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Does Stress Impact Gut Health?

Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress can have negative impacts on our physical and mental health. One area that is often overlooked when it comes to the effects of stress is the gut microbiome.

Stress and Gut Health - Photo by Mariana Medvedeva on Unsplash

The Gut Microbiome

The gut microbiome is the community of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. 

These microorganisms play an important role in many aspects of health, including digestion, metabolism, and immune function. 

Gut Health Balance

Research has shown that stress can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome, leading to a range of negative effects on health.

One way that stress can impact the gut microbiome is by altering the types of bacteria that are present. 

Chronic stress has been shown to increase the prevalence of "bad" bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, and decrease the amount of "good" bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. 

This imbalance can lead to digestive issues, such as constipation or diarrhea, as well as a weakened immune system.

Gut-Brain Axis

Stress can also affect the gut-brain axis, the communication network between the gut and the brain. 

This communication is important for maintaining gut health, but stress can disrupt this communication, leading to further imbalances in the gut microbiome.

Other Consequences of Stress

In addition to these direct effects on the gut microbiome, stress can also indirectly impact the health of the gut through behaviors that are commonly associated with stress, such as poor diet and lack of physical activity. 

These behaviors can further disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome and lead to negative health consequences.

So, What Can We Do?

Reduce daily stress

Practice stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, or exercise.

Address your diet & lifestyle to support your gut health

Eliminate all the gut irritants, re-build a healthy gut and nourish it long term to improve gut health and minimise digestive discomfort. See our Gut Health Bible and Recipe Ebook which steps you through exactly how to do this yourself.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of the 5 food groups, fermented foods, prebiotics and probiotics to promote the growth of good bacteria. See the Gut Health Bible & Recipe Book on how to do this.

Get plenty of rest

Get enough sleep to allow the body and the gut microbiome to rest and repair.


Stay physically active to promote good gut health, but don’t over do it!

By taking steps to reduce stress and promote a healthy gut microbiome, it is possible to improve overall health and well-being.

If you want an easy guide on how to completely re-build and nourish your gut health, see our Gut Health Bible & Gut Healthy Recipe Ebook.

We also offer a Dietitian Gut Health Program if you feel you need more accountability and support on your gut health journey.

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