How Does The Gut-Brain Connection Work?

gut health connection

The gut-brain connection may be the reason you are suffering from stomach issues due to increased anxiety or vice versa. 


-Butterflies in the stomach

-Gut feeling

We use these words for expressing experiences but have it ever occurred to you that your brain and gut are connected and it is the emotions that you feel in your brain that can trigger symptoms in your gut.

The brain has a direct effect on our gut

Think about it, when you simply think about eating, the reaction can be experienced as a rumbling in your stomach. A troubled brain sends the signal to the stomach and a troubled stomach sends the signal to the brain, the gut-brain connection is both ways and the communication system between the gut and brain is called the gut-brain axis.

These two organs are connected physically and biochemically in a number of ways:

  1. The vagus nerve is one of the biggest nerves connecting the gut and brain. 
  2. The gut and brain are also connected through chemicals called neurotransmitters.
  3. The microbes that live in the gut make chemicals that affect how the brain works.
  4. The gut-brain axis is also connected through the immune system.

Gut-brain connection and anxiety

Now that you know how closely your brain and gut work you’d understand why you feel nervous before the big presentation or why you experience cramps in your stomach in situations of stress. Also,  people with functional GI disorders perceive pain more acutely than others as their brains are more responsive to GI tract pain signals.  

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal upset with no obvious physical cause, it could be the product of anxiety, stress or depression. It is one of the main reasons that to heal a distressed gut, holistic health experts take into consideration the role of stress and emotion.

A mind-body approach to GI ailments or brain health

The brain-gut connection is strong and to heal any related issue holistic health experts recommend using mind-body tools such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, acupuncture, TCM as they all have been shown to improve mood while decreasing anxiety. 

Also, certain kinds of foods can be helpful to maintain a healthy gut-brain, these include food rich in:

  • Omega 3
  • Fiber
  • Fermented
  • Polyphenol 
  • Tryptophan

A combination of diet, mind-body tools, a healthy lifestyle can help you maintain a healthy brain-gut connection. 

Want to learn more about the brain-gut connection? Get answers to your questions about brain-gut connection or find a holistic practitioner specific to your needs. 

9 Tips On How To Get Rid Of Bloating And Gas

get rid of bloating and gas

Bloating is common and most people experience it at some point. If you too are facing bloating issues, know that exercises, right eating and massages can all help you get rid of bloating and gas quickly and simple lifestyle changes can prevent it from recurring.

What is bloating?

When the abdomen feels full and tight, commonly due to a buildup of gas, you experience abdominal bloating. It causes the belly to look larger than usual, and it may also feel tender or painful. Another cause of bloating can be fluid retention in the body.

Common triggers for bloating include:

  • Digestive issues- Constipation, food allergies, intolerances 
  • Diet- Fizzy drinks, too much salt or sugar, not enough fibre in the diet 
  • Hormonal changes- Many women experience bloating before and during their periods 

How to get rid of bloating and gas?

Here are some remedies that can help you manage to get rid of bloating and gas quickly.

  1. Get moving

Physical activity can get the bowels moving that can help to release excess gas and stool. A long walk, some mild exercise or some dancing around, just get moving.

  1. Abdominal massage

Massaging the abdomen following the path of the large intestine can help to get your bowels moving. You can do the massage yourself but it is advised to visit your massage therapist as s/he would know the right technique without causing much discomfort.

  1. Yoga asanas

Certain yoga poses such as Child’s Pose, Happy Baby Pose, and squats position the muscles in the abdomen in a way that encourages the release of gas reducing bloating. Try these yoga poses for flatulence.

  1. Take a warm, relaxing bath

Relaxation can help reduce stress levels and the heat of the bath can provide relief for a sore abdomen which may help reduce bloating.

  1. Eat more fiber

Adding fiber-rich food in your diet can prevent constipation and bloat but increase the fiber intake gradually over a few weeks. A sudden increase can result in even more gas and bloating.

  1. Cut down on your soda

Carbonated drinks contain gas and artificial sweeteners that cause gas and bloating. Replace your soda with water as it eliminates these issues and also helps with constipation.

  1. Eat small meals throughout the day

Have you ever felt bloated after a large meal? Most people experience this and the solution is to have small meals at regular intervals so it keeps the digestive system moving.

  1. Keep track of your food and drinks

If for you bloating happens after meals, keeping track of food and drink intake for several weeks can help determine if specific foods are responsible.

  1. Food intolerance

Food intolerances can lead to excessive gas in the digestive tract, especially people who have lactose intolerance. Autoimmune intolerance to gluten is another culprit.

Try out these effective tips to get rid of bloating and gas. If bloating continues for days or weeks, it may indicate a health issue that needs medical attention. 

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A Holistic Approach to Gut Health?

holistic approach to gut health

Whether it’s about washing hands more often or or sipping on more water or working out, health has suddenly become a priority for all. While your health may differ from other individuals, there is one system in all of us that is responsible for our overall health. The Gut!

Yes, we are talking about our gastrointestinal system or our gut that includes our mouth, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon and rectum. 

A healthy gut is as important as having a strong immune system, better digestion, better sleep and brighter mood so considering a holistic approach to your gut health is something to think about.

It’s difficult to determine what we need to do and don’t for a healthy gut but here are excerpts from holistic health experts on how to recognize, obtain and maintain a healthy gut with a holistic approach. 

Why Your Gut Health Is Important?

If you thought the sole focus of your gut is to maintain digestion, you need to read on ahead to know it is just one part of the system. The gut with its good bacterias is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the food we eat to provide us with energy and eliminate the waste. Our body is home to trillions of bacteria that live inside the gut’s microbiome and it is these microorganisms that help maintain functionality and homeostasis.

But not all bacteria are good!

Bad bacteria can cause digestive issues and other imbalance in the system but the good bacteria stops them from growing along with protecting the cells in the intestines, promoting digestion, enhancing immune system function and fighting depression. 

A good way to grow good bacteria is by consuming prebiotics and probiotics along with eating a wide range of plant-based food, fibre and avoiding processed foods.

How To Know If Your Gut Is Unhealthy?

Upset stomach, diarrhoea, heartburn, fatigue, irritation, irregular sleep, brain fog all are signs that some bad bacteria is working your gut. If you have been dealing with these issues for some time now, you should focus on practicing some gut-friendly strategies with your holistic health practitioner. 

What Are The Major Factors Behind An Unhealthy Gut?

The bad bacteria in our gut feed on high sugar and fat food creating more bad bacteria. Besides food, stress also causes dysfunction in our gut’s microbiome. Other factors that affect our gut health in a bad way are exposure to mould, ozone, chemicals, medications and other environmental changes including toxins in our food.

What Are Some Gut-Healthy Strategies For Me?

Gut health is relative to each person and their environment but some strategies and natural health treatments would work for all. 

  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics
  • Fibre-rich food
  • Regular exercise
  • Techniques to relieve stress
  • Healthy digestion

To maintain a healthy gut, eat healthily, switch to healthy lifestyle habits and you will have healthy bowel movements that will also help to keep your gut healthy. Want to know how healthy bowel movements look like? The Bristol Stool Chart can help you evaluate your faeces based on its shape and consistency. 

How Can I Tell If Everything Is Working Fine?

A good sign of a healthy gut is one where digestion goes unnoticed, you don’t notice your digestion on a day-to-day basis. Also, it’s normal to feel bloated from time to time but if you are having trouble with your gut regularly then we recommend you ask a question about your gut health to a holistic health practitioner to learn about gut healthy strategies. 

What Is It: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Or Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Or Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Any problem related to the body is unpleasant, but if the problem is related to bowel, it becomes all the more unpleasant. There are some common health problems associated with bowel, but if you look closely, you will find some differences.

IBS is irritable bowel syndrome and IBD is inflammatory bowel disease. Both IBS and IBD share some common features but have different symptoms and causes. If you explore how these conditions originate, then exploring holistic health treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Or Inflammatory Bowel Disease may be an option for you. 

IBS and IBD share some common symptoms

Both these conditions are hard to distinguish as they share quite a few common symptoms including

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Gas

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This is a kind of functional disease whereby looking into your gut your doctor would not be able to tell much. As a patient, you will be feeling a group of symptoms making it a syndrome but not a disease. 

Since IBS is difficult to diagnose as it doesn’t come with physical markers, your doctor or your holistic health care expert will look for symptoms that might include:

  • Experiencing on and off belly pain for the past 3 months
  • Frequent changes in bowel movement
  • Change in the stool when experiencing pain 

There are certain contributing factors to IBS

  • Muscle contractions in the intestine during digestion that are stronger or weaker than normal
  • After a severe bout of diarrhoea 
  • Associated with a surplus of bacteria in the intestines

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is a structural disease that causes certain physical damage that causes the main problem. When your doctor performs certain scans of your gut they might be able to see chronic inflammation or ulcers.

IBD could be related to an autoimmune response, genetic or environmental factors. 

Symptoms of IBD

Besides these common symptoms, IBD also presents a host of unique symptoms that might seem unrelated to the bowel but are associated with IBD. These symptoms include:

  • Eye inflammation 
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Intestinal scarring

IBD is an umbrella term for a lot of diseases that affect the gut, some of which can lead to long-lasting inflammation and sores in your colon or rectum. 

IBS and IBD are common 

IBS is extremely common, it affects upto 15% of the world population while people suffering from IBD also complain of IBS.

Stress is a big contributing factor to both IBS and IBD and to combat it holistic health treatments including acupuncture, massage therapy, naturotherapy and/or supplements can be of great help. Talk to your holistic health care provider for the same.