Butterflies in Your Stomach

Is it really August already? August always feels like the ending of summer with school starting, sports seasons gearing up and many schedules changing. I love summer. Hopefully the weather will continue this way. My husband and I still have a summer bucket list to complete.

This time of year easily becomes very busy and stressful for most people. Stress affects people in different ways. I want to share some key points about stress and the gastrointestinal system, a.k.a. the “gut.” The gut is so important for maintaining balance.

“Butterflies in your stomach.”
“A gut-wrenching experience.”
“Having a gut feeling.”

These are words that describe the anxiety, anger, sadness, or happiness triggering the physical reaction in your gut. Do you know that:

  • Stress impacts our nervous system but stress is also a major player in digestive problems.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system regulates digestion, while the sympathetic nervous system triggers the “flight or flight” response when stress occurs. This “brain-gut axis” is the nervous system connection between the brain and the gut.
  • The “brain-gut axis” is affected under stress. This contributes to gastrointestinal symptoms, often ignored. The digestive system often slows down or stops when the body experiences stress. Our “second brain,” the gut, then can easily become imbalanced.
  • The entire digestive system is sensitive to our moods. Serotonin is a hormone that controls moods. Ninety-five present (95%) of the body’s serotonin is found in the digestive system, not the brain. Gut health is important in people with depression.
  • When the brain feels stressed several hormones are produced that can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Symptoms of digestive stress are heartburn, nausea, indigestion, fullness after meals, pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, etc.
  • I can help you stay balanced or rebalance your gut when stressed. Contact me at 319-626-2416 or by email.
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