Listen to your gut. As someone who’s dealt with IBS for almost a decade I know how intertwined the relationship between gut health and overall well-being can be. I also know that listening to my gut has helped me avoid potentially dangerous situations. The more I’ve read on this relationship the more I’m shocked at how overlooked it is by most people.
Last week a new study was released that focused on rats who had the afferent portion of their vagus nerve severed. This is the portion of the nerve that carries messages from the abdomen to the brain (the efferent nerve was intact to so their brain could still control their stomach.) Researchers found that those rats were less wary of open spaces and bright lights compared to control rats with an intact vagus nerve. Simplified version: without the ability to listen to their gut the rats started doing stupid shit that could get themselves in dangerous situations!
Think of the last time you had a ‘bad feeling’ about something. Where was that feeling coming from? I’m guessing it was your stomach. Hopefully you listened to it, but if not you could have been like those rats and putting yourself in a situation that deep down you know you shouldn’t be in. The situation could be physical, like times my gut told me to turn around and not run down a certain street, or the situation could be an emotional one.
This study got me thinking about the book Happy Belly that I read a few weeks ago. The author, Nadya Andreeva, really stressed how an imbalance in the gut could cause an imbalance in mental states. I 100% believe it. If your brain could affect your gut, why couldn’t your gut affect your brain? Imagine what it would do to your brain if the bacteria/yeast/flora was thrown off due to imbalanced diet, stress, or antibiotics? I’ve been taking probiotics for years now (I love Florastor and these Pearls) and there is plenty of research available to show that taking probiotics can have a positive impact on mood.
Psych Central: Rat Study Shows the Power of Gut Instinct
Scientific America: Friendly Bacteria Cheer Up Anxious Mice
Has a ‘gut feeling’ ever saved you from making a bad decision? Do you think your mood could be impacted by your gut?