Gut Health & Chemical Stress
Recently we took a deep dive into stress and how it impacts the health of your gut, but the effects of stress go much deeper than just giving you a tummy ache. If you recall, stress leads to a state of “fight or flight”. In fight or flight your nervous system switches your entire body into survival mode. Blood rushes away from your organs and into your muscles so you can fight! (Or take flight.) Your non-essential systems shut down to give more energy to the essential systems because they are in a state of emergency! You don’t need to be digesting your lunch if a bear is after you, all you need to do is survive to digest another day. This system is perfect in emergency situations, but it can be deadly if we get stuck.
Stress is a constant in our world today. It comes from every direction. Remember there are 3 main stressors that keep us in fight or flight in our modern world: emotional, chemical, and physical stress. The one we are all most familiar with is emotional stress. Your kids are out of control, you’re stuck in traffic and late for a meeting, the bills are due, etc. There are infinite things that cause us emotional stress but what about the other two? I believe that the chemical and physical stresses are by far more hurtful than emotional stress because most of us don’t know about them, yet they are just as harmful to our health.
Chemicals are everywhere. They are in the air, in the water, in the food, and in the products you put on your skin every day. Chemicals have become standard in our modern lives especially in the U.S. The problem is that every single chemical that comes into your body is considered a health damaging toxin. Thankfully God designed us to detox! You have entire systems in your body that are made just to remove the toxins. All day every day your body is in constant search of toxins so that it can get them out. But what if there is an overwhelming amount of toxins??
When I was growing up, one of my chores was to pick up the dog poop in the backyard. What a great job! Especially when you grow up with big dogs like Labradors and Rottweilers… I never really had a set timeline or schedule. The dog poop just needed to be picked up. Sometimes I would get lazy and not do my job for several weeks. Then I’d find out people were coming over and the backyard needed to be spotless. In those times the amount of poop was overwhelming! I was stressed to the max running all over the backyard with my pooper scooper. But that is exactly what happens in your body. When small amounts of toxins come in your body can handle them. But when overwhelming amounts of toxins come in, your body goes into fight or flight. It goes into survival mode.
Chemical stress is one of the reasons your gut is so vital to your health. Your gut is one of two barriers from the outside world. The first barrier is your skin. Your skin’s job is to keep the world out of your body. It acts as a barrier that prevents most things from getting in. But your gut does the exact same thing. Even though it is on the inside, it is still a line of defense keeping the outside world out and only allowing certain things in. But when your gut lining is damaged by too many toxins, too much sugar and grains, gut killing antibiotics, or even chronic stress, all of a sudden all those toxic chemicals are able to get in. It’s like those medieval battles where the castle walls get breached and the enemy comes flooding in, overwhelming the good guys. There’s just too many to handle.
Even though there are toxins all around us, there is a lot that we can do to manage them. One of the easiest ways I ever found to reduce dog poop is to have less dogs or at least littler dogs! Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, BUT your health isn’t worth it. I know you love your toxic food and soda. I know antibiotics are easier than more holistic and God made solutions, but it’s costing you your health!
Join us here at NGFC on August 16th @ 6PM as we take a deep dive into all things Gut Health!
In Health and Faith,