Your gut feelings

It has often been said that the gut has a brain of its own. The gut has a connection to the enteric nervous system which has the same fetal tissues as that of the brain. Various studies have been conducted to understand the connection between the gut and the brain. It has been found out that an important role is played by this interaction not only in gastrointestinal functions but also in intuitive judgments and different states of mood or feelings in us. So the feeling of frequenting the washroom before a tough exam or using the metaphor ‘Having butterflies in your stomach’ before an activity which causes you anxiety has more to it than what meets the eye. These are considered to reflect ‘gut feelings’. So it is felt that if what all goes in the brain affects the enteric nervous system then it will not be astonishing to find that what happens in the gut has a direct impact on the brain.

Communication occurs between the brain and the viscera which also involves the gastrointestinal tract. This communication takes place through many parallel pathways which include the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Sometimes it so happens that this circuit between the brain to the gut and the gut to the brain appears to be abnormal, this reflects a brain-gut disorder. This has multiple adverse effects on us such as gut inflammation, eating disorders, interoceptive memory, mood swings, anxiety and depression.

The brain controls your behavior and the brain in the gut determines its behavior as per the digestive state. If you eat something rotten the gut decides a course of behavior which can be that you vomit everything out through your esophagus. People taking antidepressants often complain about mood swings, interoceptive memory, eating disorders, anxiety and depression. This is because taking them leads to gastric distress which leads to brain-gut disorder leading to the above mentioned problems.

Therefore, it is essential that the brain and gut are in synchronization because if they are not a person could suffer from any one or more ill effects from brain-gut disorder such as gut inflammation, eating disorders, shift in moods, interoceptive memory , anxiety and depression