Have you ever had that “gut feeling”? Sometimes that feeling in your gut is good and other times it’s a bad feeling. That gut instinct you feel that is positive helps move you forward to make a decision. Or perhaps it’s a queasy gut feeling that holds you back. Some would call this intuition and write it off as not being valid while others follow that instinct whole heartedly. And sometimes people find that gut feeling over whelming which creates anxiety. New evidence is showing that there is a lot to be said for that feeling of butterflies or queasiness in the stomach. Our gut instinct is not only a barometer for how we feel about something, but there is a two way communication from the brain to the gut and the gut to the brain that can actually shape the way we think. Our gut can shape our overall well being physically, mentally and emotionally.
Brain Gut Connection
There is a physical and chemical connection from our brain to our gut and scientists call this Enteric Nervous system or (ENS) And it may be secondary to our main frame brain, but there are more than a 100 million nerve cells lining in the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the rectum. According to John Hopkins University, This is why so many things like anxiety, depression and IBS contribute to our gastro intestinal disturbances and conditions.
Although we may not be able to create an original thought in our 2ndbrain (the gut) it most definitely has a line of communication with the brain. This is changing the way scientists are looking at gastrointestinal conditions. It has always been the school of thought that conditions like IBS were caused by anxiety and depression. Now it seems there is evidence to support it can also be the other way around that conditions like IBS contribute to depression and anxiety. This is important because it helps bring about a better understanding of treatment options. Not only the idea that antidepressants help the symptoms of gastro intestinal but even mind body therapy and diet can reduce the anxiety and depression.
Gut Health and emotional well being
Some studies are suggesting that good bacteria in the gut can help emotional well being. Digestive system activity can affect things like cognition and memory and there is a huge area of interest in how signals from digestive tract affect metabolism and reducing diseases like diabetes. Scientists are also suggesting that guarding and balancing bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can aid in mental disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.
This interaction between the gut and brain is a good reason why you feel nauseous before you do a speech in front of many people. Or feel a stomach ache when you are in unfamiliar territory. Marijuana has been linked to helping reduce anxiety and nausea for years and helped increase appetite of patients going through chemo therapy. CBD’s without the THC from marijuana are being touted for their anti-inflammatory benefits for pain management as well as the aforementioned and now that same benefit is found useful in gut health.
CBDs and Gut Health
The research on CBD and gut health is in very early stages, and so far it seems very promising. Most gastrointestinal disturbances are linked to chronic inflammation and CBD works well to reduce inflammation. According to article in Baltimore Examiner, “The CBD interacts with the your bodies own cannabinoid receptors that are found in the intestines, stomach, brain including serotonin receptors, CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. CB-1 specifically has been shown to help regulate stomach acids, protect the stomach and ease nausea and vomiting”
Historically poets wrote about butterflies in the stomach and most mom’s and grandma’s followed their guts when it came to decision making… it seems that listening to your gut good or bad is not a silly superstitious idea, but your gut has a chemical and physical connection to the brain that carries valid information. So don’t let anyone tell you it’s all in your head cuz it’s in your stomach too!
Of course Greek philosopher Hippocrates acknowledged this and stated over 2000 years ago “All diseases begin in the gut” It’s a good thing modern science has caught up to his philosophy.
Shop Holden Farms products for your gut health and listen to The Real Dope podcast for more information on Gut Health with Dr. Kellie Raydon. www.holdenfarmscbd.com.