I heard a psychotherapist mention that “after all of this, there will be plenty of PTSD issues to work through”.
This also means that there will be plenty of people who under this chronic pandemic stress, will also have GI distress, IBS or increased pain issues.
When the body is under stress, digestion is compromised.
Digestion is not essential when the body is in flight, fight or freeze mode.
We tend to eat foods that are inflammatory with sugar or processed foods which also compromise our immune system and create inflammation.
We rush through meals and forget to chew, which causes more stress on the digestive tract. The body is designed to digest pureed food, not chunks of food.
This creates more stress and blood sugar management issues, which create more stress.
And stress causes the gut flora to be out of balance, too which leads to digestive, IBS and GI distress. Stress decreases the beneficial flora, and the sugar and processed foods we eat to cope with the stress, feeds the less beneficial flora including yeast and candida.
Some of the simple symptoms you may notice are increased gas and bloating, fatigue, food sensitivities, stomach ache, heartburn and a change in bowel movements either diarrhea or constipation or alternating from one to the other.
Eventually, the body’s digestive system is out of balance, the emotional system is triggered into hyper-sensitivity and what you end up with is being tired, overwhelmed, emotional and possibly binge eating…which causes more emotional stress.
It can feel like a vicious cycle. Yet the pandemic stress does not have to cause GI distress if we can work through it differently. “It” being the stress of the pandemic.
There is a way to work through it.
Deep breathing into the belly will help the body calm down. You can feel this with anywhere from 2-10 deep breaths. Do this especially before you eat and when you feel triggered. It will also help you get our of your head, and reconnect with your heart.
Second, consider adding a digestive enzyme and a probiotic daily when under stress to help the body stay in balance. Including these will help you stay ahead of the imbalance, or keep up with it so things don’t get worse.
If you have bloating, discomfort or a change in bowel movements, this would be the way to bring things back to “normal”.
I suggest Metagenics Spectrazyme Pan 9X as a digestive enzyme blend well tolerated by most, and their UltraFlora Balance or Spectrum for a probiotic. This has a good healthy dose of both lactobacillus NCFM and bifidobacterium which are needed in the intestinal tract to regular moods and help with nutrient digestion.
Start with 1 digestive enzyme per main meals, and then a probiotic with dinner. And continue for a month before you start to wean off of them. You can also schedule time with me where we can discuss your specific needs.
We may amend your nutrition and do some emotional therapy to alleviate the stress of the pandemic or other triggers, especially if the issues are not going away. Emotional release therapy helps to process the triggers with love, compassion and understanding so they no longer cause stress.
The pandemic stress can lead to GI distress but we can change that outcome if we work together to do so. You deserve to be healthy and happy even in a pandemic 🙂