Also known as the digestive tract or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the gut covers the parts of the body involved with food intake and output from top to bottom. This includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, colon and rectum. But when we talk about gut health, we’re really talking about the bacteria in the microbiome which happens in your large intestine.
The microbiome is the environment inside the large intestine and the trillions of bacteria that live there. The bacteria help with digestion.
Typically we think of bacteria as bad, but there are both good and bad bacteria in your gut that do different jobs in your stomach. So even though some bacteria may be bad if there becomes too much of it, all bacteria is needed in a symbiotic relationship in order for good digestion.
= Enteric Nervous System
Irritation in the gastrointestinal system sends signals to the brain via the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes, while mood signals from the brain to the gut.
AKA the “Second Brain”
Talks to the brain through hormones and the immune system
Affects other parts of your body and life beyond digestion
Gut and Sleep
Large melatonin production in gut
Sleep deprivation affects gut health
Lack of sleep affects dietary choices
Hormones become unbalance = increase cortisol (stress hormone)
Gut and Stress
Stress negatively affects digestion
Can lead to “Leaky Gut”
Long-term stress can affect metabolism and ability to heal
Gut and Mood
90% of Serotonin Receptors (happiness hormone)
Mood, Sleep, Digestion, Wound Healing, Bone Health