The Life-Changing Affects of Stress on Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut)

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leaky gut
leaky gut. cells on gut lining held tightly together. in intestine with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity these tight junctions come apart. autoimmune disorder. Vector diagram for educational, medical, biological and science use

I was aware of certain causes of Intestinal Permeability, but I did not know how dramatic the effects of stress and chronic stress could be on this condition.  Looking at the potential clues associated with this condition, I’d be surprised if anyone didn’t have leaky gut syndrome. This new understanding started a cascade of thoughts about stress relating to leaky gut. The physical diffusion barriers within the intestinal barrier, is controlled by a neurohormonal influence, which is then influenced by stress (Soderholm, Perdue, 2001). Life can be stressful. The urbanized world in which we live is filled with a multitude of stressors that at any point could impact our present state of mind. The awareness of how debilitating stress can be is only magnified by all of the other factors that can be attributed to leaky gut. Such as, diet, heavy metal toxins, antibiotics, allergies or sensitivities, alcohol, smoking, environmental exposure, pollutants, etc. These factors could be compounded depending where or with whom you live.

Inevitably when one thinks of stress, it’s not long before an association to anxiety is drawn. Anxiety creates stress or vise versa and both are managed by the gut-brain axis. Which creates which? This correlation is so strong and in so many disease states that it is considered an unavoidable consequence (Schnorr, Bachner, 2016). This bidirectional pathway allows cause and effect in both directions. Metabolites, for example tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine, which are significant neurotransmitters within the enteric nervous system and the central nervous system and the gut-brain signaling dynamic to affect the Clostridium bacteria in the gut, which is in greater quantity in stressed animals (Lach, et al. 2018).

The effect of stress and anxiety in correlation with the gut-brain axis and the effect of intestinal permeability is a reality. What we choose to do about it is in our power and up to us. For the sake of your digestive and mental health…breathe, dance, laugh, create, exercise, sleep, play, eat REAL food…and relax.

Reference:

Johan, D. S., & Mary, H. P. (2001). Stress and the gastrointestinal tract II stress and intestinal barrier function. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol280, 7-13.

Schnorr, S. L., & Bachner, H. A. (2016). Focus: Microbiome: Integrative Therapies in Anxiety Treatment with Special Emphasis on the Gut Microbiome. The Yale journal of biology and medicine89(3), 397.

Lach, G., Schellekens, H., Dinan, T. G., & Cryan, J. F. (2018). Anxiety, depression, and the microbiome: a role for gut peptides. Neurotherapeutics15(1), 36-59.

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