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Super Stressed? It's time to look after your gut.

Are you …

- edging through an emotional crisis?

- facing financial challenges?

- losing or just recently lost a loved one?

- hurting with a health prognosis?

- about to take on something really big for the first time?

These times in our lives are the most challenging and scariest of all.

and unfortunately we all have to face them at some stage.

Symptoms of someone suddenly encountering a crisis may include1:

  • feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • perceived loss of control
  • chronic anxiety or worry
  • a ‘knot’ in the stomach
  • continual frustration
  • increased heart rate and breathing rate
  • cold hands and feet
  • neck and shoulder muscle tension
  • clenched jaw
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • excessive or constant fatigue
  • nervous laughter

And that ‘knot in the stomach’ referred to above, for many of my clients, extends further into:

  • debilitating gut pains
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • bloating or gas
  • vomiting and nausea
  • lost appetite

As if going through the head stuff isn’t challenging enough!

Research proves our gut picks up on acute stress/crisis situations like you wouldn’t believe.

“The brain can also exert a powerful influence on gut bacteria; as many studies have shown, even mild stress can tip the microbial balance in the gut, making the host more vulnerable to infectious disease and triggering a cascade of molecular reactions that feed back to the central nervous system.” 2

But on the flip side….

Our gut can support our ability to cope with acute stress/crisis.

“In just the last few years, evidence has mounted from studies in rodents that the gut microbiome can influence neural development, brain chemistry and a wide range of behavioural phenomena, including emotional behaviour, pain perception and how the stress system responds.” 3

It’s no wonder many of my clients talk about their gut issues and stress situations in the same breath.

So the unfortunate irony is we can potentially go round and round in a circle.

Stress hurts our gut so then our gut can’t support our brain to respond well to the situation!

And I am sure we have all witnessed or experienced one of those malfunctions at some stage!

(Diagram thanks to:

So how do we stop or even help prevent this unfair circle from continuing?

Let’s look at what we need to function well during a crisis:

  • Nutrition – the ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes to fuel our bodies with energy to keep up the pace
  • Sound sleep – to recover from the obvious emotional and physical demands
  • Clarity of mind – the clear headspac to make sound well informed decisions
  • Groundedness – for sound appropriate responses to a potentially emotionally chaotic situation
  • Resilience – to maintain your ability to forge through the crisis and then to also bounce back from it

Some lucky people are naturally able to cope with a major crisis – they keep a cool head, don’t seem too affected, are able to make good decisions and seem to recover well from the situation.

But if you aren’t someone like this – or you once were and it’s just getting to the stage where your coping ability is not how it used to be – then there are a few things you can do to help support your gut and therefore your brain chemistry during a crisis.

While most crises are not preventable ,we can work on what we can control - the health of our gut - so it can help support our brain chemistry during the crisis.

So to optimise our ability to handle acute stress…we are aiming for the left-hand side of the diagram above – that is getting 80% good microbiome back in the gut and digestive system.

A simple way to do this is to go with fermented drinks - they really go to work quickly.

Fermented drinks act like a scrubber and cleaner, clearing bad bacteria out and bringing in good microbiome to repopulate and get back to 80% throughout the digestive system.

And now that we know about this all important link between good gut biome and good brain chemistry we know a happy gut can keep our happy hormone levels up!

If you are someone who just simply goes off their food during a crisis I suggest adding a second option Super Spirulina Plus– a complex hit of pre-digested protein, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

This is to help keep our essential nutrients levels up – in a super easy to absorb form -to help sustain our energy and simply keep going. 


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1.     Mental Health – Psychiatric Nursing: A Holistic Lifestyle Approach, 3rd ed., edited by Ruth Rawlins, Sophronia Williams and Cornelia Beck, St Louis Missouri, Mosby Year Book, Inc., 1993.

2.     Carpenter, Siri M.D. American Psychological Association Journal Vol 43, No.8 September 2012.

3.    Carpenter, Siri M.D. American Pyschological Association Journal Vol 43, No.8 September 2012.


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