The entire body consists of numerous systems that need to work together synergistically in order to promote well-being. One of the most interesting interconnections between different bodily structures would be the gut-brain connection. While the gut and the brain sits in two very different locations, many studies have shown that an unhealthy gut can contribute to mental problems and even have adverse effects in the rest of the body too.
There are many examples that prove this point. Nervousness is a mental issue, yet many people experience what is often referred to as “butterflies in the stomach” when they become nervous. Anxiety is known to cause gastrointestinal complications – and just like this, the presence of certain digestive issues may even contribute to a worsening of anxiety and stress symptoms.
When an existing condition affects the gastrointestinal tract, the presence of acute anxiety or stress, as well as certain emotions like sadness and anger, can actually be a trigger to a flare-up of symptoms – take irritable bowel syndrome, for example. Many people report an increase in the severity of symptoms when they are going through a stressful time.
While these connections do exist between the gut, the mind, and the remainder of the body, it is important not to think of gastrointestinal symptoms like stomach pain, discomfort, and nausea as “all in mind” – these are physiological symptoms, and regardless of what is causing them, they can lead to complications and make life uncomfortable for you.
Even though stress is experienced through a range of symptoms in mind, the release of cortisol, a type of stress hormone, contributes to inflammation in the body – especially when stress becomes chronic. In turn, inflammatory conditions affecting the gut and the rest of the body may become aggravated.
While the fact that a condition affecting one part of the body, such as the mind, may lead to symptoms with another region seems discomforting, taking the symptoms into account can actually help you develop an effective treatment strategy.