What is the mind gut connection?

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The Gut Brain Connection

Of course the brain is connected to the gut. It is connected to and controls every part of the body via nerves carrying signals to where they need to go.

However, there is also an understanding that the messages can go the other way. Common expressions like “gut feeling” and “butterflies in your tummy” show that we have long associated reasoning and emotions with our gastrointestinal systems.

The back and forth communication between the brain and the gut is constant. These messages happen via the gut-brain axis.

Increasing data also shows that gut microbes use three major routes to “talk” to the brain. The first involves the main conduit on the gut-brain axis, the vagus nerve. The second route involves microbes making chemicals (neurotransmitters and hormones) that can signal to the brain through other nerve networks. The third route is by influencing the immune system, which interfaces directly with the nervous system across our entire bodies.

When issues arise at any point within these routes, it can affect the whole system and can trigger a number of health conditions, such as IBS, depression, anxiety, obesity, autism and more.

 

Photo credit: @alice02 on Unsplash

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