Gut Intelligence: The Connection Between the Brain & Gut

gut intelligenceNearly a third of Americans are suffering from gastrointestinal problems. What most people don’t know is that digestive disorders can actually affect your entire body, leading to other problems such as allergies, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, and more. That is because of gut intelligence. Sometimes referred to as the “second brain,” the enteric nervous system (ENS) is a complex system of roughly 100 million nerves that reside in the lining of the gut. The gut is constantly communicating with the brain, and a problem in one can manifest in the other. (For example, developing an “upset” stomach before public speaking.)

That is why at Anchor Wellness Center we often address patients’ chronic health problems by fixing their gut. By restoring balance to your gut, we can get you back on the path to good health without harmful medications.

Gut Intelligence: What is the Connection Between the Brain and the Gut?

While your gut can’t help you solve math problems or compose a sonnet, it does appear to have an effect on our motivation and higher cognitive functions, including intuitive decision making. As scientists study the gut-brain connection, they are learning that the relationship is bidirectional. Studies have shown that it is possible to alter gut bacteria in a way that positively affects mood and brain function. Thus, beneficially altering the bacteria in your gut could help you handle stressful situations, deal with fear, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve your mood.

Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

Your gut is also home to a fascinating ecosystem of bacteria and microbes. Roughly five hundred different species of bacteria reside in your gut, weighing in at 3 pounds! Without this good bacteria, your body would be unable to break down food and extract nutrients. A disruption of this microbiome is called dysbiosis and can contribute to disease. Illness – particularly chronic illness – can have a debilitating effect on mental health, which in turn affects gut health, producing a vicious cycle.

Trust Your Gut to Anchor Wellness Center

Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Minni Malhotra knows the importance of a healthy gut. As part of our functional medicine approach, we help patients restore optimal gastrointestinal function through nutritional counseling, IV Nutrient Therapy, food allergy testing, and integrative diagnostic testing. Call us today at (832) 246-8437 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM.

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Check out Dr. Minni's interview on Channel 2's Houston Life Program!Watch Video