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  • Writer's pictureRashidi Kabamba

Stress and the Body: Gastrointestinal System

"Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it, but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life" - Danzae Pace

In my last blog, I spoke on stress and the endocrine system. The endocrine system is vital when it comes to stress, especially the stress response because your adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline to help you react to stressful situations. Therefore if your endocrine system is deficient, you'll lose cortisol, adrenaline, and suffer tremendously under stress. With that being said, let's continue to today's topic which is the gastrointestinal system.

The gastrointestinal system according to the National Cancer Institute, "includes the mouth, pharynx (throat), esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus. It also includes, the salivary glands, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, which make digestive juices and enzymes that help the body digest food and liquids." Your gastrointestinal system is important because your body needs nutrients from food and drinks to operate properly and stay healthy. Minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, water, and protein, are nutrients which you absorb in order to maintain your vitality. This nutrients is broken down into parts small enough for your body to absorb and use for energy, growth, and cell repair. Now what happens with your gastrointestinal system whenever you have stress and are stressed out.


Now when you are stressed out there are various complications which occur with the gastrointestinal system. Your gut is sometimes called the second brain because it has more neurotransmitters than your brain and when your stressed out your sympathetic nervous system is activated, which is our fight-or-flight response, including digestion. The emptying of the stomach can lead to stomachache, indigestion, heartache, and nausea. Also if you have chronic stress it can lead to diarrhea and even if it gets really bad, irritable bowel syndrome. Written below are some other diseases you can actually get if you deal with stress in your gut as well, such as...

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Chronic inflammation of your digestive tract

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Group of symptoms that occur together including repeated pain in your abdomen and changes in your bowel movements, which may be diarrhea, constipation, or both.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A digestive disorder that occurs when acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids back up from the stomach into the esophagus.

  • Peptic Ulcer Disease: Occurs when open sores, or ulcers, form in the stomach or first part of the small intestine.

As stated earlier these are all diseases you can incur when dealing with the gastrointestinal tract whenever you are dealing with stress. This is why stress management tips are crucial for you to do in order to relax, repose, and feel relieved so that you can be viable to get these diseases. With that being said, I hope you enjoyed my blog and stay tuned for the next one as we speak on another bodily system and how stress affects it. Have a great rest of the day!! Peace!! :)

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