There is a nerve, the Vagal nerve, that directly connects your brain with your gut, and vice versa. So these turns of phrase we often use are true to the human body. Now if only they spoke in words rather than symptoms!
The language of communication between the bowel and the brain is symptoms – pain, distention, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, incomplete emptying, frequency of motion, urgency of motion, noise, flatulence, smell and discomfort. The cause and effect is often difficult to work out - am I stressed because my bowel is causing me so much grief or is stress causing my gut grief?
Research has shown that when a person’s bowel is disgruntled, they will experience higher levels of depression, anxiety and even pain. Who knew that effective elimination can not only improve the symptoms in your gastrointestinal system, but also your mood?
The treatment for an irritable bowel will be dependent on your individual set of symptoms. Some people will benefit from increased fluid flowing through their digestive system, others need more fibre, some need less, others may require a specialized diet eliminating one or more food groups, others again may require behavioural retraining.
The complicated nature of the brain-bowel connection requires considerable experience and skill to decipher the language and determine the appropriate treatment. Most people resort to a Dietitian when all other avenues have been exhausted. But why not explore your brain-bowel connection with an expert first? There may be an easy solution!
Lauren at Eat Smart Nutrition is our gastrointestinal expert. She not only assists people to improve their quality of life with IBS, constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohns and Ulcerative colitis but also assists those who have recently had bowel related surgery. Lauren is available at our Indooroopilly, Herston and Hawthorne clinics.