I often speak about the importance of managing stress when you have Crohn’s / Colitis.
But rarely do I get questions on how to better manage stress.
I feel sometimes that people appreciate the importance of it but perhaps don’t think there is anything that can be done about it.
Or they think that to manage stress you need meditate for 23 hours a day!
Neither of those are true.
However, to motivate you to take action and do something (no matter how small), it’s worth understanding some ways in which stress is impacting your symptoms right now…
Stomach Acid / Digestive Enzymes / Bile Acids
Chronic stress has been shown to reduce your stomach acid levels, as well as your digestive enzymes and bile acid levels.
This can make it harder to digest certain foods (which alone can increase pain, be a cause of bloating and gas, and lead to inflammation).
What’s more, if you aren’t breaking down foods as well as you ideally would, then you won’t be extracting the nutrients from the food as well as possible
(which will lead to nutrient deficiencies, and increased symptoms, fatigue in particular).
One other common cause of low stomach acid is that it can actually cause reflux / heartburn – a very, very uncomfortable symptom for anyone who suffers with it.
Finally, stomach acid can also help to protect us against, and kill off, the bad bugs we are exposed to daily.
With too low levels we are much more susceptible to these bugs adversely affecting our health (and through the stool testing I run we commonly find these are major contributors towards someone’s symptoms).
Chronic stress has been shown, in many studies, to increase inflammation through the body.
Obviously inflammation is the main symptom of inflammatory bowel disease, and it is that which ultimately leads to the majority of other symptoms such as fatigue, pain and irregular bowel movements.
Obviously it’s not getting to the cause of the inflammation, but when someone does have chronically high levels of inflammation then turmeric can be hugely effective.
Grab some here…
Anyone who lives with Crohn’s / Ulcerative Colitis and still has symptoms has what is known as a “leaky gut” or “intestinal permeability”.
Healing this leaky gut is critical for your symptoms, as well as helping to reduce the number of foods to which you are sensitive to.
There are many factors that can make a gut more “leaky” (including foods, infections, and toxins), but stress is a major contributor.
Once someone’s gut is healed then that’s where symptoms and inflammation dramatically reduce and people start to feel much better. Managing stress is an important part of getting to that place.
Stress has been shown to have an adverse effect on both the levels of good and bad bacteria within your gut.
Your gut is home to lots of different types of bacteria which ultimately affect your inflammation, immune system, digestion, mood, emotions, and more.
The balance of bacteria in someone’s gut is something we can analyse with the stool testing that I run on my clients, and gives us a really beneficial insight into what’s going on inside (so we can put in place targeted protocols to address what we find).
In an ideal world we theoretically want as much of the beneficial bacteria as possible, and as little of the bad bacteria, but stress will affect this balance, leading to numerous symptoms.
Only once balance is restored will someone feel as good as they possibly can.
Hopefully you can see that managing stress is important, but sometimes doing so is easier said than done isn’t it?
That’s why I have put together an IBD stress management toolkit that shares the most effective stress reduction techniques I have seen work with sufferers of Crohn’s and Colitis.
These are things that you can very quickly and easily bring into your life without taking up tons of your time, and make a significant difference to your stress and anxiety levels
I share it with all of my clients during their journey because it’s such a critical element of success.
If you want to discover how to get started on that journey then apply here and we can have a chat, see if you’re a good fit and discuss the best options for you www.IamGregWilliams.com/apply
p.s. like I say managing stress doesn’t mean you need to meditate for 23 hours a day, and give up your job and lock the kids away. That’s not realistic. Properly managing stress is understanding how to better react to events, and how to easily incorporate stress management techniques into your life.
And please don’t let me give the impression I’m perfect by any means. I do find myself getting stressed / too busy etc myself at times. But I’m MUCH better than I used to be because of the techniques I now use.
Apply here for a chat to find out more www.IamGregWilliams.com/apply