No one can escape the stresses of life, which negatively affect physical and mental health. Stress can especially wreak havoc with your digestion. The secret to feeling better is learning how to manage stress well. Learn more here.
There isn’t a person on earth who doesn’t deal with stress every day. The sources of it can change — from looming work deadlines and personal relationship dynamics to difficult life transitions like divorce or the loss of a loved one — and there’s no question it impacts our physical and mental health.
Learning how to manage stress effectively is the key. Stress isn’t bad in and of itself. In fact, our “fight-or-flight” instinct evolved millions of years ago to protect us against life-threatening situations. Today’s stress is quite different, however. Healthy stress management can remain elusive, though.
The Gain Wellness Center team is highly experienced and well-equipped with tools to help you face the stresses unique to your life and enjoy a higher quality of life. As specialists in functional medicine, we take an in-depth look into the ways that any health issues you might be experiencing coalesce to create challenges.
Once we have a greater understanding of what’s going on in your life and how it may be affecting your health, we can confidently create a treatment plan.
How does unmanaged stress affect my health?
Stress influences your health in myriad ways. It can look like:
- Undereating or overeating
- Elevated blood pressure
- Sexual dysfunction
- Back pain, and other types of pain
A key way that stress manifests itself in your body, however, is stomach discomfort. Stress has been linked to many digestive problems, from stomach pain, cramps, and gas to constipation and diarrhea.
Other, more complex gastrointestinal problems that can arise from stress include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Symptoms include chronic constipation or diarrhea, gas, and bloating
- Acid reflux (GERD): Stomach acid comes back up, causing chronic heartburn
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): Excess small intestinal bacteria leads to decreased appetite and pain
- Leaky gut: Bacteria and toxins pass through your intestinal lining, causing diverse symptoms
Though recent surgery and health conditions can certainly cause these problems, lifestyle habits, like how you handle the stresses in your life, are also key contributors.
Needless to say, these digestive discomforts can sideline you and prevent you from fully enjoying your daily life. Research has shown that stress worsens IBS symptoms, puts you at greater risk for GERD, and SIBO can exacerbate your stress.
Leaky gut syndrome makes you feel tired, and it can cause either constipation or diarrhea. It can also lead to headaches, skin issues, and systemic inflammation, a serious problem. Unfortunately, stress has been shown to play a role in greater levels of gut permeability.
The Gain Wellness Center difference: The complete wellness evaluation
Since we take a functional approach to treating you, we don’t just look at a few of your symptoms and address them in an isolated way. We examine your lifestyle habits, hormonal balance, cellular health, how much you exercise, and yes, the role stress plays in your current level of wellness.
Our complete wellness evaluation is a detailed analysis of your health, from all these standpoints. Only then can we get a truly complete picture of the state of your health and determine how we approach treating you.
How can you help me manage my stress better?
First, we help you learn to identify what triggers your stress and how your body and mind react to it specifically. We prescribe ways to reduce and manage your stress that touch upon every part of your life:
- Are you getting enough high-quality rest?
- Do you get sufficient physical exercise?
- Is your diet’s foundation one of healthy, nutrient-dense foods?
- Are you doing things that bring you pleasure, like spending time with friends?
- Do you spend time in nature regularly?
- Do you take joy in simple pleasures like a good read or a hot cup of tea?
- Are you practicing self-care methods like mindfulness meditation or yoga?
Modern life dishes up endless stress, but we can help you feel better by taming it in multiple ways. We assist you with creating a plan to bring your stress into a place of equilibrium — your overall health will automatically benefit.