The Stressed Gut

Sarah Rutehrford performing reflexology on feet

The Stressed Gut

The Stressed Gut 300 450 Sarah Rutherford

Constipation is one of the most common health problems affecting more than 20% of the adult population and women are twice as likely to suffer as men. To keep the gut in optimal condition a bowel movement every day is required. If not, you may be suffering with a sluggish gut.

If the intestines are functioning on a suboptimal level, several physiological changes may appear:-

  • The uptake of nutrients may be compromised, which can lead to a state of malnutrition and lack of vital micro nutrients.
  • With food taking longer to pass through the intestines:
    • the small intestine may be irritated and develop “leaky gut” syndrome
    • the large intestine will function as a fermentation tank, producing unwanted toxins
  • With the excretion of waste products via the gastrointestinal tract being reduced, the body will try to remove substances from the blood stream by storing them in fat deposits or increasing excretion through the liver, kidneys and skin. These organs may become overloaded and their efficiency reduced.

One reason why constipation and indigestion are so common is the close link between digestion and the stress response. Most of us are aware that we need to drink 2 litres of water a day, exercise and eat a healthy balanced diet. But few of us are aware of the huge impact stress can have on the functioning intestines. During ‘fight or flight’ responses to danger the body shuts down digestion as the stress hormones rise. As a side effect of this mechanism, a prolonged stress response may lead to constipation, malabsorption, IBS, etc.

During a reflexology session all the reflexes of the digestion system can be worked to support and encourage a healthy bowel. Sometimes with immediate results!!