Stress & SIBO – How SIBO Patients Combat Stress
Stress is something that is now faced by almost everybody. People now feel extremely overwhelmed by the long working hours, a steadily increasing to-do list, along with a range of other commitments that bombard them from every possible angle.
The increased stress levels can cause harm to your mind as well as your body in a way that you have ever realized. Research has shown that emotional stress is one of the leading factors that cause life-threatening diseases among US citizens. These diseases include coronary heart disease, respiratory conditions, cancer, and cirrhosis of the liver 1.
Table of Contents
- 1 Stress and SIBO
- 2 How does Stress Make SIBO Worse
- 3 How can You Manage Stress
- 4 How to Combat Stress in SIBO Patients the Natural Way
- 5 Conclusion
According to the CDC, stress is responsible for around 75 percent of all doctor visits in the US. These patients complain about having an upset stomach, heart problems, ulcers, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and back pain. Stress is also a significant contributing factor to diabetes, particularly in overweight individuals.
Stress and SIBO
Stress is also responsible for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth since it directly harms your digestive system. As you probably know, SIBO is a digestive condition that occurs when gut bacteria start colonizing your small bowel and proliferate.
Usually, the majority of these bacteria exist in your colon and large bowel, whereas your small bowel is quite sterile. Certain factors, including a high-carb diet, dysmotility, neural or muscular damage in the stomach, and some medications, can result in an abnormal build-up of bacteria in your small bowel.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is responsible for plenty of uncomfortable symptoms, such as gas, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, rosacea, and other skin rashes.
How does Stress Make SIBO Worse
Stress Prevents Your Body from Secreting Gastric Acid
Your stomach produces gastric acid to destroy ingested bacteria before they can enter your small bowel. There is an HPA axis or the hormonal subsystem that manages stress hormones.
When you are increasingly stressed, the HPA axis gets out of balance, and your body fails to produce the required amount of stomach acid to annihilate the bacteria 2.
In this modern world, the continuous stress you endure can turn this defense mechanism into a chronic low gastric acid secretion, facilitating bacteria to enter the small bowel, multiply, and assist the development of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
Stress Causes Dysmotility
Your gastrointestinal tract has muscles that can sweep the remaining undigested food along with other matter through the intestines between meals. But when you are stressed, the stress hormones enter your bloodstream, and the muscles either do not work or work less efficiently. As the stagnate food ferments, it allows bacteria to thrive in your gut.
Stress Reduces Your Mucosal Immunity
Your immune system has the secretory Immunoglobulin A (commonly called IgA), which is an antibody that protects your intestinal wall from pathogens and toxins. It keeps them from accessing the receptors in your intestinal lining, catches them in the mucus, and helps in eliminating them from your intestine.
However, when you are stressed, your body does not produce enough antibody, which increases the risks of abnormal bacterial growth in your intestines.
Stress Increases the Risks of Infection
Stress hormones actually promote bacterial growth. When you are stressed, bacteria can easily attach to your tissues, which means you are at greater risk of infection.
Stress Aids the Formation of Biofilms
Biofilms are groups of microorganisms that jointly use the nutrients and DNA. They also protect gut bacteria from the antimicrobial supplements and herbs, which are used to keep your intestines healthy and improve conditions like SIBO.
Therefore, keeping them from developing is necessary for optimal gut health.
How can You Manage Stress
Unfortunately, you cannot manage or relieve stress in a single way. Before designing the best possible de-stressing routine, you need to find out which stress management techniques work effectively for you. Some of the best possible stress-relieving strategies are described below:
Hypnosis is a very versatile tool that can be used for everything from simple relaxation to pain management in childbirth. It’s affordable and easy to do, and the results are lasting. There are almost no potential negative side effects, and it can give multiple benefits at the same time.
One of the top hypnosis programs to combat SIBO/IBS, stress, and anxiety is the IBS Audio Program 100 Gut-Specific Hypnotherapy by Michael Mahoney, a leading hypnotherapist from the UK.
The program contains an introduction and 5 different interlinking hypnotherapy sessions. Sessions vary in duration but average 25-35 minutes. The program also includes a progress log, symptom checklist, and valuable IBS information.
You can preview this program or download its first section for free. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
Infrared Sauna Therapy
You can spend time in your infrared sauna right in the comfort of your home. You may choose to go to a local spa. They are now located in almost every town and city. Infrared saunas not just help you relax but also detox your body. You may use them at least two times a week to relieve stress.
Whether you are going for a walk, participating in a yoga session, or cycling in the park, gentle exercise can easily reduce stress. Bodywork and massage can also be included in your monthly routine, which will eventually improve your gut function, as well as help with chronic constipation 3.
Practice Time Management
Are you stressed by the to-do list? Prioritization is crucial now since it is easy for your commitments and obligations to build up, which can become a cause for everyday stress.
Although it is not an easy task, you will have to carefully choose what you spend your time on and eliminate the unnecessary obligations. This way, you can have a more tranquil life.
Do Not Watch the News
While you need to stay informed, watching the news may not always be beneficial. It can unnecessarily barrage your brain with stressful or worrying information.
Regularly disconnecting yourself from different devices and social platforms will minimize your exposure to the negativity. Keep all the screens out of the bedroom. By doing this, you will avoid late-night exposure to blue light that can disturb your sleep. It would help if you had a good night’s sleep to relieve your stress.
How to Combat Stress in SIBO Patients the Natural Way
There are many adaptogens, which are a family of herbs that assist your body to adapt to stress and control your body’s functions. These groups of herbs can be safely used over a long time.
By managing stress directly, the adaptogens can help you in preventing and warding off small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, while improving how your digestive system fights with it.
It is an Ayurvedic herb that relaxes your mind, as well as boosts your immune function. It can boost your adrenal function, balance stress hormones, prevent stress-induced ulcers, and relieve anxiety.
It is an ancient therapeutic herb that has been used in China for centuries. Its roots have been typically used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is beneficial for weight loss, as well as lessening depression, stress, and anxiety.
It is an Andean herb that improves iron absorption in your GI tract, and balances your hormonal system, thereby increasing your body’s energy levels and strength.
It is a powerful adaptogenic herb that prevents the production of cortisol, which is the main stress hormone of your body. It also possesses anti-depressive and heart-protective properties.
Stress management is one of the most crucial parts of keeping yourself healthy, which is the reason why you need to incorporate the above-mentioned strategies into your everyday life. These will not just help you in repairing your digestive system but also help you in achieving vibrant health through the prevention of chronic illness.