Stress can impact our health on multiple levels. However, a recent study suggests that eating foods that are high in fiber can help protect our digestive system from the side effects of stress. Previous research has exhibited that long-term stress can negatively affect our overall health, but especially the brain and the gut. Changes to our gut bacteria due to stress has been linked to a variety of disorders such as anxiety, depression, and gut disorders like irritable bowel syndrome.
Researchers found that foods that are high in fiber like whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetable create short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs are very important to gut bacteria. When the bacteria in our digestive system digest fiber the cells of the colon use the SCFAs as a source of energy, which helps to promote good gut health.
SCFAs help to build a stronger gut wall and prevent and even reverse leaky gut syndrome, which is when tiny holes are evident in the intestinal wall that allows undigested food particles and bacteria to escape into the bloodstream.
The key to keeping our the digestive system health is to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans, and whole greens. All of these foods have also proved to aid in the prevention of other disorders like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer.
High fiber foods not only help prevent complications and illnesses but help protect the body from stress-induced diseases and reduce anxiety and depression. Although stress is a mental state, it can physically affect our gastrointestinal system. One study revealed that high levels of stress can affect the bacteria in our intestines the same way a high-fat diet would.
Up until now, the importance of SCFAs in digestive health was poorly understood. With this recent discovery, we are given a key insight on how stress, gut bacteria, and brain health all interact with one another. By increasing your intake of high fiber foods, you will not only boost your digestive and mental health but protect yourself from the long-term effects of stress.
For Martha Gipprich, a career in healthcare wasn’t something she decided to do but rather felt called to do. From the time she was in elementary school, Martha loved to help people and by the time she reached college she knew that healthcare was where she wanted to be. She attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Health Sciences in May 2008 and then subsequently earned her Master’s of Physician Assistant in August 2009.
Currently, Martha is working at Sunrise Pediatrics in Reading, Pennsylvania as a Physician Assistant where she’s been since June 2016. Here she has a number of responsibilities as she works with both acute and chronic pediatric patients to help both evaluate and treat them. Martha handles reviewing and assessing all incoming patient results including lab tests, consults, and x-rays. She excels in fast-paced environments, and at Sunrise she sees up to 6 patients an hour to better serve the people in her care.
Prior to working at Sunrise Pediatrics, Martha Gipprich worked at Collegeville Medical Center from December 2014 to May 2016 as a full-time Physician Assistant and Office Manager. Here she balanced dual responsibilities that included working with clients and making sure the office was operating smoothly. She managed the healthcare staff and office, ordered office and medical supplies, and crafted successful weight loss and medicine protocol while also performing her duties as a Physician Assistant which included examining and evaluating patients, performing injections, and ordering diagnostic testing when necessary. She was also responsible for streamlining laboratory tasks like venipuncture, interpreting serum allergy tests, and processing blood and urine tests.
Previously, Martha worked for over a year as a Physician Assistant at Patient First Urgent Care in Pottstown, PA. While at Patient First, she met with an average of 4-5 patients an hour whom she diagnosed and treated across an array of medical needs include strep throat, fractured bones, and coronary syndromes.
Alongside her day to day work, Martha Gipprich’s natural inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn have prompted a love for research, as well. Through Drexel University, Martha has begun taking classes on clinical research in their Certificate of Study in Clinical Research Online program in the hopes of incorporating this into her profession in the future.
Outside of work, Martha is the proud mother of her one year old son, who she loves more than anything. Currently, Martha and her partner are renovating their home, which is taking up quite a bit of their time outside of work; when they do like to enjoy their downtime, they like vacationing in Asbury Park, NJ and visiting Longwood Gardens.