Ever had stress and anxiety and been curious why your gut acts differently? Ever eaten something or taken medication and wondered why anxiety may be an after effect?
Well, your gut has a mind of its own.
Simply speaking, the main job of your gut is absorb nutrients in appropriative spaces, and then after one part of the gut has does its job, it should pass it on to the next junction, and so on and so forth. Ultimately, the body absorbs nutrients and chemicals appropriately and everything else is secreted through feces and urine. However this isn't always the case.
Studies have shown that those with IBS and other gut issues correlate to levels anxiety and mood imbalances. How is that?
Well, another job of the Gut is to protect the body from pathogens that shouldn't flow between the gut and the brain. It is called gut permeability. If functioning properly, the gut repels harmful bacteria and chemicals from passing through the mucosa and other layers of your gut.
When not functioning properly, spaces happening in the mucosa and in the cellular wall of your gut. This leads to an inflammatory response within the body, and can then later lead to altered focus, mood, and confrontation, among other issues.
Your gut contains just as many neurotransmitters as your brain does when it comes to mood and other functions in the body. One of the big guns is GABA. GABA in short is a transmitter that can help to balance muscle tone, but also, helps regulate the firing of your neurons. Along with our trusty friend GABA, is Serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate mood, appetite, sleep, and relaxation. Some scientists have found that 90 % of your Serotonin levels come from your gut!
So, how does one help to keep this in balance? Well, I am not a doctor, so I cannot prescribe certain medications or chemicals. However, there are some simple easy things you can do as lifestyle choices to help keep your gut in check.
1) Meditation. Mediation has been shown to help keep the central nervous system in check and to help modulate pain pathways.
2)Yoga. Gentle yoga and restorative yoga to help de load the stress pathways of the body.
3) Lower your stress levels. Stress has been known to decrease immune function as well altering the GI tract.
4) Probiotic and Prebiotic. I will freely admit, this isn't my area of forte. But from colleagues of mine, I have been told both can help when taken with proper regulation and research done with the companies of interest. I would personally check with a friend or colleague who is an RD on this.
5). Enjoy being in nature and having your feet on solid ground. Dr. James Oschman has some great material on why earthing and being in nature is so vital. Check out his book, Energetic Medicine, on Amazon.
Looking forward to seeing what you all think and happy Sunday!
-Peak Body Integration