Stress, Brain, Gut: What’s the Connection?
How many times in your life have you felt like there were butterflies in your stomach, or your chest was in your throat?
Whether it be minutes before a job interview, first date, big exam, or simply an unnerving experience, most of us can recall a time that stress contributed to an uncomfortable feeling in our stomach. This feeling is actually attributed to the gut-brain connection . Did you know there are more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract (think mouth to anus)?
In conjunction with other components of the nervous system, emotional and cognitive signals are transmitted with additional influence from our immune and endocrine systems. Thus, our gut, hormones, and health are all intertwined with an effect on our brain’s functioning.
The communication between all of these cells in our bodies is further influenced by the gut microbiome. Within our guts are millions of bacteria, both good and bad, that aid in cell communication. Thus, when our microbiome is modified by antibiotics, food intolerances, infection, toxins or inflammation, we commonly end up with a “leaky gut” and an imbalance between our good and bad bacteria. As a result, our bodies become susceptible to a whole array of problems. For example, our brain function may be affected, leading to depression, Alzheimer’s or other neurological diseases. Another is the worsening of irritable bowel disease.
Whether it be identifying and reducing the stresses in our lives, enhancing the flora in our gut, or taking proactive measures to reduce leaky gut, it is vital that we treat our guts with kindness to support overall health.
To better understand how your lifestyle may be affecting your gut and brain, schedule your free introductory consult today (https://www.greatlakesim.com/book-online).