The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, excitement, and other feelings. All these feelings can trigger symptoms in the gut.
When your digestive system is running smoothly, you tend not to think about it. Once trouble begins, your gut suddenly demands your attention.
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 is because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected.
This is especially true in cases where a person experiences gastrointestinal upset with no obvious physical cause.
Given how closely the gut and brain interact, it might seem obvious that the pair often influence each other.
Stress is intimately tied to our gut. Our bodies respond to stress with a “fight or flight system”, related to our cortisol levels.
Some people feel nauseated before giving a presentation; others feel intestinal pain during times of stress. In any case, emotional and psychosocial factors play a role in functional gastrointestinal disorders.
It is important to know that emotions cause genuine chemical and physical responses in the body that can result in pain and discomfort.
The body reacts to stress as a type of infection and tries to overcome it. As inflammation is at the root of many diseases, this exposure to prolonged stress can have serious consequences for your health, ranging from high blood pressure to autoimmune disorders.
The types of bacteria found in the gut “good bacteria” play a role in how our immune responses are regulated.
Probiotics are good bacteria that primarily line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption and supporting your immune system.
As so much of our health begins in the complex microbiome of the gut, proper balance of our gut bacteria is crucial to overall health.
Our bodies and minds are much more connected than you believe.