We have likely all known occasional changes in digestive function, butterflies in our stomach when nervous and possibly cramping, digestive upset or a change in bowel movements with stress, changes in diet or sleep. When these changes persist, however, they can have an impact on your ability to properly digest and absorb the food that you eat. This may result in you obtaining less energy and nutrients from your food. It may result in less protein available for repair and recovery. Without sufficient protein, you cannot adequately produce the neurotransmitters which are so essential for your mental and emotional health. This means that you can become more prone to fatigue, anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders when your digestion is disordered (the gut-mind or gut-brain connection).
When the digestive system is under stress, from:
- mental and emotional stress
- undetected food allergies or sensitivities
- poor dietary choices
- certain medications
and other causes, you are more prone to inflammation, imbalances in your normal healthy gut flora and nutrient deficiencies. All of this sets up a kind of domino effect whereby the digestive disorders can cause or exacerbate other symptoms and illnesses. To stop the progression, it is critical to address your underlying digestive issues.