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Can poor bowel health cause anxiety? (And how to improve it)

Spill your internal organs.i trust you instinct.. Make a decision that undermines guts. We’ve all heard these sayings, but have you ever wondered why we relate so many emotional reactions to our digestive system? The truth is that what happens in our gut affects the brain and vice versa. In fact, our gut health is associated with our anxiety.

Our emotions are complex, but we know they are firmly rooted in the brain. This article describes how each element works. Next, we’ll discuss a multifaceted approach to improving gut health and relieving anxiety.

How intestinal health and anxiety are related

The cerebrointestinal axis connects the digestive system (intestines) and the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The third factor also links intestinal health and anxiety: the endocrine system. It is central to the production, distribution and regulation of all hormones.

Understanding these connections will help you understand that poor bowel health can cause anxiety.

The hormones and chemicals that pass between these systems are like the sounds of a symphonic instrument. Each has its own origin and purpose. But it is their harmony that creates the masterpiece of music.

Then there is the fourth element: the vagus nerve. Think of it as a maestro that coordinates this epic orchestra. It is an important part of the cerebrointestinal axis and has become a major player in the interaction between intestinal health and anxiety.

The vagus nerve controls involuntary physical functions. This includes core beliefs in anxiety management such as breathing, digestion and heart rate.

It is important to note that each section of this orchestra affects the other sections.So take care of yourself effectively Stress management Helps our gut health and reduces anxiety.

Hormonal harmony improves intestinal health and reduces anxiety

There are six major hormones and neurotransmitters (chemicals) that travel the entire cerebrointestinal axis. They regulate blood flow, digestive processes, nutrient absorption, intestinal aspects of the immune system, and the microbial flora (natural gut microbiota).

This complex relationship has a direct impact Anxiety and depression..


The endocrine system produces and manages this hormone during stress, excitement, or threats. It is commonly known as the “fight or flight” hormone. It’s normal, necessary, and even beneficial. Adrenaline begins to move our bodies so we can avoid the danger without having to think about it.

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However, a long-lasting surge in adrenaline can endanger our health. One of the drawbacks of adrenaline is its contribution to anxiety.

Do you know how we tend to think of anxiety as a source of tension in our body? Well, it creates the opposite of the intestine. It relaxes the muscles of the stomach and intestines and reduces blood flow. This process slows digestion or even prevents it from happening.


This stress hormone increases the use of glucose (energy) in the brain. It blocks unwanted functions of the brain, allowing you to focus on immediate action.

This is important when you need to avoid danger. It also gives us the energy to wake up in the morning and keep going all day long. Other benefits include contributions to immune function and regulation of blood pressure.

Again, we can experience many good things. Prolonged excess cortisol production causes inflammation, causing anxiety and digestive problems.

“Leaky gut” is one such problem. It is when the particles pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. “Leaky gut” is not an official medical diagnosis due to the lack of clear and consistent test results. In the medical world, it is called “intestinal permeability”.

Studies have shown that this is present in some diagnosable disorders. It is found in two major gastrointestinal disorders, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. It is also associated with other diagnosable problems such as food allergies, anxiety, and depression.

GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid)

GABA is a natural brain relaxant that makes us feel good. It helps the body unwind after stress-induced release of neurotransmitters (eg, cortisol and adrenaline).

GABA receptors are also found in gut microbiota. Low GABA activity can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia and mood disorders.


It serves two functions. First, it’s a neurotransmitter. Increases alertness and maintains blood pressure during stress. It also regulates sleep and wake cycles, mood and memory. As a stress hormone, norepinephrine signals multiple organs and processes to stay alert until we “get out of danger.”

In addition, elevated levels of norepinephrine affect our gut health. Increases the toxicity of bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Campylobacter. This means that exposure to these bacteria makes them more susceptible to food poisoning.

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The intestines produce about 95% of the body’s serotonin. This fact alone can draw attention to the integration of the gut, brain and mood.

Serotonin is a “feeling” chemical in the brain. Low levels can cause depression and anxiety. Changes in serotonin levels can also disrupt sleep patterns and further affect mood.

The role of serotonin in digestion is to maintain balanced bowel function. Serotonin levels directly affect the gastrointestinal disorder IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). If the level is too low, the patient will experience constipation and hard, rugged stools. If the level is too high, it will result in watery and loose bowel movements.


This is a “reward” chemical that promotes behavior. It affects our mood, emotions and stress response. Low dopamine levels can lead to depression, and high levels can exacerbate anxiety. Like serotonin, it is important to maintain a healthy balance of this major mood influence.

Dopamine also affects digestion. The GI (gastrointestinal tract) produces about half of the body’s dopamine. Balancing dopamine levels is essential for gut health as it can disrupt the digestive process.

Now that we have a better understanding of the relationship between poor bowel health and anxiety, what can we do about it?

It is easy to speculate that nutrition is our only tool for improving digestion and thereby anxiety. But you can take a more comprehensive approach. By not being limited to that single modality, there are many additional benefits.

Mantra / Mudra

These are the basic parts of meditation.. They connect our minds and bodies.


The mantra is just a verbal statement. Examples include “I choose to feel peace” or “Every time I breathe, I feel relaxed myself”. These affirmations refocus the mind and readjust the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

Remember that ANS handles involuntary processes such as breathing and digestion. It slows our breathing and heart rate, but it rises at the moment of anxiety. The results go far beyond the duration of the practice.

When we make the mantra a regular habit, it makes it easier to re-recognize ourselves whenever anxiety strikes.

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Mudra is also powerful for relief from anxiety, depression, stress, and traumatic events. In his book Meditation as a medicine: activates the power of your natural healing powersDr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, presents evidence backed by the science of physiological and psycho-emotional benefits of this practice.

Mudra includes intentional posture, movement, arm, hand, and finger placement. This is usually combined with mantras and breathwork. These empower us to experience a gentle healing.

This book contains specific mantra / mudra combinations for bowel health and gastrointestinal symptom relief, depression and anxiety.

Vocal vibration

What does our vocal cords have to do with digestion? It turned out to be a considerable amount.

Vocal cord vibration stimulates the vagus nerve. Remember that this is the Maestro, creating a harmonious integration of gut health and mental health. It has a direct effect on both digestion and mood.

Reciting the mantra is one of the easiest ways to tone the vagus nerve. If you include the mantra in your meditation anyway, no extra effort is required. If the idea for this feels too “woooo” or awkward, just sing or hum your favorite song. The key here is to activate the vocal range in a way that suits you.

Conscious breathing

You know our breathing power to relieve anxiety. But did you know that our way of breathing also affects digestion? The gut-lung axis (GLA) is not as well understood as the cerebrointestinal axis. Still, that identification alone confirms the connection between our lungs and intestines.

Filling the lungs with oxygen improves blood circulation throughout the body. This includes strengthening blood flow in the digestive tract (the entire passageway through which food passes through the body).

In many cases, we do not pay attention to this automatic function of life. It is easy to fall into the common habit of irregular and shallow breathing.

Indigestion is strongly associated with these ineffective breathing patterns. There are many proven and conscious breathing methods that stimulate the vagus nerve (“maestro”). Try this interesting take of Breath of Fire, Wim Hof ​​method, diaphragmatic breathing, or box method. SWAT breathing method..


For anxiety and bowel health, yoga poses are like our whole body Mudra.

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You can get many benefits by bending and stretching into asanas (yoga poses). It activates our energy center and helps us deliberately focus on breathing. Studies even show that yoga improves the absorption of nutrients. As discussed above, all of these benefits relieve anxiety and digestive problems.

Some yoga poses are especially beneficial to our digestive system. For example, a gentle bridge pose stimulates and stretches the abdomen. Padmasana (the position of crossed legs) stimulates digestive enzymes.

all Yoga pose Helps calm the nervous system to effectively relieve stress and anxiety.

“Resting and Digest”

It is no coincidence that this term is used to describe the opposite physiological state of “fight or flight” that drives anxiety. The digestive process is hampered by stress because our body is designed to focus all of our energy on survival. (If you’re fighting a bear attack, you’ll need all the ounces of energy available for this single task until you’re safe!)

Many of our modern stressors are not alive or dead. However, our physiology makes no difference and responds to stress signals in kind.

By reducing stress, you can improve digestion. This is important because our bodies need to get the most benefit from the nutrients in our food.

Similarly, improving intestinal health is in our body Tools for managing stress.. You can easily stop falling into the survival mode process and improve both intestinal and mental health.

Final idea

Obviously, there is a strong link between our emotions, anxiety, and gut health. Healing any of these aspects of ourselves creates a spillover effect, all of which changes for the better.

Taking a holistic approach that includes the mind and body can improve gut health and easily relieve anxiety.

Featured Photo Credits: Joyce Kelly via

Can poor bowel health cause anxiety? (And how to improve it)

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