Have you ever had "butterflies" in your stomach? Most likely you were nervous about meeting someone new, having an interview or having to give a presentation. Regardless of the reason ... the fact that those butterflies were there demonstrates the direct link between digestion, mood, health and the way you think.
Why you get butterflies in your stomach
- Your gut ... or, your "second brain" ... contains more than 100 million nerve cells lining your GI tract from the esophagus all the way to the rectum and is directly connected to your brain. This means your gut and your "big brain" literally talk with each other. Your gut (or second brain), however, does not have the same thought or cognitive capabilities ... number-concepts like math or balancing a checkbook, decision making, language composition, etc ... that your brain has. It's main role is controlling digestion:
- blood flow for nutrient absorption
2. "Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes." For years it was concluded that anxiety and depression contributed to digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems ... constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. This new evidence is proving that digestive issues could also be the triggers for anxiety and depression. This would definitely explain why a greater-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop anxiety and depression. That can be a lot of people when you consider 30-40% of the population experience functional bowel issues at any given time.
3. Hashimoto's or other thyroid issues. I personally had "thyroiditis" when I was in my early twenties. Later, I received a diagnosis of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's. There is a definite connection between your thyroid, your gut and your brain. Have you experienced any of these symptoms?
- Brain fog
- Slow mental speed
- Poor brain endurance, meaning you tire easily from reading, driving, working, noisy areas, etc.
- Worsening memory
- Sleep problems
- Low motivation
- Irritable, grouchy
- Worsening balance
- Drop things easily
- Handwriting getting worse
- Worsening muscle function
Did you know the thyroid, stomach, digestive tract, and tongue all have a shared cellular origin? It only makes sense that digestive irritations will contribute to worsening symptoms. Both gluten sensitivity and celiac disease occur at a higher rate in people with Hashimoto's than in the general population. One study indicated it was 9.3%.
Hashimoto's has not been prevalent in my labs now for several years. I attribute this to the healthy lifestyle, diet changes and other wellness and nutritional support. Periodically, I do a wellness scan to see if there are any areas out of balance and needing support.
Inflammation is a huge factor and food is one of the largest contributors. Most find their symptoms improving with diet changes. Figuring out what my triggers were and adjusting my diet accordingly as been key to my overall wellness. If you are interested in how I do it and the reasons why, then you will want to check out my classes here. The classes include some bonus modules plus recipes plus a list of foods to substitute and where to get them.
Getting butterflies in your stomach is not a bad thing. It definitely shows how the gut ... your "second brain" ... is connected to your "big brain" and how one can affect the other.