A lot of people believe that it is only food and drink that has an effect on the digestive system and while of course this plays a key part in successful functioning, there are other influences that can play their part too. Anger, anxiety, and sadness – all of these emotions (and many others) trigger a physical reaction in the gut.
We already know that the brain has a direct line to the stomach. Just the thought of eating can release digestive juices long before we swallow our food, and the connection works both ways. For example, a distressed gut can be as much the cause of anxiety, stress and depression as their product. But yet when the gut acts up for no obvious physical or infectious cause we automatically assume we have a new found food intolerance or we’ve been hit with the deadly leaky guy syndrome. So we start to eliminate various food components (I dare not say the G word) and then begin to follow a gut repair protocol. But in reality trying to heal the gut without considering the impact of stress and emotion is like trying to improve an employee’s performance without considering their manager or work environment.
So many people are reluctant to accept the role of psychological factors in their illnesses, even though emotions cause genuine chemical and physical responses in the body. So is this not something we should be thinking about before we make any drastic changes to our diet and lifestyle?
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