Monday, December 2, 2013

How Stress Can Hurt Your Body

Remember this?

If you don’t, here’s the summary. My stomach was constantly bugging me and I was having trouble absorbing vitamins and minerals, especially iron. The inside of my stomach was irritated and red, but that’s all the doctors could tell me. I was extremely frustrated. I just wanted more energy again.
According to Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book Mind over Medicine, my story mirrors thousands of others. Dr. Rankin worked in Marin County California, a place where people strive to eat healthy and stay fit. She was seeing patients that, like me, eat a very clean and natural diet, and exercise regularly. Interestingly, these patients were just as sick as the patients she saw when she lived in an area filled with poverty and fast food. She then spent her time researching the subject and came to the conclusion that stress or any negative areas in your life can make you sick. (If you don’t believe this, read her book and keep reading this. She was raised to be skeptical so she really did her research.)
Though I’m not sure if this was the complete root of my problem, it really made sense to me after reading the Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner. In his book he states:
The stress response can cause a massive cascade of events in your body, including:
·    On average four times less blood flow to your digestive system.
·    Lower absorption of nutrients.
·    Less enzyme production in your gut. (As much as 20,000 times less! This is one of the reasons why, when you eat a meal while you’re stressed, you’ll often feel bloated and uncomfortable.)
·    Decrease in gut flora population.
·    Increase in cholesterol.
·    Increase in cortisol and insulin levels.

Notice, the main two things I was experiencing, stomach problems and trouble absorbing nutrients, can be caused by stress.

As you may have noticed by my blog and website postings, I have been really working on healing my depression and reducing stress. And guess what? There is a very noticeable difference in my energy. While I’m still having trouble getting my iron up, something is obviously going right because I don’t feel like sleeping all the time and I’m once again motivated to do the things I love!

For ideas on how to decrease stress in your life and gettingto the roots of your problems check out While the website is for depression, it offers some good knowledge for everyone.

Run Wild, Live Happy,



  1. Wow Sandi, This certainly intrigued me since I have had bouts of depression/stress (PTS from working a block from the WTC when it was hit, flying in Iraq, parents passing etc all in a five to 7 year span) I have had stomach issues for a while... constant upset and just ickyness constantly. Recently I had blood work done and my calcium levels were so low that my doc called me at 11 pm to tell me to take supps asap. They were low enough where I was in danger of seizures at any min. I was floored. I really haven't thought of my self as malnourished. I eat sorta well, run a lot, and have a generally active lifestyle. So I am on a ridiculous amount of meds now to maintain my calcium. Your article opened my eyes to other possible causes of my condition. The docs still don't know why my levels are so low BTW. Thank you again.


    1. Steve- happy this may have shed some light for you. That's a lot to of very o tough things to go through in a short amount of time and I see how that could be hard mentally and physically. Keep being an inspiration and pushing through! :) Mind over Medicine might be a good read for you as well.

  2. Great information. Makes so much sense.
    Phil W.

  3. Thanks for writing about this. I found your blog after running a race that you were also at (Salida last year) and have really enjoyed reading it. I have the same issue with not absorbing nutrients and my stomach problems either make a break a race for me. I always thought that it correlated with food intolerances and so I experimented with cutting dairy out of my diet and using gels with carbs other than glucose/sucrose. I had never really connected it with my depression/anxiety issues but I definitely see a pattern now. I'm going to have to read those books you mentioned!

  4. Thanks for reading my blog Allisa! Both books are a great read.

  5. I just found your blog through a video on youtube and I am so glad that I did. I am a college student in Colorado who recently began running and I also have been dealing with some pretty severe anxiety. Thank you for everything you post and I'm looking forward to reading more.

    1. Glad you found this blog and I got the joy of reading your comment. You'll find the help you need is you keep on looking for it. :)


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