Say you’re under the pump at work, or maybe life at home is proving a bit stressful lately.
The last thing you need is something else to worry about.
But then you start to feel bloated.
Or maybe you’re in and out of the bathroom constantly, and more frequently than normal.
Maybe your skin is feeling itchier and redder than normal.
If nothing else has changed, other than that you are stressed, it seems pretty unfair, really, that you should have to deal with your symptoms on top of everything else.
A common question in clinic relates to food intolerance symptoms, and how they worsen when one becomes stressed. Unfortunately, stress does often have a significant impact on those of us who are more sensitive to our environment – including food intolerance's.
I hope I can shed some light on stress management and your symptoms today.
Research indicates that stress increases the intestinal permeability to molecules that may cause inflammation (called antigens). There is also research to suggest that reversal of water and electrolyte absorption in the small bowel may also occur in response to stress.
So, what can you do to manage your stress, and in turn, your symptoms?
Firstly, I usually recommend reducing your intake of foods you know can cause you grief. Reducing the load on your body can result in less intense symptoms.
Secondly, starting to practice mindfulness activities or meditation works well.
How do you meditate, I hear you ask?
Including physical activity can also help relieve stress. Whatever activity helps you to relax, whether it’s a gentle walk in the park, a boxing session, or anywhere in between – activity helps relieve stress.
Finally, get some sleep (I know, this one can be pretty challenging when you’re stressed)! Lack of sleep will significantly impact your stress levels. The apps mentioned above can also help you to relax, in turn allowing you a better quality sleep as well.
I’d love to hear your strategies for managing stress!