you calm. This is an essential part of your well-being. After you’ve done that, make sure your gut also has the right support with probiotics. Break the cycle.

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