11 March 2019

How does intensive and stressful lifestyle affect the functioning of our intestines?

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Living in constant rush, tension and stress at work, lack of a moment of relaxation and an unhealthy diet – this is the lifestyle of most of us. We tend to strain our bodies for years, forcing ourselves to work beyond our strength and forgetting about regeneration. Our bodies send us signals that we fail to notice at all due to the intensity of everyday activities. Such signals may include problems with falling asleep, morning sleepiness, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Ignoring these symptoms leads to much more serious ailments and even diseases.

How do we react to stress?

Many people complaining of insomnia, abdominal pain and bowel problems wonder how stress affects the functioning of their bodies. Let’s start with the definition of stress. It is the body’s reaction to strong external stimuli, manifested by the intensified secretion of adrenaline, which increases the efficiency and performance of the body. In response, our heart beats faster, the blood pressure rises, the breath accelerates, preparing us for a more intense effort. This helps us to survive the most critical situations. However, we must remember that at the same time other life functions such as digestion, absorption, and excretion lose their importance. The body is in the “fight or flight mode”.

How does stress affect the functioning of our intestines?

Long-term stress puts the body into a state of alertness for too long. Prolonged elevation of hormone levels, muscle tension and blood pressure lower the quality of the body’s functioning. The level of digestive acids that irritate the mucosa and lead to gastric ulcer and inflammatory bowel disease raises in the stomach. This leads to gastric food retention and the feeling of fullness in stomach. The passage of food in the small and large intestine is also slower. The intestinal mucosa becomes more sensitive, which can sometimes cause pain. We then experience intestinal cramps and bloating.

What is IBS?

IBS is an intestinal disorder called “irritable bowel syndrome”. Colloquially, patients refer to this condition as “intestinal neurosis” because the symptoms intensify under stress, and significantly weaken during the night and in moments of relaxation, for example, on vacation. The basic symptoms are disturbances in the rhythm of bowel movements (diarrhea and constipation), abdominal pain and bloating. Although this disease is not dangerous to human life, it significantly impairs our everyday functioning. IBS is particularly manifested by difficulties in work and social encounters.

How can we help our intestines?

There is no clearly defined procedure treating intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome. Pharmaceuticals may assist in the process. Usually, recommendations include a proper diet and avoiding stress. Physical activity will certainly be helpful in reducing tension as well as improving bowel function. Long walks, swimming in the pool and contacts with positive people. If we still observe that our body reacts to stressful situations and work-related strains in an unpleasant way, we should seek help from a psychologist.

The way we defecate matters

Our life consists of routinely repeated activities. It is sometimes worth considering whether our everyday habits serve our health. The same applies to the position we adopt when defecating. Few people know that a sitting position hinders the evacuation of undigested food remains from the body. In this position, our large intestine is curved and blocks the whole process. We will get rid of the problem of constipation or bloating by assuming the squatting position on the toilet. To do this, lift your legs up and slightly tilt your upper body forward. It will unblock your intestine, and you will defecate completely with ease. GOKO device, which restores the right position for defecation, was created for that purpose. This device has been tested on a group of users who have strongly confirmed its effective operation.