Food and Stress: Partners in Crime

We know what certain foods do to our systems. For those with gastrointestinal disorders, eliminating sugars, starches, grains, gluten, and dairy from our diets can squelch disease activity to such an extent that it’s nonexistent. If God hadn’t led me to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I would still be sprawled across our couch, moaning and hugging my stomach.

However, illegal foods aren’t the only culprits. For many with digestive diseases, stress can make us just as prone to hug our tummies.

Being a college student, I know what it is to be “stressed out.” Whether homework is due at a certain time or the workload is overwhelming, I’ve more than once experienced the tension that comes with being a student. The tightening of the gut is just one obvious symptom. 

Stress can pervade every area of our lives if we let it. We can worry about when the housework is going to get done, when the garden is going to be weeded, or when the children are going to get over their viruses. I get extremely nervous when I have to play the piano before an audience, big or small. I even get nervous when I have to answer a question in Sunday School, among dear friends I’ve known for years.

For those with digestive diseases, we also worry about the food we are eating, or the food we are going to eat. How many of us have worked ourselves into a frenzy because we didn’t know how we were going to satisfy our appetites outside the home? “What if there’s nothing to eat at my friend’s house? What if I don’t get to the ‘legal’ food before it’s all gone? What if my friends don’t realize I can’t have this, this, and this?” 

And then, in our sinful natures, we start worrying about other people, what he or she said, did, or intend to do, or what he or she might think of something we said or did.

I say that stress can be an even bigger culprit than the food we eat. And unfortunately, they like to team up against vulnerable guts.

But what good does it do you to fret about your homework, your housework, your life? *Ding Ding* Correct answer! It does NO good. The Lord said through Kind David, “Do not fret—it only causes harm” (Psalm 37:8b). What happens when I fret? That tightness in my gut sure does give me a lot of trouble. What happens when I relax and lay my future in Christ’s hands?



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