Your gut instincts may tell you more than you realized
You’re up for a job interview. Or you have a dreaded conversation coming. How is your stomach feeling?
We know intuitively from everyday experience that our emotional state can upset our stomachs. But there is also a scientific correlation. People who have mental health concerns are more likely to face gastrointestinal problems and vice versa, what doctors call a high bi-directional comorbidity rate, and one reason scientists often refer to the gut as the ‘second brain.’
Your built-in barometer
Nervous system disorders like Parkison’s, and neural disorders like autism, also appear to show early warning signs in gut health. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is often linked to stress and mental health, and doctors often prescribe antidepressants for IBS.
Outside of conditions you might take to the doctor, there are the daily ups and downs of digestive health. Even mild stress, an unavoidable factor in modern life, sets off gut reactions that make you more vulnerable, and further digestive and emotional complications. For example:
- Stress diminishes healthy bacteria in the gut
- Stress boosts bad bacteria in the gut
- Stress lowers your immunity, making you more vulnerable to germs*
True healing involves your mind – and your gut
Doctors and scientists are realizing that gut reactions may be having a longer-term impact on our health than we ever realized. With gut complaints impacting mental balance, and mental state simultaneously impacting gut balance, it is clear that true healing involves both the gut and brain.
If you’re feeling off-balance, stressed, and find yourself reaching for coffee/sugar or other stimulants to keep you moving, you may particularly benefit from rebalance your brain-gut connection from a foundational level.
For occasional digestive issues, supplementing with probiotics and prebiotics, eating a diet full of fibrous vegetables and fruits, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding foods you are intolerant to, are good first steps. If you have chronic digestive issues, working with a functional medical practitioner or doctor to work out what is going on may help transform your mental state.
*The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.