the food intolerance bible a nutritionist's plan to beat food cravings | fatigue | mood swings | bloating | headaches | IBS

Questionnaires - Stress Related

The questionnaire below will help you to establish the level of lifestyle stress that may have an impact on your digestive system. If you wish, you can print out the questionnaire for completion and then refer to the book 'The Food Intolerance Bible' for your interpretation and relevant action. A copy may be purchased from this website if you do not already have one.


Have I Got Stress Related Digestive Problems

For each 'yes' answer, you score 1 point

  1. Are you busy all the time? - this keeps your brain stimulating cortisol, a prime adrenal hormone that keeps the body in ‘sympathetic’ stress mode. In excess levels this not only lowers SIgA but also diminishes protein-turnover and healing which are vital for the intestinal lining, normally one of the most rapidly-repairing tissues in the body.


  2. Do you feel frustrated all the time? - This emotional state lowers SIgA more profoundly than any other.


  3. Are you chronically or constantly anxious? - Even low grade anxiety raises cortisol, and some of us do not even recognise this until we go on holiday and crash when we have nothing to do! This has a similar but less profound effect on your SIgA than frustration.


  4. Do you eat too quickly? - So fast that food barely touches the sides? Your stomach as no teeth so it is always best to chew food thoroughly before swallowing. This can be a habit that dies hard. Undigested or poorly digested food challenges your intestinal immunity and increases the risk of non-SIgA reactions. Slow down and chew your food well.


  5. Do you experience abdominal bloating within 30 minutes of eating? - Bloating this soon after eating reveals that you are not digesting food properly or that there is a lack of 'energy' within your digestive system. It may also be a food intolerance reaction. Again, slow down and chew your food well.


  6. Do you suffer frequent indigestion or burping or excess wind after meals? - Especially when you are in a rush? This reflects low stomach acid, one of the risks of food intolerance. Once again, slow down and chew your food well.


  7. Do you have craving for salt, salty foods or sugar? - Do you find yourself eating the whole bag of chips or adding extra salt to foods, and/or you crave sugar or something sweet on a regular basis? This is a reflection of adrenal stress and an indirect measure of how stress might be involved in your overall health.


  8. Do you experience an 'energy crash' after eating a moderate-sized meal? - This can often be the case especially after lunch. Even though you have not eaten a large meal, you find that a normal meal makes you want to take a nap afterwards. This is a sign of adrenal fatigue and could also be a sign of food intolerance itself.


  9. Do your symptoms get worse if you skip meals or eat too little? - Do you have to drive yourself with snacks, colas, and coffees just to keep from collapsing? This is a measure of stress that is indirectly related to your digestive health.


  10. Are you constantly tired even though you are getting enough sleep? - Despite getting a good night's sleep, do you still feel tired when you wake up? 'Refreshed' is a foreign word to people with adrenal fatigue. This reflects that your digestive system would not have enough energy to digest food properly .


  11. Are you lethargic? - Does everything seems like a chore, even the things you used to enjoy? This reflects that your digestive system would not have enough energy to digest food properly.


  12. Do you tire easily and have no stamina? - Does everything takes more effort? If walking a block sometimes feels like a marathon, this reflects that your digestive system does not have enough energy to digest food properly.


  13. Do you have difficulty handling stress? - Do little things that never used to bother you, now get to you? Anger, road rage, constant anxiety, yelling at your kids, compulsive eating, smoking or drug use are some of the behaviours that let you know your adrenals are crying out for help. This reflects that your digestive system does not have enough energy to digest food properly.


  14. Does it take you a long time to recover from illness, injury or trauma? - The cold you got in October is still hanging on in December. The cut on your finger takes weeks to heal. Two years after your father died you are still incapacitated by grief. Slow wound-healing directly impacts on the healing of your intestinal lining.


  15. Have your PMS symptoms increased? - Bloated, tired, crabby, crampy and craving chocolate - does it get any worse than this? This usually means that your digestive system does not have enough energy to digest food properly and also that refined carbohydrates and sugar may be feeding unwanted bacteria and yeast in your intestines.


  16. Do you feel light headed if you stand up too quickly? - If you sometimes you feel a little woozy or even like you are going to pass out when you get up too quickly from the bed or chair, this is a sign of adrenal fatigue, which has an impact on your digestive system's ability to work properly.


  17. Do you find it difficult getting up in the morning? - Three alarms and you still don't feel awake enough to lift your head off the pillow. This is another sign of adrenal fatigue which has an indirect effect on your digestion and immune functions.


  18. Do you hit an afternoon 'low' between 3 and 4 pm? - At around 3.00 - 3.30 in the afternoon you start to feel like you have been drugged, and this is usually the time you reach for chocolate or a sugary snack. This reflects two thing: that you have adrenal fatigue (and this influences digestive energies) and that you are feeding your intestines the wrong food.
  19. Have you lost muscle tone? - If despite the same levels of activity you appear to have less muscle relative to your body weight, this reflects that your body may not be healing and repairing itself as well as it should - and this will affect your intestinal lining before it affects your muscles.


  20. Have you got high blood pressure? - Stress raises blood pressure by a number of mechanisms including elevated cortisol levels. Stress also inhibits digestive functions.


  21. Do you suffer from insomnia? - This is one of the classic signs of stress. Cortisol at high levels is a direct cause of interrupted sleep. This can directly affect immunity in the intestines and the rate at which the intestinal lining repairs itself.


  22. Do you exercise too much? - Are you exercising six or more times a week for more than 45 minutes at a time, or for more than 90 minutes four or more times a week? This is a classic cause of low SIgA. Please note that you are more likely to experience a food intolerance after intense or endurance exercise than at other times. This is why it is useful to use appropriate sports powders after exercise sessions so that you can replace lost energy with easy-to-digest carbohydrates rather than something like pasta.


  23. Are you overly competetive? - Regularly participating in competitive sport will increase your levels of 'anticipatory' (before the event) stress as well as your levels of performance stress. Most athletes need to do something to support their SIgA levels (see point 22).


  24. Do you suffer from chronic pain? - No matter what the source, this leads to excess cortisol stimulation. This has the same effect as excess stress and lowers intestinal immunity and increases the risk of leaky gut syndrome.


  25. Are you drinking too much? - Do you drink more than three glasses of alcohol more than twice a week? Alcohol impairs the liver’s ability to use glycogen for brain sugar, so cortisol is stimulated instead to provide the brain with sugar (glucose) from proteins and fats. It also increases the risk of leaky gut syndrome and lowers SIgA, depletes the body of numerous vitamins and minerals and alters the balance of intestinal bacteria.

Total Score -------------- / 25 (Women)
Total Score -------------- / 24 (men)