The Gut Brain Axis is a two-way communication network between you’re the nerve system of your Brain (which includes nerves in your spinal cord) and your network of nerves serving your digestive system known as “the enteric nervous system”.
This physical biological link creates a direct feedback system between the emotional centres of the brain and intestinal function.
So how does this work?
Studies are revealing that the gut microbiota uses nerves, hormones, immune responses and antibodies to send signals to the central nervous system. These signals travel back and forth along to one of our main twelve cranial nerves called the vagus nerve or Cranial nerve number 10.
Keeping the Gut microbiota healthy
This is so important. The Gut-Brain interplay when the microbiota is not healthy has been shown to be a starting point for disease in many cases. Bacterial waste build can start to influence the immune system communication and neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain.
Mental Health conditions associated with an unhealthy microbiota.
- Autism and ASD
- Bi Polar Disease
- Mood behavioural problems such as anger.
5 Things to keep a healthy microbiota
- Stress management, as the gut brain axis is a two way street.
The ability to digest your food completely relies on a non-stressed body.
- Reduce or eliminate high sugar and high white carb foods from your diet.
- Diet add in prebiotic which feed healthy microbiota.
- Diet add in probiotic foods to keep healthy microbiota populations at functional levels.
- Avoid antibiotic which kill all microbes including the ones which keep us healthy, and if unavoidable go back to points 3 and 4.
If you are experiencing any of the above conditions, consider visiting a naturopath. Some probiotics are condition specific, and rebalancing the gut as well as mood brain messengers such as dopamine, serotonin is a specialty for Naturopaths.
About the Author:
Sharon Wilde is resident Naturopath at Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Ctr. She was introduced to Naturopathy as eighteen, when her mother dragged her to get a treatment for a variety of health problems. What began as a desire to understand and support her own health has morphed into a passion to help others live their healthiest lives possible. Read her full bio here.