June 26, 2015Blog
Do you listen to your gut? All of us, at one time or another, feel so strongly for or against something… we have what is commonly described as a “gut feeling” about the matter.
Sometimes we “readily” listen to or obey our gut feelings, other times we don’t. I’ve heard it expressed after a decision that turned out poorly–“should of listened to my gut on that one.”
Did you know? Some scientists strongly believe the brain has a direct impact on the gut. Please notice this excerpt from an on-line article from Harvard Medical School, “The gut-brain connection”
“The brain has a direct effect on the stomach. For example, the very thought of eating can release the stomach’s juices before food gets there. This connection goes both ways. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected — so intimately that they should be viewed as one system.”
Stress, anxiety, depression…have physical symptoms that may affect some this way: heartburn, abdominal cramps and loose stools. There is a definite connection between emotional distress and gastrointestinal distress… our gut reactions can be embarrassing.
Do you have a sensitive gut? Small dietary changes, reducing stress, and digestive enzyme supplementation has been effective for some. Of course, check with your doctor about your tummy troubles and thoroughly research for yourself all treatment options. (Cautionary point: What may work for one person may not work as well for another. Find out what works for you!)
The New York times on-line published an article about possible bacteria in our gut affecting our moods… here’s an interesting excerpt from “Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?”
[…] The digestive tube of a monkey, like that of all vertebrates, contains vast quantities of what biologists call gut microbiota. The genetic material of these trillions of microbes, as well as others living elsewhere in and on the body, is collectively known as the microbiome. Taken together, these bacteria can weigh as much as six pounds, and they make up a sort of organ whose functions have only begun to reveal themselves to science. Mark Lyte has spent his career trying to prove that gut microbes communicate with the nervous system using some of the same neurochemicals that relay messages in the brain.
“Inside a closet-size room at his lab that afternoon, Lyte hunched over to inspect the vials, whose samples had been spun down in a centrifuge to a radiant, golden broth. Lyte, 60, spoke fast and emphatically. ‘‘You wouldn’t believe what we’re extracting out of poop,’’ he told me. ‘‘We found that the guys here in the gut make neurochemicals. We didn’t know that. Now, if they make this stuff here, does it have an influence there? Guess what? We make the same stuff. Maybe all this communication has an influence on our behavior.’’