Hi everyone. A few weekends ago I attended a conference that explored the relationship between the gut-brain axis. What does that mean? It means whatever is happening in our bowels directly impacts our brain. Take a minute and think about the magnitude of this connection.
Lets think of someone who suffers from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Celiac, Crohn's or anyone that has a sensitivity or allergy to a food. Each time they eat something that their body doesn't tolerate, there is an immediate histamine response, which causes an influx of inflammation in their bowels. We consider this a local-level inflammatory response. We all know that the body is very inter-connected and so this local inflammation soon becomes systemic, which directly targets your brain.
You may think, "well I don’t struggle with any of those conditions", but have you ever experienced bad gas, bloating, general muscle aches or a headache after a meal? What about feeling fatigued, foggy or slower cognitively? You’re not imaging it. Research shows that the response our body gives us in response to inflammation in the bowel isn’t always a ‘gut-like’ response like diarrhea. What happens in our gut affects our entire body.
What does this mean for you? Well, it is really important to pay attention to what we eat and how it effects how we feel. Consider keeping a food journal where you can track what goes into your body and how you feel afterwards. You might consider making a scale to help accurately track your symptoms – use a 5 if you feel great after a meal, and a 1 if you feel terrible.
Be patient with yourself and give it some time. Listening to your body isn’t always easy but I promise it will pay off in the end.