Holistic health practitioners like chiropractors have always considered and supported that all of the systems in the body interact. However, science has often been slow going. That is because in 1980, there were only few scientists investigating the possible link between bacteria of the gastrointestinal system and the brain.
The scientists had difficulty with funding and being published in scientific journals. Fortunately, with their hard work combined with proper scientific methods and persistence, the research is now popular and is widely accepted.
Now, there is indisputable evidence that bacteria in our gut affect the function of the brain, far greater than previously understood. Disorders and conditions such as anxiety, depression, hyperactivity and autism all seem to have definite connections to an imbalanced gut flora.
What is Gut-Brain Axis?
Right now, science is studying the relationships between the microbiome, anxiety, depression and developmental disorder like autism and other disorders. Bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and GABA. All of these play an important role in mood control and cognition. The production and metabolism of such chemicals are regulated by the microbiome, thereby determining the levels of chemicals that are present in the blood and brain.
It has been recognised that most people who have autism often suffer from bowel and digestive disorders. Equally, it’s well known that people who suffer from chronic gastro internal problems such as Chron’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome also go through anxiety and depression.
A majority of this research has been conducted with mice. Scientists transplant microbiomes and were able to make the bold mice timid and the timid ones aggressive. The result has only shown that behaviour is definitely associated with gastro internal chemistry. In another research, the mice were provided with low-grade gut inflammation. The change in brain chemistry made them display discernible anxiety-like behaviours. The mice were treated with microbes for 10 days, after the treatment, they returned to normal behaviour.
The immune system is stimulated and depressed by gut bacteria. In turn, the immune system affects the chemistry of the body. Key neuroactive chemicals fight off infections as well as the toxic by-products of harmful bacteria; however, since the body chemistry is affected, their production and reception is stimulated or blocked. The influence of immune system on brain chemistry is directly connected to gut chemistry.
Babies who are not yet born have a sterile gut. When they are born, they ingest the vaginal fluids of their mother. This bacteria is the first building blocks from which the microbiome of the infant grows. If the microbiome of the mother is not balanced due to stress or poor health, it can adversely affect her baby’s development. It is suspected that issues in the microbiome during this early stage of life can cause severe results for the newborn.
Scientists produced stress on pregnant mice to see if there’s any relation between prenatal stress and infant development. They found that the microbiomes of pregnant mice were dramatically deficient in good bacteria. Accordingly, the offspring also have insufficient good bacteria in similar proportions. The young developed digestive disorders and abnormal hypothalamus development.
The Spinal Connection
Until now, it is still not clearly understood how chemicals produced in the gut get to the brain. Our brain is mostly isolated from the majority of the body chemistry through blood-brain barrier, even though the key factors are the blood and the immune system. On the other hand, the vagus nerve is another vital link. The vagus nerve is one of the main passageways from the gut to the brain, according to a study of gamma-Aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA regulates several physiological and psychological processes; thus, it is an important neurotransmitter. Fluctuations in GABA reception in brain have been involved in the pathogenesis bowel disorders, anxiety and depression. One study indicates that the vagus nerve is the fundamental pathway in the gut-brain axis.
Through the spine, the vagus nerve can travel from the gastrointestinal system to the brain. The spine has a paramount importance when it comes to the health of the central nervous system including the totality of the body that communicates through it. The spine is composed of bony vertebrae, and when there are injuries or misalignments in the vertebrae, this can create serious issues for the flow of information that your body requires in order to operate and regulate itself.
Misalignments in the spine are referred to as vertebral subluxations. It is vital to maintain a healthy and properly functioning spine to guarantee that any health concerns you might experience are not aggravated by problems in your nervous system.
Sound Mind and Body at Hinterland Chiropractic
Your trusted Gold Coast chiropractors are ready and eager to discuss with you on how your diet, lifestyle and wellbeing of your spine can affect your intestinal microbiome, as well as the state of your mind, your mood and overall health. If you suffer from any health issues such as bowel disorders, anxiety, depression and cognitive disorders, consult us today and let us know how we can help you. Our holistic services can help you experience the healthiest life possible.
See us today and receive a COMPLETE Consultation and Examination. Total value $240 – Yours for ONLY $45! Call us today on 07 5527 3133 or simply book your appointment online.