Did you know our genes are not the only factors deciding our destiny
when it comes to health and wellbeing? Epigenetics proved a long time ago that just as important to our state of sickness and health are our emotions, stress factors and beliefs (repeated thoughts).Now I bet most of you are immediately imagining these originating from our minds, when in fact I am referring to two of our brains…
Dun, dun, dunnn.
In utero two nervous systems are developed out of the same materials, one becomes the Central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and the other our Enteric nervous system (gastrointestinal tract) which are connected by the Vagus nerve.
This system creates a nerve superhighway running information back and forth between our gut and our brain. In fact, the brain sends way less information down to the gut (“oh look food, start your juices”), than what the gut sends up to the brain (“life is good, we are well, happy, content, nothing to think about..release feelings of wellbeing”).
Our gut bacteria (gut microbiomes) don’t just work to break down our food but greatly impact our behaviour and how we manage our life stressors. Therefore, the gut has a direct effect on the brain and vice versa. Not hard to imagine when you notice how your tummy responds at the thought of an unwanted bill, presentation or final exam. The gut reacts to these stress emotions. Likewise, when your gut is stressed or imbalanced your emotional balance is disrupted.
So, in laymen’s terms, a stressed mind causes a stressed gut which leads to unwanted gut symptoms (leaky gut, IBS, allergies, food intolerances etc.) and a gut out-of-whack can create unwanted emotions that translate to unhelpful thoughts in the brain which in turn become unwanted feelings.
Life stressors can be anything you respond negatively to like traffic, time, partners, jobs, money. An imbalanced gut has been linked to everything from food intolerances, breakouts, fatigue and even exacerbated emotional imbalances like depression, anxiety, pain, repeated illnesses or any other side effect from a low immune system.