Stressed Brain, Stressed Gut: How to Help Manage Stress and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

As a result of my CPTSD I also suffer from extreme anxiety which has lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It can be a crippling disorder meaning somedays I just can’t go out as I have to be near the bathroom, can’t eat among some of the symptoms. It wasn’t until I discover Prebiotin Fiber that I have managed to get it under control. So more about IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the colon that affects the intestinal tract and is often both a direct cause and the result of stress. Stress can cause a change in the composition of bacteria in the gut microbiome, causing flare ups like IBS. On the other hand, existing gut issues that cause IBS symptoms may also induce feelings of stress and anxiety. This is a direct result of the gut-brain connection. Both issues might be aided with the introduction of Prebiotic Fiber.

IBS occurs when your colon does not contract normally and instead contracts at random, causing symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, as well as chronic constipation and/or diarrhea. While everyone suffers from bowel changes now and then, if you have IBS, the symptoms are more severe, or occur more often.

For many, these symptoms can severely limit your social interactions, travel, work options, and relationships. While there is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome, doctors have found that changes in lifestyle such as physical exercise, diet changes, more fiber, and stress management can help treat symptoms of IBS.

Understanding how stress can lead to IBS symptoms can begin by examining the “second brain”—our digestive system. Scientists have found that the gut has so many nerves in the walls of the digestive system that send signals back and forth to the brain, that it acts as a “second brain.”

The types of bacteria in our gut determine which signals are sent, which can impact our physical health, our mood, and even the way we think. This connection between the gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis. 

Because of this connection, it is critical that the gut microbiome, the community of bacteria and other microbes, remains balanced and healthy so that the digestive tract functions effectively. With a healthy gut microbiome, we feel less anxiety and stress, and subsequently have fewer IBS symptoms.

It’s also important to remember that this connection runs both ways, so stress and anxiety can cause changes in the gut microbiome, resulting in the growth of undesirable bacteria that can lead to inflammation and increased risk for disease, including gastrointestinal disorders like IBS.

Because IBS can be caused both by an unhealthy gut microbiome and chronic stress and anxiety, it makes sense that treatment involves both stress management and dietary changes to improve the gut microbiome. If you feel chronic stress, your doctor may recommend stress management techniques, physical exercise, or therapy. Reducing stress can help lessen anxiety.

To treat the gut microbiome, doctors often suggest specific diet changes to avoid foods that may “trigger” IBS symptoms. People with IBS have a microbial imbalance, with fewer Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria colonies than those without IBS, according to research studies. This imbalance is usually the result of a deficiency of dietary fiber. Therefore, another approach to IBS is to introduce more dietary fiber in a careful, deliberate manner so that symptoms aren’t triggered.

Adding a fiber supplement, like Prebiotic Fiber can help nourish beneficial bacteria, that eventually crowd out bad bacteria. Prebiotin is a natural daily supplement made entirely from 100% chicory root with no added fillers, flavor enhancers, or preservatives. The purified fiber, known as oligofructose-enriched inulin (OEI), is the only ingredient, especially formulated to stimulate growth of good bacteria in the colon.

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