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Vitamins and stress

How stress affects the body?

Many of us are moving at break-neck speed, texting, over scheduling, pandemic paranoia, over-working, sleep deprived and operating with constant anxiety. This fast-paced life affects not only our mind, but our digestive system. Food is broken down into the digestive system, then the body absorbs the vitamins and nutrients in order to function properly. If we are constantly operating at full speed, the body becomes compromised.

Remember how a child acts when they don’t get their nap. They are irritable, short-tempered, unsatisfied with anything that is given to them. Only to repeat the process until they are fully rested. This takes a toll on the body and is no different for adults.

Working adults who are always ‘on’ can drain their bodies as well. The body is not made to perform at top speed 24x7. Think of an athlete, they practice their sport, eat properly and take an ample amount of time to rest their body.

How stress affects vitamin absorption?

What’s happening in our minds is happening in our body’s. Our mind, when overtaxed, changes the physiology of our body. When our body is overstressed, this produces the hormone cortisol, which is known for fight-or-flight action. It protects us in dangerous or stressful times, but when it’s always ‘on’, it changes us. The muscles can get tense, heartbeat and blood sugar rises, which slows the body’s metabolism. Cravings for high-carbohydrate or sugary foods become more apparent. Then the digestive system shuts off, which affects how a colorful, nutrient-rich meal is less absorbed.

Over time, this hinders not only the digestive system but is affecting the gut microbiome. Stress can weaken the gut lining, causing leaky gut problems and a host of other symptoms.

For additional information on how anxiety/stress impacts absorption.

How to de-stress?

How do I de-stress? Many of my patients ask this question. I remind them to slow down. Unplug from technology and take time for a meal by thinking about the origins of the food and how it ended up on their plate. I recommend my patients do some deep, slow breathing when they feel their equilibrium is off kilter. Breathing is both involuntary and a voluntary action which is accessible anytime and anywhere. Slowing down breathing activates the heart and mind and slows it down. We can do this while driving, cooking, or standing in line. Singing, humming, and playing an instrument also slows down the heart. Take time during your day and go outdoors, get some exercise, meditate, write in a journal, watch a funny movie, or talk to someone you trust.

Regardless of how-to de-stress, it’s important that it becomes a daily practice, such as brushing your teeth or showering. This practice will not only calm your mind, but also calm your digestive system.

I also recommend Cerenity from OrthoMolecular, which is a supplement to help calm the body and mind. To purchase, please visit our website

FWIM will be offering Group Classes on healthy living. Please check our website fwimed.com for further information.


In good health,

Vishaal Veerula, M.D.

Vishaal Veerula Physician/owner Vishaal Veerula, M.D.

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