We all have experienced a gut-wrenching moment sometime in our lives. We’ve also felt butterflies in our stomach; or felt nauseated before an important presentation. Have you ever wondered why?
It’s because the chemicals in our brain affects our stomach. It’s a two-way connection; and every time you feel anxious, angry or happy—these feelings directly affect your gut.
According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, the prevalence and severity of mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression was reported in excess in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis (UC), in comparison to the healthy control group. The study concluded that gastrointestinal disorders affect psychological behavior and health.
The symptoms of depression include some digestives disorders, such as IBS. The colon in the large intestine of those who suffer from IBS, is sensitive to certain foods and stress. The symptoms of IBS can alternate from diarrhea to constipation.
The link between IBS and depression is strong. Often, one can worsen the other. Living with IBS is very difficult; hence leading to feelings of anxiety and depression.
Some people avoid going to work or hanging out with friends because they worry their IBS symptoms might get triggered. They eventually stop engaging in activities, lose their social circle, and feel sad and irritable. These are also some of the common signs of depression. On the other hand, mental distress can make IBS symptoms worse.
The gut is often considered the body’s second brain. Its condition significantly impacts the rest of the systems in our body.
Stress activates the fight-or-flight response in our body; our brain function heightens, and the heart rate increases. However, this reduces the working of our digestive system. Moreover, stress adds to the level of acidity in the stomach which causes heartburn.
In addition, the balance of the gut flora, with the good and bad bacteria, is destroyed when we’re stressed or anxious. This can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, GERD, IBS and more.
Digestive enzyme supplements balance the bacteria in the gut, boost the immune system, and reduce physical symptoms of anxiety and stress, resulting in an overall healthy digestive system and a healthy mind. These supplements are exceptionally helpful in easing the symptoms of mental health illnesses that may manifest at a physical level—and vice versa.
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