How Gut Health Affects Your Brain
Have you ever had a bad feeling in your stomach after doing something embarrassing, or maybe just before you were about to embark on something nerve-inducing? It makes you wonder just how connected your gut and your brain are. Here’s how your gut health affects your brain.
The Vagus Nerve
The vagus nerve is like the communication highway of the body. It sends signals from the brain to other organs, including the gut, and from organs back to the brain. It’s safe to say that the vagus nerve plays an important role in the body. The vagus nerve has two “modes” that work to keep our bodies safe.
This should be your bodies’ normal state of being. When in parasympathetic mode, the vagus nerve is signaling to our brain and gut and all of our other tissues and organs that we are safe. We can properly digest foods, we are relaxed and calm, and there is low inflammation.
Sympathetic mode is when we are in “fight or flight.” This is a great response when needed, and can help to keep us safe in moments of stress. However, it is not healthy to live in a prolonged sympathetic mode. This is when our body begins to divert resources to sustain us, and we begin to experience inflammation. Our digestive system starts to work less optimally, and this can cause a sluggish system.
The Gut Microbiome
As a society, we enjoy eating good-tasting food. But somewhere along the line, we have lowered our standard of “good-for-you” food. The industrialization of food is in part to blame for this, but our fast-paced lives have contributed to this as well. Eating fast food and processed foods to get through the workday can quickly wreck your gut. We have less time to thoughtfully prepare our foods, and we care less whether our foods are organic whole foods or not.
This has become a detriment to our gut function. Where we used to eat balanced meals consisting of whole foods, we now eat high sodium synthetically enriched foods. These foods play a huge part in disrupting the balance in our stomachs and throwing off our microbiome.
Where the good bacteria used to outweigh the bad, we now have an overgrowth in bad bacteria. With a disrupted balance in the gut, neurotransmitters like serotonin, acetylcholine, and dopamine which are created in the gut, slow their production.
Gut Health and Mental Health
Studies have shown that people who have been diagnosed with mental health disorders often show an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. People who have been diagnosed with depression often lack the bacteria called Coprococcus and Dialister. Whereas those diagnosed with anxiety have proven to alleviate their symptoms by implementing a probiotic and prebiotic-rich diet.
Given that the gut and vagus system plays such a large part in regulating our bodily functions, it makes sense to do everything we can to nourish our bodies in a way to support them. If you’re interested in taking steps towards healing your gut consider reading some of our other articles geared toward the gut. Or schedule a consultation today.
Taking steps to clean up your lifestyle no matter how small will always be beneficial. At Intuitive Health Restoration, we work on any issues the body may have during the healing process your body is making. A well-rounded program works the best. One that cleans the gut, the organs, promotes drainage and handles the neuroendocrine system. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take a positive step towards health restoration.