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The Knock On Effects of Stress

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Guess what?


We are not designed to be stressed, toxic, inflamed, infected, malnourished, & un-rested and yet still easily thrive, grow, reproduce, be lean, feel well, eat anything we want, and have great sex.


And yet our actions can very often lead to disease.


Today, much of western society is living with chronic stress; a state in which a person feels such regular stress that the autonomic nervous system (ANS) does not have the ability to activate the relaxation response (also known as the physiological state of rest and digest).


This is why part of my work as a functional medicine health coach is about helping you reduce stress.


When we are stressed, the body naturally prioritizes a certain set of muscle contractions, glandular secretions, hormone balances, and neurotransmitters to prepare the body for fight or flight.


Fun fact: normal functions like digestion and motility are purposefully de-prioritized in the body in this state.


From the body’s wisdom, it makes perfect sense. If we're trying to fight, flight, freeze or fawn (in other words, save our lives) why do we need to eat and digest food?


Instead, the body channels its energy (blood sugar, thyroid function, all sorts of physiological processes) toward helping us do what matters most in order to survive till tomorrow.


When this state becomes chronic, our susceptibility to disease has greatly increased.


This is because much of disease begins with maldigestion/malabsorption.


And stress or chronic stress can impact maldigestion or malabsorption in the following ways:


  • In the brain: Stress, anxiety, ruminating thoughts all impair digestive functions


  • In the mouth: Digestion is impaired by poor chewing (especially due to rushed, distracted eating) and low saliva production (e.g. too busy to hydrate)


  • In the stomach: Digestion is impaired by what does (or doesn't) happen upstream in the mouth and also impaired by eating in a stressed or rushed state


  • In the small intestines: Functionality is impaired by what does (or doesn't) happen upstream and also impaired by stress or lack of sleep, and low digestive enzyme secretion


  • In the large intestines (colon): Impaired by what does (or doesn't) happen upstream


But guess what again?


It is possible to change your stress, get off the hamster wheel, improve the functioning of your autonomic nervous system and repair much of the dis-ease in your body.


This is why booking a Discovery Session with a functional medicine health coach like me can be instrumental in helping you achieve your health goals.


We take a holistic view of your health - including diet, lifestyle, and physiological indicators - to get a whole picture idea of how to make you your best (and least stressed) self.



In good health,


Holli Bassin




This communication may contain general nutrition and lifestyle advice. I am not a licensed physician. My advice is not intended, and you should not use it to attempt to diagnose, prevent or treat diseases, ailments, pain or other medical conditions. Please consult your personal licensed physician to seek advice about diagnosing, preventing or treating specific ailments.


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