Stress affects many (if not, most) people at some point or another. Stress can be physical, mental, emotional, or a combination of the three. In response to stress, the body enacts its stress response systems. These response systems affect the systems of the body, specifically the cardiovascular system, muscular system, urinary system, and gastrointestinal. Sometimes the effects on these can be profound.
Through emerging research and study, we have come to understand the link between stress and gastrointestinal function. Common GI symptoms due to stress are nausea, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation and lower belly pain. (1)
In what is known as the “gut-brain connection” we understand the connection between the brain, stomach and intestines. A lesser-known nervous system resides in our gut and has been referred to as our “second brain”. This brain in the gut is known as the enteric nervous system. Both the little brain in our gut and the big brain in our head communicate and play key roles in maintaining various bodily processes as well as mental health. (2)
The gut-brain connection flows both ways. For example, the thought of eating can release stomach juices to get ready for the digestion and absorption of the incoming meal. On the reverse, consuming inflammatory foods can cause indigestion which then sends signals to the brain of its distress. This stress on the gut may cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress because of that deep brain-gut connection. (3)
Since this gut-brain connection flows both ways, it can be difficult to tell “which came first” – the gut distress causing the mental health issues, or the mental health issues causing the gut distress. This is why care and consideration should be taken to help reduce stress levels and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. In fact, cognitive behavioral therapies have been shown to help reduce gut issues.
Many people are prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for mental health disorders. But what’s important to note is the majority of serotonin (the feel-good hormone) is produced in the gut. As we know and understand, taking SSRIs can affect the neurons in the gut and its homeostasis (4). As a result, what was supposed to help mental health, is now unfortunately disrupting gut health and indirectly causing more potential mental health distress.
That’s why we went to work formulating a supplement to help combat mental and emotional stress. AnxDefy+ is the newest exclusive blend of nutrients designed to support healthy adrenal gland function. Controlled cortisol levels help the body to adjust to mental, physical and emotional stress properly. It’s an over-the-counter blend of amino acids and stress-reducing herbs designed to work with mental and emotional stressors and it’s gentle enough on your gut. AnxDefy+ helps to control the body’s response to everyday stress supporting a healthy weight, decreased appetite and increased mental clarity.