Dr. Julie Gatza discusses how stress affects us in many forms including our digestive health. She gives us some prescient advice, especially in these politically hideous times.
Julie Gatza on stress & nutrition.
Housing costs, student loans, and turning 40. Millions of Millenials are now living in a world of elevated stress – stress that experts say is quietly playing havoc with our digestive health due to something called the “fight or flight” response mechanism.
With all the stress continually triggering our nervous system, we are spending too much time in “fight or flight” mode and not enough time in the “resting and digesting” mode. This causes detrimental effects on the digestive tract that can lead to serious health problems.
According to Dr. Julie Gatza:
Stress can trigger digestive dysfunction and discomfort
Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include indigestion, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, and nausea. Stress exacerbates Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Stress can fuel inflammation
Inflammation is a process meant to protect the body when it’s injured, but chronic inflammation can be extremely harmful to health. Chronic stress lessens the effectiveness of cortisol, a hormone that helps to regulate inflammation.
Stress can unbalance your gut bacteria
Trillions of bacteria live inside of us – most are good. If your body is constantly under stress, your gut’s good bacteria are killed and bad bacteria take over.
Stress can increase gastrointestinal pain
When under stress, those with IBS and other disorders often experience enhanced pain perception
Stress can decrease nutrient absorption
Digestive processes and nutrient distribution to the cells are halted when the body is deprived of blood supply and other metabolic energy while in “fight or flight” mode.
Dr. Julie’s tips for restoring and maintaining digestive health
Eat Real Food – Not Processed Food
Diets high in processed foods have been linked to a higher risk of digestive disorders. Eating a diet low in food additives, trans fats, and artificial sweeteners may improve your digestion and protect against digestive diseases.
Get Plenty of Fiber
A high-fiber diet promotes regular bowel movements and may protect against many digestive disorders. Leafy green vegetables are an excellent fiber source.
Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet
Adequate fat intake improves the absorption of some fat-soluble nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which may prevent inflammatory bowel diseases.
Insufficient fluid intake is a common cause of constipation. Ample water intake helps flush toxins from the cells.
Manage Your Stress
During periods of stress, blood and energy are diverted from your digestive system, interrupting normal digestion.
Replace Missing Digestive Enzymes.
As we age our bodies begin to slow production of digestive enzymes. To help us break down food and make it more available to every cell in the body, digestive enzyme supplementation is suggested.
Balance Your Intestinal Flora
Probiotic supplements keep harmful bacteria from growing on the intestinal walls, able to trigger a “leaky gut”.
Health educator Dr. Julie Gatza is one of the nation’s top chiropractic physicians with 30 years of clinical practice during which she assisted many thousands of patients to resolve a wide variety of physical ailments. Using her understanding of the nervous system, nutrition, and alternative therapies, Dr. Gatza’s mission with each patient is to enhance their body’s potential to heal itself. She currently serves as spokesman for Nature’s Sources, distributors of AbsorbAid digestive enzymes.
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