Do you get sick around the same time each year? The stress of the holidays (if not carefully managed) can wreak havoc on your immune system. When you feel stressed out, your immune system’s ability to fight off harmful bacteria and infections is reduced. The stress hormone cortisol can suppress the effectiveness of your immune system, and many people become more prone to a not-so-healthy coping mechanism like eating inflammatory foods, smoking, and getting less sleep as a result.
The holidays often bring plenty of cheer…and a healthy dose of seasonal stress. Between the travel, parties, and shopping, there are a lot of demands placed on your time, your mind, and your body, and all this commotion can result in muscle spasms and the re-occurrence of familiar aches and pains. For many people, these aches show up in two distinct areas – the low back and the neck and shoulders. Sound familiar?
Bacteria is something we are trained to from childhood, but the truth is that our bodies are filled with trillions of bacteria that help play an essential role in our digestive processes and much more. Researchers have recently discovered that the types and amounts of bacteria in your gut is actually linked to your likelihood of developing diabetes, obesity, depression, and even cancer. So, it would appear that our digestive health isn’t just about what we put into our mouths, but is a critical factor in our overall health and well-being.
Leaky gut has been getting a lot of publicity over the past year, but what is it? Researchers have theorized that leaky gut is when partially digested protein and fat seep out of your digestive system and cause inflammation in your body. The inflammation, or allergic response, can lead to bloating, thyroid issues, fatigue, joint pain, digestive issues, food sensitivities, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. As a matter of fact, one of the primary signs of leaky gut is experiencing multiple food sensitivities.
If you have ever had “butterflies” or have been stressed to the point of your stomach hurting, you’ve experienced the gut/brain connection firsthand. Even the thought of food can activate your digestive system because it’s intimately connected with your brain and central nervous system. They are in constant communication, sending messages back and forth. So not only can stress make your stomach hurt, but your stomach hurting can actually stress you out!