The body literally talks to its self all the time. How else would you feel pain when you kick your toe, or where does other senses, emotions, or instructions to change body function happen? Dopamine, as is serotonin, nor-adrenaline are communication chemicals made by the body predominately in the nervous system. Specifically what these guys do is talk from one nerve cell to the other, and also changes other cell function as required (based on the type of cell and how dopamine interacts with it.)
In Humans, Dopamine and Nor-adrenaline (relaxation hormone) is produced in the non-sympathetic nerve cells in the gut wall, and by gut microbes Bacillus spp.,Proteus vulgaris, Serratia marcescens, and S. aureus (Sandrini et. al.) There are many papers published showing how microbes change our brain activity by the gut brain axis; alter gene expression by interaction; activate the immune system and trigger hormonal disruption, and potentially increasing the toxicity load and decrease detoxification pathways. (Evens et. al.; Stilling et al.)
Food and drinks such as chlorine, colors, preservatives, antibiotics; medication, are obvious as they change the chemistry of the gut contents. What is not frequently thought of is stress, anxiety, hormones introduction to other microbes when traveling, or contact with new people, environments etc will potentially change the colony's balance and the predominate colonies in the gut and their location.
What does this mean to us in every day language? What Am I alluding to?
Gut micorbes have the ability to alter our communicating chemicals such as Dopamine, Nor-adrenaline, Serotonin, Cytokines, for instance. When this happens, our moods, anxiety and stress increases dependent on the amount being made either within our body during normal function, or potentially by specific microbes such as those mentioned. The gut microbes are responsive to their environment - the food we give them with what we eat, drugs - prescribed or not, over the counter medication such alcohol, asprin, panadol, anti histamines, ant acids etc. Every thing changes the chemistry, simply becuase it is chemistry. When our microbes become imbalanced, then the pathogenic, or non health supportive ones can cause havoc on our body. our mood, emotions, and sense of being ok can change. The immune system can be triggered increasing inflammation, and further alter the immune and chemical communication balances.
Take home point we influence our internal and external world, however at times, our internal environment can override our conscious or logical choices. There is research starting to show the relationships between our emotions and gut microbes. Food or emotional cravings may in part be attributed to gut micorbes and not a lack of will power. Mindfulnes can only go far, when there are bugs screaming at you by giving our body a shot of their communication chemicals which understand. So, at times, is it us or is the bugs that are demanding to be fed the high fat, high carb comfort foods which are linked to lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and depression?
A dietitian with an interest in mind, body, skill development and empowering people to help themselves. After living a lifetime in the first 40, it is now time take it easier and let things be and help others get their their 'life'.
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