Whenever we go through trauma, the body responds.
The body has a biochemical reaction to what we’re experiencing in our life and it’s all for our protection. It’s to help us cope with what we’re facing, deal with it as it’s occurring, and move beyond the it once the threat is over. For this process to work successfully however, our bodies will burn through lots of nutrients; the raw materials that our body is designed to utilize in order to help us to deal with life and to effectively deal with stress.
Back in the caveman days, those stressors may have been running from a wild animal. In today’s more modern society, that stress can simply be the stressors of our daily lives. That can look very complex and be incredibly overwhelming; especially when the stress is ongoing.
In order to be able to process, address and meet the needs of what we’re going through (and for healing), we need powerful nutrients. It’s easy to quickly burn through those nutrients under excessive stress. While we can get many of these nutrients from a healthy diet, prolonged or excessive stress requires additional support.
Think of the stress left in the wake of the shattering of trust and/or betrayal. The shock of the experience imprints itself on your body, mind and heart. That shock ignites the stress response which then lays the groundwork for symptoms, illnesses, conditions and disease.
For example, in the over 50,000 people who’ve taken the Post Betrayal Syndrome quiz, 45% have a gut issue which can be anything from Crohn’s disease, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut, diverticulitis, constipation, diarrhea to name a few. Even if the person continues to eat a healthy diet (and that’s often the last thing someone is thinking about when they’re reeling from a betrayal), they’re not absorbing or retaining the healthy nutrients they’re taking in.
The body has a hierarchy, a protocol of dealing with stress that often involves shutting down digestive processes and increasing stress hormones. That stress revs up your metabolism and makes you require more nutrients. It’s like this; if you were crossing the street and a car were racing towards you, blood and oxygen are sent to your heart, lungs and limbs so you can quickly move aside or jump the curb to safety. Normal processes are diverted from the digestive system until the dangerous situation is over. Well, under chronic stress, the message is never fully received that you’re safe. So, the digestive system isn’t getting what it needs and it’s a common reason why digestion is suffering.
So, what can you do?
While managing the stress is crucial, it’s helpful to support your body’s needs however you can. Start is by making sure at least one meal is nutrient dense and easy to absorb, digest and process. It has to be simple, quick and easy because our attention is on finding solid ground to stand on again. We simply don’t have the mental resources to put towards extensive meal preparation.
For me, that means a daily, nutrient packed smoothie loaded with superfoods, vitamins, minerals, quality protein and something that tastes great. At the same time, it’s also important to retain the nutrients we’re taking in and here’s where digestive enzymes will help.
Most importantly, the body needs to recognize that the threat has passed, you’re safe and everything can find its way back to a place of balance and equilibrium. No simple task when healing from betrayal, but absolutely possible. It’s predictable when you move through The 5 Stages from Betrayal to Breakthrough.
Remember, healing from betrayal and shattered trust requires healing on all levels. So whichever level you’re working towards, it’s a great step in a healthy direction.
Dr. Debi, Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute