Can daily stresses affect your gut?

Let’s talk all things gut

First off, what is stress?

Everyday stress is common but that doesn’t mean you should just brush it off. Stress is the body’s response to pressures and can cause physical changes in your body such as a pounding heart, tense muscles and sweating. It can also affect you mentally and emotionally. You might feel stress in all three of those of ways or maybe just one – but we’re here to talk to you about how everyday stress can affect you physically, mainly in relation to your gut, so let’s get going. 

They call the gut your second brain for a reason...

And not just because of the phrase “go with your gut”. Scientists have started referring to your gut as the enteric nervous system (ENS), as it communicates with the brain that’s in our head – neat huh? This is one of the reasons that anxiety and stress may upset the balance of your digestion.

So what can stress do to your gut? ​​​​​​​

It can cause your gut to slow down

What does this mean though? Essentially, a slow gut can cause constipation which can make it difficult to poo. 

It can cause bloating 

Not only annoying when you want to squeeze into your favourite outfit but it can also make you feel really uncomfortable. But check out how to beat the bloat for handy tips on easing bloating.

It can speed up your gut

If your gut slowing down causes constipation then, you guessed it, your gut speeding up can cause diarrhoea. 

You can even lose your appetite 

Too long without your favourite food isn’t fun, so make sure you eat little and often – think bananas, little nibbles, rice and plenty of water.

If you have IBS, everyday stress can make it worse 

So we’ve gathered some tips below to help…

How to help manage everyday stress

Give yourself some TLC in the form of self-care

If the term “self-care” causes you panic, just take a step back and consider taking a bath, reading your favourite book, popping on a face mask or binge on your go-to TV show. Self-care comes in many forms so however you relax, just keep doing that.

Saying no to plans

Especially if you’re super busy and feel like you have no time for self-care, saying no to a few plans or changing them to something more relaxing – like, instead of going out for cocktails with your pals, have them round for a cheese and wine night instead. 

Try regular exercise

Exercise can help reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke. It’s free and it’s easy, once you get into it. It’s also great for your mental health – it can boost self-esteem, mood and help lower your stress levels.

Get plenty of sleep

Lack of shut eye can leave you feeling irritable and can stop you from being your best self. So take a look at