THE BRAIN-GUT CONNECTION
Download and complete the Brain-Gut Axis Questionnaire to establish whether psychological factors such as stress, emotions, worry, anxiety and depression are impacting your IBS symptoms.
Think back to a time in your life when you felt nervous. Maybe you were required to give a speech, undertake an exam, go on a date or attend an important job interview. Remember those nerves and butterflies in your stomach? This is a common example of the strong link between the brain and digestive system. This link is called the brain-gut axis. The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) lives in the lining of your digestive tract. The ENS, also named the “second brain” has some 100 million neurons, which send and receive signals to your brain about the state of your gastrointestinal tract.
The brain-gut axis plays a crucial role in regulating the digestive processes including appetite, food intake, the immune system and in the coordination of the overall physical and emotional state of your gastrointestinal tract.
Given the brain and gut are so intimately connected, anything that has an impact on the brain can also impact the digestive system such as stress and anxiety. Think back to when your symptoms first began. Were any of these events happening either at the time or just prior?
- Employment – increased workload/responsibility/hours
- Change or loss of employment
- House move either local, interstate or overseas
- Passing of a loved one including a pet
- Study load/exams
- Relationship difficulties/beginning of or ending
- Financial stress
- Other major health problems
- Travel overseas/dramatic change of diet/stomach bug/food poisoning
- Trauma, childhood or adult
IBS can begin quite innocently and can very quickly cause fear, anxiety and stress when symptoms become unmanageable and you feel at a loss to overcome them. These feelings are completely natural, but only exacerbate your symptoms.
Cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton discovered and shares in his book “The Biology of Belief” that our environment, thoughts and feelings actually change the biology of our cells. If you think and feel negatively towards your body and health, this will have an effect on your cells. And with some 50 trillion cells making up your body, you want to get this right! The good news is that by changing your beliefs about your body and therefore your feelings and thoughts, you can facilitate perfect health.