If you’ve ever experienced an unusual feeling in your gut during times of stress or have “gone with your gut” to make a decision, you’ve experienced the gut-brain axis, or gut-brain connection. Inside the walls of your digestive system is an unexpected source of body signaling: a second “brain,” or the enteric nervous system (ENS).
Read on to explore the links between diet, digestion, mood, and even how you think.
What is the gut-brain axis?
While the “brain” in your gut (ENS) can’t control your movements or thoughts like the brain in your skull, the ENS does communicate with your actual brain.
Your gut, its microbes, and the brain are connected by a complex regulation and communication system. This bidirectional signaling network is part of a larger system that tells the brain in your skull about the internal state your body. The vagus nerve, which runs from brain stem to gut, is the main gut-brain communication pathway.
Why does your brain need to keep tabs on your gut? It’s important for the brain to monitor and regulate your digestive system’s immune, hormonal, environmental, and microbial interactions.
In return, your gut can also influence mood, behavior, and brain function. Let’s dig into why this communication link is important and its impact on your body.
The impact of the gut-brain connection.
The ENS, or the gut “brain,” may set off emotional or mood shifts when the body experiences bowel problems like diarrhea, IBS, bloating, and upset stomach.
Some doctors believe neurological issues like anxiety and depression contribute to worsened gut symptoms, but recent research suggests that gastrointestinal issues may trigger mood changes in the brain.
In summary, the gut “brain” and actual brain heavily influence each other. Read on to explore how the Infinity Way helps to simultaneously strengthen your gut and brain.
The Infinity Way to support your body’s two brains.
Our process, the Infinity Way, follows three phases:
- Discover & Reveal
- Cleanse & Heal
- Support & Enhance
Research continues to show how gut health supports the brain, and vice versa. At Infinity Wellness, we use this knowledge throughout our process. In the Discover & Reveal stage, we perform a neurotransmitter test to uncover your unique brain chemical makeup and determine the best course of action for you.
Patients then move to the Cleanse & Heal stage. We exclude foods that trigger brain and gut inflammation, replenish your body with important nutrients, and support the whole process with personalized nutrition counseling for ongoing relief.
We’ve found that the following supplements target one cause but often positively impact others. Our favorite supplements for brain and gut health include:
- NT Balance D: Low mood and low focus symptoms from low dopamine
- NT Balance – GS: Anxiety, poor sleep, low mood, and sadness from low GABA or serotonin
- Gabatone: Panic attacks, insomnia, and anxiety from heightened fight or flight sensations
- Nevaton® Forte: Anxiety, mood swings, low mood from imbalanced nervous system
Finally, patients progress to the Support & Enhance stage where we continue to monitor symptoms, make adjustments when needed, and support the whole-body wellness journey.
Your gut-brain connection is vital to your overall health. We work with you step by step to naturally strengthen and support your gut and brain. If you experience anxiety, low focus, poor sleep, lack of focus, or bowel problems, take the first step toward lasting relief.
Our new patient brain health package includes a neurotransmitter test, results & insights, and an appointment with one of our trained functional medicine doctors. Schedule your first visit today to get back to balanced.