Our brain and digestive system are connected via the vagus nerve, so when our brain is stressed, symptoms will often manifest in the gut (and vice versa).
Hannah explained: “It’s no surprise that stress is one of the biggest triggers for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Stress can disturb the mixture of bacteria in our guts, reducing the number of beneficial strains, which in turn increases the risk of a pathogenic overgrowth.
“Taking a good quality live bacteria supplement such as Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formulation (RRP £9.48 www.bio-kult.com), with 14 different strains, can help replenish depleted beneficial gut flora keeping the microbiome in balance and potentially helping with a diverse range of stress-related gastrointestinal disorders.”
Blood sugar dis-regulation
Historically, when the fight or flight response was triggered, we would usually have been in physical danger, necessitating us to either fight or run away.
Hannah said: “For both of these actions there is an increased need for glucose to fuel the body.
“Therefore one effect of cortisol and other stress hormones is to release glucose from storage, flooding the bloodstream so there is plenty available for use by our muscles and brains.
“However, as modern-day stressors rarely require us to fight or flee, regularly having high levels of glucose in the bloodstream which isn’t used up can have negative consequences for our health, for example increasing the risk of developing insulin resistance, weight gain and energy crashes.”