Digestive problems can be caused or triggered due to the presence of stress. As the stress response lingers, the immune system remains in “lockdown” and does not work as it should.
Stress levels can mean that the digestive tract is an ideal environment for infection, disease and inflammation. Peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and esophageal reflux are all examples of digestive disorders that may be caused by stress.
Peptic ulcers are caused by the helicobacter pylori (h. pylori). Peptic ulcers can be found in the stomach lining and in the esophagus. Symptoms of peptic ulcers include pain in abdomen and chest, followed by a burning sensation which can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Peptic ulcers may often seem to disappear for several days before suddenly returning. Severe symptoms of a peptic ulcer include vomiting of blood, dark colored blood in the stools, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and changes in overall appetite.
Ulcerative colitis is mainly identified by its ability to cause frequent trips to the bathroom. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory condition of the colon and rectum. Other symptoms may include fever, bloody diarrhea, sharp abdominal pains, cramping and bleeding from the rectum and anus.
More severe symptoms and prolonged experience of this disorder can cause achy joints, problems with the eyes, skin problems, liver damage, pancreatitis and gallbladder problems.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often includes symptoms abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating and altered bowel habits. Altered bowel habits can range from mild to severe episodes of diarrhea and constipation and often includes changes in stool frequency, form and color. It may also lead to more frequent trips to the loo.
Esophageal reflux (GERD) is a condition where the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weakened and begins to allow acidic stomach fluid to pass into the esophagus and mouth. Symptoms of this include frequent heartburn, sour taste in the mouth, bitter stomach contents coming into the mouth, scratchy or hoarse throat, difficulties swallowing, wheezing and coughing. These symptoms are often seen more clearly after a meal. Severe symptoms range from inflammation to ulcers, bleeding, anemia, scarring and narrowing of the esophagus, and even esophageal cancer.
Your First Line of Treatment: Unprocessed Foods and Probiotics
The best way to naturally treat digestive problems is to get your diet right, exercise a bit more, and get rid of stress. This is often easier said than done, but with these simple tips you might just get the job done:
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Stay away from processed foods. (Replace them with unprocessed foods.)
- Eliminate foods that trigger digestive problems. Common causes are caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
- Make sure you’re getting enough beneficial bacteria from your diet.
- Use a supplement with a probiotic on a regular basis, like the Manna GUT Support.
- Include plenty of cultured and fermented food into your diet. These include:
- Fermented vegetables
- Cultured dairy, such as yoghurt, kefir, and sour cream
- Fish, such as mackerel