The ‘brain in your gut’

Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience? Do certain situations make you “feel nauseous”? Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach? We use these expressions for a reason. Our gut is sensitive to emotion; anger, anxiety, sadness, happiness – all of these feelings (and others) can trigger symptoms in the gut. Hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this “brain in your gut” is revolutionising medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.

The gut is imbedded with its own nervous system called the ‘enteric nervous system’ or better known as ‘the second brain’, which contains over 100 million neurons (messengers) telling the body what to do or feel.

Studies show that people with digestive-based problems and diseases (eg, coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)) are significantly more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and mood disorders.

Research is revealing the surprising ways in which our guts exert control over our mood and appetite. 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’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal system are intimately connected.

The health of the gut is central to every aspect of health. It is through our digestive system that we absorb all of the goodness from our food, its an essential process. It is vital to look at the mind-gut connection when treating any sort of digestive disturbance or any mental health conditions.  Figuring out which one is triggering the other can help us unlock the answer to the symptoms being presented.

The intense information exchange and connection between your brain, your gut, and its microbiota takes place twenty-four hours a day, regardless if you sleep or are awake, from the day you are born to the day you die. All of that communication isn’t just coordinating your basic digestive functions—it also impacts our human experience, including how we feel, how we make decisions, how we socialise, and how much we eat.

In order for the mind to be functioning properly, the whole body needs to be working properly – including the gut.

The mind-gut connection workshop will reveal how through a few simple changes to our diet and lifestyle, we can develop a happier mind set, enhanced immunity, a decreased risk of developing neurological diseases.

Paying attention to the mind-gut connection is the key to unlocking optimal health.

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