We all have a “gut feeling” or someone has told us to “follow our gut.” It’s the feeling that we can know something just by knowing—our intuition is telling us something. It turns out that this feeling is not just a feeling. The human body is a complex series of systems, each individually playing an important role in our overall health and well-being, and yet interconnected for the functioning of our entire body.
One of these systems is the gut, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, which is responsible for digesting food and absorbing nutrients. When we combine his superpowers with brains, a whole new set of superpowers emerges! Together, they play an important role in regulating our bodies, and fortunately for us, this relationship is now being studied more and better understood.
What Are The Butterflies In Your Stomach Really?
The gut-brain connection is a fascinating and complex connection that scientists have been studying for decades. Research has shown that emotions can significantly affect our digestive system, and our guts can react to our feelings in different ways. For example, when we experience anxiety or stress, our bodies release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which cause physical symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, and digestive problems. Similarly, feeling excited or nervous can cause “butterflies” in the stomach with the release of adrenaline.
Because of this connection between our emotions and our digestive system, some people call the gut the “second brain.” Knowing this helps us understand how our emotions can affect our digestive system and vice versa, which in turn allows us to maintain our overall health and well-being.
7 Facts About Gut Health
Studies have shown that an unhealthy gut can cause an imbalance in our body, which can lead to inflammation and lead to a variety of health problems, including problems with the brain. Studies have linked gut imbalance to anxiety, depression, and even neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is why maintaining a healthy gut is so important to our overall health. There are several specific ways that our gut and brain affect our bodies.
1. The gut and brain communicate through the gut-brain axis
The gut-brain axis is a complex two-way communication system that connects the central nervous system (CNS) with the enteric nervous system (ENS) in the gut. More specifically, the ENS is what people call the “second brain” because it contains as many neurons as the spinal cord and is responsible for regulating gut function. The CNS and ENS communicate in a variety of ways, including through the vagus nerve, hormones, and immune cells, allowing them to coordinate their activities and maintain homeostasis.
2. Some nutritionists specialize in gut health
A gut nutritionist specializes in maintaining and improving gut health. They use their expertise to help clients improve their digestive health through dietary changes, supplements and lifestyle changes. Such nutritionists often work with individuals with conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food intolerances or sensitivities, and other gut-related problems. Gut nutritionists create personalized nutrition plans to address specific gut health issues and provide ongoing support to help clients.
3. Gut microbiota can affect your mood
The gut contains trillions of microorganisms known as the gut microbiota, which play an important role in our digestion and immune system function. Research has shown that gut microbiota can influence your mood and behavior through the gut-brain axis. The microbiota produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is involved in mood regulation, and GABA, which helps calm the nervous system. Studies have also shown that changes in gut microbiota can alter brain function and behavior in animal models, suggesting that microbiota may play a role in conditions such as anxiety and depression.
4. Cognitive function relies on your gut
In addition to influencing mood and behavior, gut microbiota can also influence cognitive function. Studies have shown that gut microbiota can influence memory, learning and decision making in animal models. In humans, changes in gut microbiota have been linked to cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Gut microbiota can influence immune function
The gut microbiota plays an important role in regulating immune function because it is responsible for training the immune system to distinguish between harmless and harmful bacteria. Dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the gut microbiota, has been linked to a number of immune-mediated diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune diseases.
6. Intestinal dysbiosis can cause chronic inflammation
Inflammation is a hallmark of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Dysbiosis can disrupt the delicate balance of gut microbiota, causing an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and depletion of beneficial bacteria. This imbalance can trigger inflammation in the gut, which can then spread to other parts of the body and contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
7. Your gut affects weight and metabolism
Studies have shown that gut microbiota can influence weight and metabolism, possibly through effects on immune function and inflammation. Obese individuals have been found to have a different gut microbiota composition than lean individuals, and transferring the microbiota from obese to lean mice can lead to weight gain.
Trust your faith
It’s amazing how something as simple as “feeling” can be linked to something as complex as the systems that make up your entire body and how they all work as a team. Every day we learn something new about ourselves, which allows us to take better care of our health. Now that you know what stomach pain means, just trust your gut!
Irene Rondón is a Venezuelan writer with experience in both English and Spanish. In addition to writing blogs, she creates branding proposals, email campaigns, websites, and more. also enjoys copywriting for branding and marketing. When she’s not blogging and writing copy, she’s writing songs and working on a music project.
GET THE BOOK
Erin shows overscheduled, overworked women how to do less to get more. Traditional fertility books written by men barely address the tangle of cultural pressures women feel on their to-do list. How to get the job done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life you want to excel in, and then show you how to offload, outsource, or just ignore the rest.