Your gut has a huge network of nerves and is constantly relaying messages to your brain. Your gut is so clever that it’s often referred to as the ‘gut brain’.
Take vomiting for example… There are lots of reasons this can happen but lets assume you’ve eaten some dodgy prawns in a restaurant. Your gut breaks down your food and can detect if there’s any pathogens. If it starts to notice there are too many for it to cope with it sends an emergency message to the brain that there’s a potential threat, resulting in you dashing very quickly to the toilet bowl.
The same goes for morning sickness – although the gut isn’t detecting pathogens, it’s dealing with newly released hormones and blood being diverted away from the digestive system towards the foetus instead.
Emotional sickness is very similar too. Your brain has just received some shocking information and goes into emergency mode, borrowing blood from the gut. Anything that’s in the stomach is quickly expelled so the body is using less energy in the area.
Stress has the same impact on the gut and brain friendship. Your gut is happy to lend it’s mate, the brain, some blood in emergency situations, but this should only be temporary. Like all good relationships, when calm restores, the brain gives back the borrowed blood and life is harmonious again…
… But what if it isn’t? What if stress happens so frequently that the gut never gets it’s blood back? Things are going to get complicated and the brain and gut are going to fall out.
Research suggests that your gut health is directly linked to brain health. People who suffer IBS, Crohns disease and diverticulitis are more likely to suffer with anxiety and depression.
The neural receptors found in your gut are the same of those in your brain, therefore people taking antidepressant medication are treating both brains. However, American researcher Michael Gershon is looking to find a new antidepressant that only treats the gut.
There are reasons to believe that your gut instinct, butterflies in your tummy, a bad taste in your mouth, digesting information and being scared shitless, are infact your gut brain processing information to your brain.
If you’re reading this and alarm bells are ringing out to you, focus on healing your gut to heal your brain. Your health and happiness will vastly be improved. Unsure how? Try relaxation techniques or hypnotherapy.