Marital fights and bad marriages can result in severe health problems. Married couples often spat over various issues. These nasty fights that are a thing of most relationships can pose certain health risks. According to a study, married couples, who fight often, are more likely to suffer from leaky guts. Leaky guts unleash bacteria into the blood and can cause inflammation of the stomach and other ailments.
“We think that this everyday marital distress - at least for some people - is causing changes in the gut that lead to inflammation and, potentially, illness,” said scientist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser from the Ohio State University in the US.
Leaky gut is a little-understood condition in which the lining of the intestines becomes more permeable, allowing for the release of partially digested food and bacteria into the bloodstream.
While previous studies have drawn strong correlations between poor marriages and health woes, this is the first-ever study to highlight the link between bad marriages and poor health, said Janice, who led the study that was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology
The finding was established after researchers at Ohio State University surveyed 43 healthy married couples and their relationships in the study.
Hostility is a hallmark of bad relationships: "Hostility is a hallmark of bad marriages - the kind that lead to adverse physiological changes,” said Kiecolt-Glaser.
The conclusion was drawn after the researchers compared blood drawn pre-fight to blood drawn post-fight. According to the study, men and women who showed more hostile behaviours during the session had higher levels of one biomarker for leaky gut - LPS-binding protein - than their mellower peers.
Those couples who had hostile interactions with their spouse and a history of depression or another mood disorder, showed greater evidence of leaky guts, they said.
Marital Stress is Potent: “Marital stress is a particularly potent stress, because your partner is typically your primary support and in a troubled marriage your partner becomes your major source of stress,” Kiecolt-Glaser said.
Marital spat slows down healing: Earlier studies indicated that marital discord can slow wound healing and drive up risk for inflammation-related diseases, including depression, heart disease and diabetes. By looking for the presence of a biomarker associated with bacteria in the bloodstream, the team was able to find evidence of leaky gut.
(With inputs from agencies)