It can’t be emphasized enough how big stress is for gut health! 

Stress is a body’s survival mechanism, and it is meant to help us deal with stressors. We need stress! But if we don’t recover from the stressful event, or if there are too many of them, stress can become harmful to us. 

The way stress leads to gut symptoms is this: 

  1. Stress triggers the stress response in the body
  2. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis becomes triggered and leads to stress hormone secretion into the blood stream. The parasympathetic nervous system sends distress signals to the gut.
  3. Body tissues react to stress hormones
  4. Digestion becomes slowed down and gut symptoms are likely – when the body is perceived to be in danger, the less vital functions are turned off, like digestion, so that we have a better ability to deal with the danger.

The stress response is also the beginning of a vicious cycle that leads to IBS and chronic gut issues.

The good news is that by managing stress through mindset change and stress release methods, we can begin to heal our gut. I’ve added many tools on IBSwise to help you find the ones that work for you the best! 

To get you started, read through the “IBS-cycle” lesson and try out all of the available stress release options. Make stress management and release a habit – you won’t regret it!