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Why is Gut health so important?




 

Have you ever “gone with your gut” to make a decision or felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous? This is most likely because you are getting signals from an unexpected source known as your second brain, the gut.

Hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this “brain in your gut” is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.

 

Scientists call this little brain the enteric nervous system (ENS). However, it’s not so little in what it can do. The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from the oesophagus to the rectum.

 

Unlike the big brain in your skull, the ENS can’t write a letter or learn a new language. It’s main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination. The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain.

The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But studies now show that it may also be the other way around. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.

These findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety. That’s important, because up to 40 per cent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.

 

This is why it is so important to prioritize your gut health. It governs your overall health and mood. Some say the gut should be the first. Hippocrates was right “All disease begins in the gut”.



Best of Health

Neha



If you want some more support with your gut health, get in touch with me by booking a no charge 30-minute Health & Energy Review online to find out how I can help you.




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