Hello -

Your brain and gut are in constant communication with each other, and this concept of the gut-brain axis actually dates back to the 19th century.

With all the recent research on the importance of gut bacteria, this axis has now been expanded to a microbiota-gut-brain axis.

Intestinal movement alterations, an increase in pain sensation in internal organs, altered immune function, disturbed gut microbiota and altered functioning of the central nervous system are central in the origin of gut-brain disorders such as IBS.

While the details of how gut microbes influence the brain - and vice versa - are still being discovered, scientists have learned three major routes through which the gut microbiota affects the gut-brain axis:

Direct neural signaling. The vagus nerve and the spinal nerves supplying the colon are the main link between your enteric nervous system and your brain. This allows a direct communication between your gut and your brain, like your mobile phone.

Hormones circulating in the blood, neurotransmitters and neuroactive mediators produced by gut microbiota. This endocrine pathway acts like a post office that involves intermediate actors before finally reaching to the brain.

Immune cells. Cytokine secretion by immune cells have effects both locally in the gut and on brain function. This acts like a fire alarm that activates when something is wrong.

In a nutshell, your gut influences your brain. And your brain influences your gut microbes. This really matters for IBS in ways I can't wait to see detailed in future research!

And more about the IBS brain-gut axis.

You are not alone!

P.S. If you have questions or comments I'd love to hear them - just reply to this email to reach me directly. I am overwhelmed with requests but try to answer everyone. For help today please join my private IBS coaching.

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To taming your tummy,

Heather Van Vorous
Heather Van Vorous
Over 40 years dealing with IBS
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