SWISS MEDICAL EXPERTISE: ZURICH, MALLORCA, LONDON, NEW YORK

3 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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The gut and the brain interact closely

The body is like a house; interconnected and has a complex structure. To build a safe and functioning house, you need to make sure that the base is strong and that the elements are complementary. Likewise, a body’s different parts are interconnected and the base is strong. This intricate design is rarely ever the same for two different people. However, the basics are the same. Distinct parts are connected and this connection is what makes this house stand strong. The gut and the brain, for once, share a delicate connection. 

“We still don’t quite know how nutritional microbes control us yet, but the food is at the center of who we are.” —Dr. Bohorquez

The gut and the brain interact closely. The brain has a direct influence on the stomach. Phrases such as ‘butterflies in the stomach’ are not as fictional as we think.

 

Gut-Brain Connection

The guts and brain communicate through nerves. The gut-brain axis transforms food into feelings. The skin of the intestine is covered with cells, one of which is the gut sensor. They sense and react to the environment. They sense mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli such as nutrients or bacterial products. Then, these are then converted and carried to the brain. This process happens within seconds. Thus, gut pathogens access the brain. 

According to Duke University, this knowledge helps in creating a base for designing treatment for disorders related to altered gut-brain signaling.

A brain figurine with tissues and neurons.

Relation to Mental Health

As we’ve discussed, the gut and the brain are connected. The Mental Health America organization sheds light on the link between having mental health problems and gut problems. Some of these are heartburn, indigestion, bloating, acid reflux… 

Anxiety and depression:

Anxiety and depression can cause changes in the gut. This is mainly due to the response of the body to stress. When our ‘flight or fight’ mode is activated if we’re in danger, the brain quickly leeches on nutrients in order to survive. If the danger persists, the body is bound to run and burn out. 

Eating disorders:

Eating disorders take away so much of the healthy way the body should work. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders are some of these disorders. Since the brain relies heavily on nutrients, eating too much, too little, or unhealthily will affect its functioning. Even orthorexia, which is the fixation on healthy food, impacts the brain negatively because it comes packed with obsession. 

According to the American Psychological Association, the percentage of people who die because of eating disorders is way higher than it should be. Add to that, “Women with anorexia also appear to have more activity in the dorsal striatum, the brain area linked to habitual behavior.”

Our page on eating disorders aims to guide you more through this multifaceted path. 

It’s crucial to know that this connection should help furthermore in destigmatizing mental health and not push it more towards undermining the danger. The Mental Health Foundation shares that stigmatization of mental issues is what makes it worse and harder to recover.

 

Improving the Gut-Brain relationship 

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recognizes that the gut-brain relationship goes both ways; nurturing one of them will influence the other. Thus, improving both the brain and the gut is a must.

With the gut, considering adding food that is high in fiber can help in feeding the healthy bacteria. Avoiding caffeine is also beneficial as caffeine makes nervousness and anxiety worse. 

For the brain, trying to notice the patterns is extremely helpful. Check what you’re struggling with and note it down. Then, try to tackle that. Our self-tests may help to add some insight. 

Now that we know some hacks about designing a house, it is crucial to do something about it. The gut-brain relationship is incredibly informative and can be used in our favor. Taking care and keeping in mind that our temples need constant care is a must.

At the BALANCE luxury rehab center, we aim to help you with your blueprints to your house. We plan on building together a strong base, one that cannot be shaken easily. And if it ever were, we will always be there to send construction workers. They’ll guide you to find repairs to all your problems. Are you ready to check if your house needs some retouches? 

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