Connection Between Brain and Stomach Is Bidirectional

By Margaret W. Lavigne


Physical Factors and Bowel Symptoms

Indeed, our brain and stomach constantly communicate and affect each other. In a sense, as we manage to govern our emotions, we master our digestions simultaneously. The connection between gut and brain is named gut-brain axis and enteric nervous system (ENS) can be identified as our “second brain.”


It’s worth nothing that a troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a painful brain can send signals to the gut. Again, the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected.



Chronic stress and any negative emotions, such as suppressed anger, fear and anxiety,  lead to stomach problems.Researchers have identified a powerful connection between gut and brain. Our gut is full of nerves, which contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain. Indeed, digestive tract and  brain share many of the same nerve connections.


Negative emotions negatively damages our digestive system, which will cause a decrease in blood and oxygen flow to the stomach and lead to imbalance in gut bacteria and inflammation.Negative emotions have a negative effect on our gut flora  and  antibody production will decrease. It is assured that chemical imbalance causes a number of gastrointestinal conditions. It is now well recognized that positive emotions is essential to maintain homeostasis.


Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include indigestion, stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, nausea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and peptic ulcers. If you suffer from one of these symptoms, do not away from your negative emotions, persistent  depression or mental wounds. 


Connection between brain and stomach is bidirectional

The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to negative emotions, including suppressed anger, anxiety, fear and depression. This connection between brain and stomach is bidirectional. Negative emotions affect movement and contractions of the GI tract.

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Brain communicates with gut through “multiple parallel pathways,” including autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal axis. The gut-brain axis includes central nervous system (CNS), the neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems, autonomic nervous system, enteric nervous system, and intestinal microbiota.


The gut-brain axis involves regulation of glucose and fat metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity and bone metabolism.

That’s why some people feel nauseated before giving a speech, or feel intestinal pain when they are anxious and stressful.As you feel anxious, stressful or dreadful of something, your brain will send a message your stomach: Something scary is happening or coming. Some people with functional GI disorders perceive pain more acutely because their brains are more responsive to pain signals from the GI tract.


Any persistent negative emotions may cause disturbances of the brain-gut axis, including the central, autonomic and enteric nervous systems.Negation emotions may cause the release of catecholamines and norepinephrine into the GI tract and lead to dysregulation of the gut-brain axis due to changes of the GI motility, secretion of mucus and epithelial cells.Either negative emotions or increased levels of corticosterone may cause exacerbation of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.The gut microbiota is often referred to as the forgotten organ. The gut microbiota modulates our immunity, nutrient absorption and energy metabolism. 


It’s worth noting that intestinal microbiota can directly produce neurotransmitters.



Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection

Gut-Microbiota and Mental Health: Current and Future Perspectives

Harvard Health Publishing: Brain-gut connection explains why integrative treatments can help relieve digestive ailments



Wise Library 1985

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