Our brain and gut are connected via our vagus nerve this is how they communicate, by having a two-way communication system.
If this communication is compromised in any way, it can affect the health of your gut or cause an imbalance in your mental health. The vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, aiding in the rest and digest process.
How can this be?
This has been a hot topic for a long time there is quite a lot of research out there confirming this connection, linking the gut microbiome with the functioning of the central nervous system. There was a study published in Gut microbes.
The vagus nerve is a big player when it comes to helping with the digestive process, and if this process is not functioning correctly, it will slow down digestion through out the body including hormones and toxin clearance, which can eventually lead to other health issues like SIBO, IBS and other digestive related issues.
Lifestyle plays a vital role in the health of your gut brain axis
The communication between the gut brain axis, can sometimes be down to stress, which is a lifestyle factor affecting your gut as well as your mental health.
Only you can make lifestyle changes that will positively change your gut brain axis. If you are unsure of what types of changes you need to make, to start seeing improvements, this is where you should see a naturopath, they can give you guidance on exercises you can do to minimise stress and improve your gut brain axis. They can also offer guidance on:
- Types of foods to maximise and minimise on (strengthen the microbiome)
- Targeted supplements that offer beneficial outcomes for the gut brain axis
- Tailored health plans to support and heal this connection
Keeping and supporting the immune system
Immunity also plays a significant role of communication between gut and brain. Minimising things like inflammation can help support and keep your body’s microbiome healthy.
If at any point you need to take antibiotics, one of the best things to do is to replenish the beneficial bacteria to help support your microbiome. Antibiotics kill the beneficial bacteria as well as the bad bacteria and taking a probiotic at least 4 hours after an antibiotic, helps replenish the beneficial bacteria lost.
If conventional methods haven’t worked for you, find out how a qualified naturopathic functional medicine practitioner can support you on your journey to improved health and well-being.