The Brain Gut Connection

In our previous post, you met Ava, a 33-year-old woman. As you learned, she is experiencing burn out from a job that feels unfulfilling.

On top of that she is feeling the pressure of family life at home. Between these factors and other demands of daily living, she got to a place where her stress and anxiety started to cause digestive problems 

This is all too common, gut problems and stress are often interconnected, you may have even heard of your gut being called your “second brain”.

This is because of the neurotransmitters in our gut, specifically serotonin. According to Dr. Jasmine Patel “95% of our body’s serotonin is stored in the gut”. Serotonin is often referred to as the mood balancing, happy neurotransmitter.

In summation, a happy, healthy gut can be a factor in better mental health.   

Experiencing stress and anxiety is a normal part of human existence and experiencing this in the short term isn’t damaging to our health. It’s the prolonged feelings of stress and anxiety, such as above with Ava’s feelings of burnout, over long periods of time that can wreak havoc on your gut. 

So, if you’re having unexplained gut issues, first rule out medical causes, and if you still don’t have your answer look to see if there’s a deeper problem going on.

A few things that can cause gut issues that are related to mental health are: anxiety/depression, chronic stress, sleep problems, unhealthy relationships, prejudice/discrimination, trauma, unprocessed emotions, and more. 

A Few Questions to Consider for Improved Gut Health: 

Physical Health

Could I incorporate more probiotic rich foods into my diet? 

Could I include more fiber in my diet?  

Could I reduce my sugar intake?  

Mental Health

Could I incorporate a meditation or breath work practice into my daily routine? 

Could I journal around what feelings are coming up in order to better process my emotions? 

Could I reach out to a therapist about my daily stressors or unresolved trauma? 

If you feel like this is article relates to you, and you want to examine the relationship between your gut issues and mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our Amaze providers.   

If you missed the first post in the series, you can view it here: Your Health and Wellness – It’s All Connected