Did you know there is a connection between your gut and the brain? This communication is called the Gut-Brain axis.

Studies show that people with certain stomach problems are more likely to be have mental health problems.

Sounds Interesting?

Let’s have an insight on how does your gut impacts your mental health? 

The Gut-brain Axis – What Is It? 

There’s a community of bacteria in your gut, the microbiome. They play important functions in our body like fighting off infections, killing harmful organisms and help digest the food. 

These bacteria also influence the release of certain chemicals in your brain, the neurotransmitters of the central nervous system. This communication between the gut and the brain is called the gut-brain axis. 

How Does the Gut Microbiome Affect Our Mental Health? 

The gut microbiome has a significant impact on our mental. The connection involves various pathways through which signals are transmitted between the gut and the brain, influencing our emotions, mood, and cognitive function.

Neurologic Pathway:

Interestingly, more than 30 different neurotransmitters, and almost 95% of the body’s serotonin (The Happy Hormone), which makes you feel good actually come from the gut.

The gut and brain communicate through the vagus nerve, and the enteric nervous system. Our gut bacteria influence the release of neurotransmitters which control your emotions, happiness and mental well-being.

When the balance of gut bacteria is disturbed, it negatively impacts your brain, thus causing mental health problems like agitation, anxiety, sleep disturbance, depression and loss of appetite.

Hormonal Pathway:

The gut microbiota affects the release of biologically active proteins, that can influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a regulatory system in your brain, which controls the body’s response to stress.

When this stress regulation is disturbed, a lot of cortisol is released in your body.  This hormone makes you anxious, and disturbs your mental well-being.

Immune Pathway:

Immunity is our body guard. It protects us from several harmful substances and keep us healthy and strong. Imbalance in gut bacteria can lead to inflammation and immune dysfunction. When the immunity is affected, your mental coping abilities are also impaired. This imposes a bad effect on our brain and thus our mental health.

Strategies To Improve Your Gut and Mental Health

  • Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. These foods help feed the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Take prebiotic and probiotic supplements regularly. These supplements boost immunity and prevent various gut related diseases.
  • Try to avoid sugary and processed foods that can harm your gut bacteria.
  • Practice Regular exercise and stay hydrated.
  • Try meditation in the morning to relax your body and brain.
  • Limit your sitting and screen time.
  • Get enough sleep each night.

The Takeaway Message: Keep Your Gut Happy for a Happier Mind!

In this busy lifestyle, we usually ignore the importance of maintaining a good gut health. Your gut health certainly decides your mental well-being. Therefore, it is really important to pay attention to it in order to stay physically and mentally fit. When your gut is disturbed, your mind certainly can’t stay happy.

Keep Your Gut Happy for a Healthy Mind!

You matter, your health matters!


Lydia is a bilingual (English/Spanish) mental health registered counselor intern. She is honored to work alongside individuals in their journey toward healing during challenging life situations. Lydia is empathetic, compassionate, and believes individuals hold countless strengths. She specializes in trauma, family, marital, and relationship counseling.

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