Stress is a primal instinct. When we were hunters and gatherers, stress was vital for survival. If we were attacked by a saber-toothed tiger, there were only two options: 1. To run away and hope we didn't get eaten, and 2. To fight the saber-toothed tiger and hope to defeat him. During this phase - the stress phase - the body pumps out adrenalin. Adrenalin makes the pupils dilate, sharpens the senses, makes the heart beat twice as fast and rapidly increases the respiratory rate. Other bodily functions, such as the digestive system, are neglected. The subconscious controls the body and everything is orientated towards survival. If the stone-age man escaped the tiger, his body would then recover from the stressful situation and return to its normal state. Are you able to do the same today in your everyday life? Or do you have to wait for the stress to pass?
There is a German phrase that translates as having a "raging temper in your belly". This expresses the fact that our emotions have been completely shifted from our brain to our stomach. This idea is also used to express positive feelings, for example, " butterflies in your stomach". There are 100 million nerve cells in the abdominal cavity, which run through the entire digestive tract. That's more than in the spinal cord. 90% of the happiness hormone serotonin is also produced in the gut. This means that every piece of emotional information is absorbed in the stomach/intestines, processed and then sent back to the brain. The so-called "gut-brain" or "second brain" works largely independently and sends 90% of information to the head-brain, with only 10% travelling from the head-brain to the gut-brain This means that the mind plays a major role in digestion.
The gut bacteria also react to aggravation and stress. Many studies have shown that the gut flora changes significantly when a person is suffering from stress or harassment. Good bacteria disappear and make room for bad, pathogenic bacteria such as clostridium. This imbalance in the gut leads to stress-related diarrhoea. The wrong composition of gut bacteria can also cause stress-related gas.
During times of stress or upset, the body continuously pumps out adrenalin. This sharpens the senses but the digestive tract is neglected. This can result in the digestion coming to a standstill. Under stress, constipation can occur. The muscles that move digesting food through the intestinal tract no longer have enough power and cease to work properly. This causes constipation and means that the gut bacteria have to battle with fermenting, partially digested food and the toxins it produces.
Long-term stress can cause chronic digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Many people recognise the feeling of something hitting them in the stomach. This can be everything from stabbing and cramping stomach pain in different areas to diarrhoea and constipation, which can alternate. Stress-related IBS is not a life-threatening illness, but it can have a severe impact on quality of life. In the event of blood in the stools, fever or unexplained weight loss, however, you should seek immediate medical attention for a correct diagnosis.
First of all, you need to try to escape stress. Prehistoric man escaped from the tiger and was able to recover afterwards. This basically means you need to run away from stress rather than wait for it to pass. Sport and exercise is very helpful for this. A healthy and balanced diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibre also helps the body to avoid stress. The World Health Organisation now recommends 5-6 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. The gut flora should also be "fed" with sufficient levels of bacteria, such as in Lactobact® PREMIUM. During times of temporary, short-term stress, Lactobact® RAPID-Antistress works particularly well. As well as bacteria it also contains B vitamins, which strengthen the nerves.
If you are subject to longer-term severe stress and psychological pressure, we recommend a combination of Lactobact® PREMIUM and Casa Sana NEUROBALANCE.
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