“Scientists following this line of research have become increasingly convinced that to fully understand our emotions and behaviors, we need to study the gut as much as the brain,” Dr. Siri Carpenter, That Gut Feeling 
Are Digestive Issues Compromising Your State Of Mind?
You have probably experienced your emotions cause digestive upset. But you may not be aware that it goes both ways. In fact, your gut health may directly impact your brain chemistry.
A flurry of new research has left many scientists calling the gut ‘the second brain’. But the sheer quantity of data suggests this strong correlation has been sitting in doctor’s surgeries for a while:
- More than half of people with chronic gastrointestinal disorders also suffer from anxiety and depression.
- IBS is frequently accompanied by panic disorders, anxiety, major depression and somatization disorder.
- Between 42 and 61 per cent of patients in gastroenterology clinics have at least one psychiatric disorder, compared to 25 per cent in a healthy population.
More Evidence Of The Incredible Gut-Brain Synergy
The causal link between a healthy/unhealthy gut and healthy/unhealthy mind has been further explored in studies with mice. The outcomes indicate gut bacteria and absorption affect emotional behavior, pain perception and stress responses:
- Altering the bacteria in the gut of timid mice made them bold and adventurous, and boosted neurochemicals linked to memory and mood. When their original bacteria was reintroduced, the mice returned to their shy, cautious selves and their brain chemistry reverted back too.
- Inducing gastrointestinal inflammation depressed the neurochemicals in the brains, and caused the mice to act more anxiously. 
- The mice with gut inflammation were then put on a 10-day course of probiotics (lo and behold) their behavior and neurochemistry normalized.
Seeking Inner Calm, Clarity and Confidence? Start With Your Gut
Evidence is mounting that similar effects may play out in humans. Multiple studies indicate that gut infections impact brain chemistry, and make people more susceptible to blues and angst.
The research confirms what we instinctively know: maintaining a healthy digestive system and absorbing maximum nutrition is key to feeling emotionally and mentally balanced.
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