Feel good about your guts

Our emotions affect our health

by Adrienne Wyper

It's Gut Health Week, and not entirely coincidentally, I've just been talking to Dr Nick Read, who's the chair of the IBS Network, which offers help and advice to Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers as well as a psychotherapist and author.

He was explaining how stress and heightened emotions can manifest themselves as health problems, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He told me fascinating stories about patients of his, whose stomach problems had become the focus of their feeling out of sorts, when the actual cause was something completely different, like a troubled relationship. (Patients' confidentiality was preserved).

Basically, we lead stressful lives nowadays, so we need to be aware of that, and recognise that health problems, particularly of a digestive nature, may occur as a result. If you overload the body with stress hormones and anxiety, it will have an effect. The smooth muscle of the intestinal walls isn't controlled by the conscious mind, and stress and anxiety can send it into spasm, which causes pain.

Obviously, some stresses that enter our lives aren't down to us, but it often seems that many of us want to cite an outside cause for our ill health, and receive a magic cure for it, rather than taking responsibility for looking after ourselves a little more.

Find out more about digestive problems, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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