You may be surprised to know that our gut health affects our mental health and vice versa. Understanding this connection helps us to answer many of our queries related to our health. For instance, when we feel nauseous at times with no obvious physical cause, it may result from unpleasant emotions. Similarly, you may also have experienced the release of stomach juices at the thought of eating. Therefore, treating some gastrointestinal (GI) disorders is impossible without considering the role of stress and emotions.
It is also important to know that some people perceive pain more acutely than others, as their brains are more responsive to pain signals from the GI tract. Hence, this is another reference to explain the two-sided gateway between our gut and brain maintained by the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve plays a vital role in conveying messages from our brain to the gut and other vital organs. This nerve also has an impact on our parasympathetic nervous system, which manages the ‘rest and digest response. Therefore, stimulation of the nerve increases the vagus tone, and the body can relax faster after stress. Treatment of people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression is also accelerated by this mechanism.