HEALTH / WELLNESS

Stress May Harm Gut Health As Much As Junk Food

In today’s fast paced world, stress is not known to be uncommon. It is not only common but also has drastic effects on a person’s behaviour, health and other aspects of life. When stressed, the body assumes it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode. Owing to this, it releases a complex mixture of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine that prepare the body for physical action.

What is Stress?

Stress is mainly a physical response. It is quite commonly used as a synonym to anxiety. However, this is not true. Stress can be termed as the state of mental or emotional tension or strain resulting owing to adverse or demanding circumstances of one’s life. Anxiety is a byproduct of stress and the combination of both is lethal and could lead a person into depression. 

Types of Stress

There are two kinds of stress.

  • Positive Stress

Positive stress is healthy and could act as a motivator for you to do better in life.

  • Negative Stress

Negative Stress is a hindrance and as opposed to positive stress can act as a demotivator and derail you from your goals.

Negative Stress Implications

It is a common knowledge that stress has negative implications for both emotional and physical health of a person. When it comes to physical health, stress can deteriorate it by an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and obesity.

A new study also suggests that some of these implications might be linked to how our gut microorganisms respond to stress. These microorganisms are sensitive to the level of stress induced hormones in a person’s body.

Link between Stress and the Gut Microbes

One of the recent microbiology studies concluded in their findings that stress might be just as detrimental to a person’s health as is junk food, especially in the case of women. They proved this by testing a huge group of male and female mice. In this study, half of the female mice and half of the male mice were fed a high-fat diet. This was done for a duration of 16 weeks, while on the other hand the remaining mice were fed a standard chow diet.

Findings of this study
Researchers found that stressed female mice experienced major modifications to their gut microbiota as compared to what is seen in response to a high-fat diet. Microbiota is the particular community of microorganisms that reside in the intestine of a person However, in male mice, stress appeared to have no significant effect on the gut microbiota.

Conclusion of the stress and gut Microbiota study

Thus, this study successfully established a link between stress, our diet and gut microorganisms. This in turn has a tremendously negative influence on a person’s health similar to what consuming large amounts of junk food for a long duration could have on a person’s body. 

Combating Stress

There is a solution to everything including stress. It has to be combated with a lot of endurance and patience by both the patient and his family.

Following habits can remarkably aid to relieve stress:

  1. Regular meditation and yoga
  2. Physical exercise and activities
  3. Maintaining a nutritious, healthy, holistic and balanced diet
  4. Practicing focused and positive thinking
  5. Control of anger
  6. Managing anxiety and depression proactively
  7. Trying to maintain calmness in stressful situations
  8. Practicing a positive attitude towards life in general.
  9. Having harmony towards self and others

 

 

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