My dear patients
Stress is a very important issue, also and foremost for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn`s disease and ulcerative colitis. Yet it took me quite some time to finish this article or as it turned out: these articles !
But in January 2021 it is a good start into this new year (and I want to wish everybody a very happy and healthy 2021, even though tody on the 19th of January it`s not the very beginning anymore).
And what I will write in this and the next articles might be a little specific and maybe even a little complicated sometimes, even though I already tried to “simplify” it (which I think worked out well enough). And once again the goal is not to “teach” you complicated contexts, so you memorize them, but to make it cristal clear to you while you are reading: stress really changes something in a very concrete way.
Once again one article turned out to become longer and longer and in the end there are different articles. I finally had to force myself, not to continue reading on and on and read about the next connection I could write about. It draws bigger and bigger circles. On the basis of stress hormons, that have an immediate effect on the gut, regarding the issue of “leaky gut”, when the mucosal barriere is not tight anymore as a side effect of stress, regarding the immune cells and the immune system of the gut, the microbiome, nutrition (again and again very important) up to the effects of unregular sleep habits, a irregular circadian rhythm to stress in case of intense training.
And while doing all the reading about this very interesting issue und writing it down in the following articles I thought more than once “…is that actually of interest to the patients with IBD ? Do they really want to know what is going on there when they feel stressed ?”
Finally I thought:”Yes ! That definetly could be interesting and might be even helpfull.”
Because the issue is at the one hand omnipresent – in our language. We talk about it very often, but important it is in every consequence most patients and people don`t understand. And so the issue is often ruled out into a corner (by doctors and patients), from where in my opinion it should be brought out.
I always talk to my patients about it in my consultation hour, but as always when I make research and write about certain issues and aspects on IBD here on my blog, I focus even more on that exact issue in my daily routine and I focus on the reaction of my patients to these issues.
As you now you can comment on instagram, write me an email under info@information matters.de and please let me know wether my perception in the following is right or wrong.
When I ask my patients: “did you have a lot of stress during the last days/weeks/months ?” “Was there a lot going on lately ?” or “Could it be related to a stressfull situation you are in ?”
I recognize two reactions:
On the one hand something like powerlessness and in a way even frustration. Statements of “being stuck in a situation” in terms of “Well, that`s how it is, what can I do ?”…”That`s life!” or “That`s the job” or that`s how it is when you have children…”
And the second thing I sense is a kind of insecurity and sometimes even “being cought” and having a sense of guilt (especially in case of stressfull situations in private life). Like: “Ups, that should not put stress on me” or “Oh, so one recognizes that I am stressed ? So obvious ? Should work on that … !”
None of these sentences are spoken, but yet it is hanging in the air.
(Is that possible ? Is my perception matching what is going on ?)
And that`why I write this and the next articles ! So that you can understand: stress does exist. It`s a fact and nothing you should ignore or push aside. Since it changes something in your body. Not different from changes that happen when you are taking medication or when you take care of your nutrition and eat certain foods or do some physial exercise or do no exercise – everything affects your wellbeing.
Stress is not just a “weird feeling”. It is not “your fault” either and nothing you just imagine or that is “all in the head” as some people say (even though it is partly in the head indeed, but in other terms than people might assume).
And that`s why I encourage you right away to recognize if you feel stressed and understand and admit or better acknowledge what stresses you out and admit what it is. I want to encourage you to take care of your mental health defend yourself against and resist it as often as possible. I will write to you about resistence to stress in another article. Because there are things you can do. Very concrete things.
I figuerd it important to make this little introduction. I hope you enjoy reading the following articles. You will find the facts of what stress does to the intestine in the next article and another one on what we know about the role of the microbiome (tricky, but I dared the approach) and then: what can you do for resistance to stress ?! – because that`s the interesting part, isn`t it ?!
I whish everyone of you a very happy new year (though 2021 is going on for a couple of days already but I write for the first time this year), good energy and lots of health !
Take care and best regards,
Dr. med. Susanne Weyrauch
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