Updated: Sep 29, 2020
If you haven't read part 1 you can read it HERE
I’d like to share with you a fascinating insight between the connection of the gut and its significant connection to emotions, depression, fear and anxiety. As well as digestive problems, living in a constant state of fear and anxiety can cause, to name a few, depression, cardiovascular conditions, impaired immune system, respiratory conditions, urinary conditions, insomnia and personality disorders and even suicide. Great for the Big Pharma.
We have all experienced butterflies in the stomach when we are nervous, we get gut feelings about things, and go with our gut when making a decision. These messages are sent from a surprising source, your second brain. Your gut is your second brain. Your gut has its own nervous system independent from the rest of the body, the scientific name for it being the Enteric Nervous System and is called the second brain because it can operate independently from the brain and the spinal cord (the Central Nervous System) I will call it the gut brain. The gut brain is in the digestive walls and consists of two thin layers with over 100 million nerve cells which is even more than the Central Nervous System!
We have always known that emotions trigger abdominal and bowel problems. I have treated a number of clients successfully who have had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and it was interesting to note that at the time of the onset of IBS, they had suffered a trauma or were having some sort of emotional chaos. IBS, Crohn’s disease, stomach upsets, constipation and diarrhea are all things that can be sparked off by emotions.
Although the gut works independently from the brain, the brain and the gut are constantly communicating. It is only recently that the medical profession has acknowledged that not only do emotions trigger gut problems but it can also work the other way around, that in fact digestive and bowel problems can trigger depression, anxiety and mood disorders.This is revolutionising medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, depression, anxiety, mood, health and even the way you think. The guts brain signals to the Central Nervous System which triggers mood changes.This is quite significant as 30 to 40% of the population suffer from bowel and abdominal complaints. Most of us suffer from short-term ones at some time or other. So this could be a vicious circle unless we intervene.
In present day society we are all living in a state of stress, anxiety and fear. Many people have stressful jobs. Home and work life can be stressful. We are anxious of the future, what could or could not happen and what we think might happen. We worry about not having enough money, paying a mortgage or rent. Now we have the added stress and anxiety of the restrictions COVID is having on our daily life especially social distancing as this goes against our needs as humans. The world needs connection.
Your body‘s reaction to any sort of fear is to go into survival mode. Your body wants to preserve energy for the fight or flight reaction that it thinks you should have to survive. All your body systems slow down, including your immune system. I mention this because 80% of our immune system is where? Yes that’s right, it’s in our gut!
Serotonin is the happy chemical our body makes. 90% of it is produced in our gut! We have to keep our gut healthy!!
When we bottle up our emotions and don’t release them, where a