Whoever said “listen to your gut” was simply brilliant! The idea of honoring feelings triggered by intuition or instinct, especially when they pertain to topics like trust, is brilliant. If you doubt the validity of those gut feelings, just ask any woman; they’ll confirm that gut feelings are real. The gut’s importance goes beyond just intuition; that’s why taking care of your gut health is crucial!
So, what exactly is the gut-brain connection? Neuroscience has revealed that there’s a link between the gut and the brain. It’s responsible for feeling things like fight or flight, or butterflies in the stomach in situations that make us feel fearful or nervous. The term for this is the brain-gut connection, or gut brain link.
Believe it or not, the gut is like having a second brain. There’s a network of nerve cells inside the gastrointestinal tract that closely resembles the brain in our head. Back in 1996, Dr. Mike Gershon named this network “the body’s second brain.” The gut contains around 500 million neurons, about the same number found in the brain of a Yorkshire Terrier, and we know how smart those tiny doggies are! The second brain is actually the action of the enteric nervous system (ENS), a part of the autonomic nervous system that communicates directly with the brain in our head both physically and chemically.
Gut health holds immense value because of its impact on the gut-brain connection. Inside our gut, there are around 100 trillion bacteria, known as gut microbiota or gut flora, which play a crucial role in regulating this connection. This gigantic system of organisms influences health conditions, from heart disease to arthritis to cancer. In the last decade, scientists have studied the important role gut microbiota plays in our health. Microorganisms in the body help regulate our immune system’s responses.
Gut health is imperative since it can affect mental and physical health because of the gut-brain connection. Researching the gut-brain link and its effect on certain neurological conditions found that poor gut health can send signals to the central nervous system, influencing our mood. Serious illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, Schizophrenia, Autism, and Anxiety are being studied to understand how gut bacteria may cause or contribute to these conditions. Besides neurological conditions, researchers are also investigating gastrointestinal (GI) conditions and how they affect the way your brain works.
Anxiety or depression can lead to intestinal distress, resulting in stomach or bowel problems. A person’s emotions can be a factor in certain conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloating, pain, diarrhea, or stomachaches. Taking care of your gut health is essential, and probiotic supplements like byōm® have been known to influence the body’s immune response positively. Remember to take care of and nurture your gut—it’s our second brain and a key player in overall well-being!