Stress is something that knocks you out of your homeostatic balance. It’s any real or imagined threat and the body’s responses to that threat.
Stress can come in a number of forms and can be both good or bad:
- Physical – over or under exercise
- Chemical – drugs/pesticides or organics
- Electromagnetic – too much/not enough sunlight, artificial light, microwaves
- Mental – positive/negative thinking, work/financial/emotional/family
- Nutritional – too much/not enough food, poor quality food
- Thermal – maintaining body temperature/being too hot/too cold
When you’re stressed, your body reacts to all stress, real or imagined, in the same way – the fight or flight mode. Cortisol is released, blood pressure/heart rate increase, more alert and your digestion slows down. This is fine while you get away from the tiger that’s threatening you, but not so good if you are living like this day to day. In nature we are designed to handle acute stress for 2 to 4 minutes, that’s the amount of time, in nature, where we will get some result from the danger facing us – hopefully we fight or flee successfully, or we’re eaten by the tiger that’s chasing us.
If your digestive system is not working properly to absorb the food you eat, that is, it’s stressed out and inflamed, gaps can occur in your intestinal tract and undigested particles can get into your bloodstream – ‘leaky gut’ or ‘irritable bowel’. Your immune system (70% of which is found in your gut) recognises this as a problem for your system and attacks these particles – forming immune complexes that can cause inflammation, and can be expressed as a number of symptoms, from thyroid and gut issues, to asthma or skin conditions among other things.
If we can identify these sensitive foods, take them out and let your gut repair itself, we can let your body recover and be rid of the symptoms, (or in other words, be less stressed out) then the body will be in a better position or more healthy state (which for me means you will to respond to the exercise stimulus and drop weight, gain muscle or whatever it is you’ve been wanting to achieve.)
Not only is 70% of your immunity in your gut, 90% of your serotonin is produced in your gut (neurotransmitter thought to be contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness). When we talk about ‘gut feelings’, we actually mean it – there’s an established connection between gut health and depression and anxiety. A healthy gut is a happy gut.
So what happens in your gut can have far reaching consequences.
If you can find out what foods are stressing your digestive system, you can take the first step to feeling better and more energetic, advance towards your goals more quickly and alleviating symptoms that you may have been experiencing for a long period of time.
What is food sensitivity?
Firstly, it’s not an allergy, when you eat a peanut and before you know it, your throat has swollen up and you can’t breathe. That’s an allergic reaction, you generally don’t need anyone to tell you you have an allergy, it’s immediately obvious and most people will know what their allergies are.
A sensitivity to a food can cause a reaction anywhere from 2-3 hours to 2-3 days after ingestion. One report suggested reactions could occur up to 8 days after ingestion. conditions This makes it tricky to figure out what is causing the problem.
Reactions are many and varied, they can be long-standing, low-lying chronic conditions – things that you’ve up to now, just lived with – from bloating and leaky gut or IBS to chronic fatigue and tiredness or auto-immune issues and more.
I now have access to www.foodsensitivitytesting.co.nz which provides a simple at-home test delivered to your door. Follow the instructions and take a dry spot blood test (or ask me to do it – I’ve had some practice!), let it dry and post it off in the envelope provided. In a few weeks, you’ll get an email with a comprehensive report outlining your sensitive foods and a suggested protocol – cutting these foods out for 12 weeks to let your body repair then adding them in slowing one by one. You’ll also get a consultation with a nutritionist to answer any questions you have and provide guidance.
If you have any questions, check the website or get in touch!