Why do we stop eating food when we are full ?
Why do we feel sick or get vomiting sensation on the morning of an important exam ?
Stressed or Anxious, one feel butterflies in stomach. Feeling nervous or going through nerve wrenching moment, stomach growls and rumbles. Well – thoughts happen in brain, but stomach acts. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings can trigger symptoms in the gut. It’s just not the troubled brain can send signals to the gut, but gut too sends signal back to brain. Scientists were shocked to learn that about 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. Vagus nerve, originates with the dorsal motor nucleus in the medulla and extends through the abdomen to the viscera.
Gut Our Second Brain
Our Gut has its own branch of the nervous system called the enteric nervous system that can function on its own, even if it is disconnected from the brain. The enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut. The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. It actually arises from the same tissues as our central nervous system (CNS) during fetal development. The ENS supervises the processes of digestion and stays in close contact with, and is heavily influenced by, the central nervous system (the CNS) which comprises the brain and spinal cord. The ENS and CNS also use many of the same chemical messengers or neurotransmitters including acetylcholine and serotonin.
“Brain that stays in Gut” is giving a new dimension to our understanding of digestion, mood, health and disease onset.
” Our two brains — the one in our head and the one in our bowel — must cooperate. If they do not, then there is chaos in the gut and misery in the head — everything from “butterflies” to cramps, from diarrhea to constipation.”– Dr. Michael Gershon