There is a direct two-way highway between your gut and your brain! The health of your gut can affect the health of your brain. So if your gut is imbalanced your brain can be too—contributing to anxiety, depression and other mood and attention issues. Alternatively, anxiety and emotional stress can also cause indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and nausea.
Here are some ways in which your digestion and brain can affect the other.
The Sensitivity of Your Digestive Tract
The brain generates mental anguish and also communicates with and controls the rest of the body. A brain “overload” can then deplete other functions of the body, including your digestion. Additionally, emotional stress can result in the excessive production of stomach acids, causing considerable discomfort.
Stress and Adrenaline Production
In times of stress, the body produces excessive amounts of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. When you’re in a state of flight or flight, your digestion actually stops. This hormone imbalance will affect the processing of nutrients as well, which will in turn affect how you digestive system functions.
Effects on the Immune System
The immune system is important to protect your body from disease and other threats. However, it can be influenced by emotional stress. Since at least 70% of your immune system is in your gut, an imbalance of bacteria can cause a depletion in your immune function.
Anxiety and Sleep Problems
Insufficient sleep is often associated with emotional problems. A body that is not properly rested will have lower energy levels, which will affect other things including digestion. If your gut is imbalanced with things like parasites, this can be the reason you’re sleep is lacking too.
Dealing With Digestive Problems
An ongoing digestive problem can be an indication of a deeper problem and deserves attention. Anxiety can be coming from your gut because of the direct gut-brain connection. Good digestion often comes down to having a healthy diet, exercising and making sure you get plenty of sleep. You also may need to dig deeper with functional medicine testing.
If you are dealing with anxiety, the gut may be contributing. Contact me below if you’d like to set up a complimentary call and learn more or talk to your doctor and ask if your gut health might be the cause. Some simple tests can be done along with basic lifestyle changes that will make a drastic difference in your quality of life.
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