Have you ever heard the phrase
"Go with your gut feeling"
Well, this expression is actually used for a reason. Research has shown that the brain and the gut closely interact, and their connection affects functions relating to the entire body.
The enteric nervous system is located in the gut and is often referred to as the "second brain" of the body. Recent studies have shown an association between changes in gut microbiota and cognitive behavior including learning and memory functions.
Stress + Anxiety
Stress, along with other psychological factors, can affect movements and contraction in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This may up-regulate inflammation and make you more susceptible to infections.
In addition, the gut can produce physical, behavioral, and emotional symptoms when under stress. In fact, 95% of the body's serotonin (happy hormone) is stored in the gut. If you think your intestinal dysfunctions may be related to stress, look out for these common symptoms:
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain/loss
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Isolation from others
- Quick temper
A healthy gut is important for quality sleep. Studies have shown that the microbial ecosystem may affect sleep and sleep related physiological functions including the sleep-awake cycle and sleep-regulating hormones. One study in elderly patients reported that those taking probiotics had improved quality of sleep.
Click HERE to learn about what makes a healthy microbiome & Gut!
Resource: Harvard Health Publishing. "The Gut-Brain Connection - Harvard Health." Harvard University, Harvard Health Publishing, 2018.