Friday, November 18, 2011

The Gut- Brain Connection

I am always talking about the Gut- Brain connection when it comes to health and nutrition.  80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut.  Some nutritional doctors even call your gut your "second brain".  There is a very strong connection between the two.  I think that many doctors will diagnose someone's health condition based one a single area or organ of the body.  But when it comes to true healing, you must look at the body as a whole.  For example, when my computer gets 1 virus, it doesn't take long for the whole system to shut down.  Now if I catch it early enough, little to no damage is done. How many of us go on for years with little annoying "red flags" about our own health that something may be malfunctioning or not quite right?  How long do we ignore these messages?  Are we waiting for our own health crash?  How is your own gut doing... diarrhea, constipation, sick often, sluggish? What about your brain....mood swings, depression, anxiety?  Take a close look at your diet.  You may be surprised.  Poor Diet = Poor Gut = Poor Brain.  Not a good scenario.  Here is an excerpt from an article about the Gut-Brain relationship.

The Gut-Brain Connection : "Most people fail to realize that your gut is quite literally your second brain, and actually has the ability to significantly influence your: 

  • Mind
  • Mood
  • Behavior
But damage to your gut can also, by virtue of the gut-brain connection, alter your mind, mood and behavior all by itself... Anxiety and depression are actually part of the signs and symptoms of celiac disease, for example.
The gut-brain connection is well-recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, so this isn't all that surprising, even though it's often overlooked. There's also a wealth of evidence showing gastrointestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases. With this in mind, it should also be crystal clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important, from cradle to grave, because in a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and each needs its own vital nourishment.
Your gut and your brain are actually created out of the same type of tissue. During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen. This is what connects your two brains together, and explains such phenomena as getting butterflies in your stomach when you're nervous, for example.
Your gut and brain work in tandem, each influencing the other. This is why your intestinal health can have such a profound influence on your mental health, and vice versa. As a result, it should be obvious that your diet is closely linked to your mental health. Furthermore, it's requires almost no stretch of the imagination to see how improper nutrition can have an adverse effect on your mood and subsequently your behavior."
Dr. Mercola

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