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How Do Stress Hormones Impact Gut Health and Weight?

Updated: May 24

Hormones can influence, not only the way we feel, but our gut health and whether we are a healthy weight too.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll explore a few of these hormones.

Firstly, adrenaline and more importantly cortisol are released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. They help the body prepare for 'flight or fight' by allowing the blood to flow to the brain and muscles and making glucose and other nutrients more available for rapid movement. This change in blood flow away from the gut may suppress non-essential bodily processes like digestion.

This can be why poor gut health can be exacerbated when we are feeling stressed. Some of us experience weight loss during longer periods of stress as the gut may stop sending 'hungry' signals telling us to eat.

In addition stress may effect the quality of our sleep. If we are trying to function on insufficient rest our bodies may try and gain energy to get us through the day. This is likely to be in the form of food and mainly high energy snacks. Ultimately lack of sleep and restoration can therefore lead to an excessive calorie intake. If this is combined with the lack of energy for physical activity then weight gain can occur.

Therefore understanding what causes and reducing stress may help is to have a happier gut and maintain a steady weight.

In the next communication we'll explore how other hormones may effect our body composition and gut health.

If you would like help in improving your gut health or losing or gaining weight please contact me for a no-obligation chat to see if my nutrition services may help you.

Happy Eating,

Nina Thomas

BSc (Hons), MSc, ANutr

Registered Associate Nutritionist & Food Scientist

Call: 07958 765337

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