The Gut-Brain Connection

Feb 21, 2024

As of late, there's a good buzz surrounding the health of the nervous system. Maybe you've heard talk of this on your social feeds or favorite podcasts. Practitioners, psychologists, somatic experts, and wellness experts of all kinds are making the strong connection between a dysregulated nervous system and the laundry list of symptoms, conditions, and disease states plaguing people today. I'm so glad that attention to this critical aspect of wellness is getting the attention it deserves…..and the topic begs the question:




As a holistic health practitioner/functional nutritionist, I view the mind and body as one interconnected vessel. My friend, and author of The Healthy Deviant, Pilar Gerasimo does not separate the two. When speaking about the human system, she always refers to the entirety as the "body/mind." 


The truth of the "body/mind" is expressly demonstrated by the relationship between the gut and the brain, also known as the gut-brain axis. Get this: when you were a fetus, your gut and your brain formed one singular clump of tissue. As you grew in the womb, your brain migrated to one end, and your gut slid down to the opposite end. Their deep connection, however, remained intact via the Vagus nerve, which is part of your peripheral nervous system. All day, every day, your gut continues to communicate with your brain via the Vagus nerve. This is why when you get a bit of exciting or scary news, you instantly get "butterflies in your stomach! Every single function in the body is directed and orchestrated by BOTH ends of the nervous system--that is, the gut and the brain--the body and the mind. They are not separate. Just as was displayed in utero, the two are not two. They are ONE.


So, what does this mean for you?


If you have chronic physical symptoms or conditions in your body, you are also likely experiencing, (whether you realize it or not), some degree of emotional dysregulation….like anxiety/depression, OCD, or other manifestations. 


The flip side is true as well… If you are living with chronic anxiety or depression, or other mood disorders, you will also have dysregulation in your gut. This goes back to the bi-directional pathway on which gut and brain operate. When there is stress and chaos in the brain, messages of stress and chaos are sent straight down to the gut, creating imbalance and dysbiosis in the gut microbiome. On the flip side, the stress and chaos of a dysbiotic gut sends messages of stress and chaos up to the brain, resulting in stress, anxiety, brain fog, OCD, behavioral issues, cognitive decline, and more. Because of the bi-directional pathway between the gut and brain, THE CONDITION OF ONE IS A MIRROR IMAGE OF THE CONDITION OF THE OTHER. Just like in the womb, the gut and brain are ONE.


So, for healing chronic conditions, which comes first: the gut or the brain? When looking for answers to mental & emotional challenges; to autoimmunity or diabetes or cancer, where do you begin….with the nervous system (mind), or the gut microbiome (body). 




The good news is that my work as a Holistic Health Practitioner allows me to do both. I work with clients to develop nutritional and lifestyle practices to bring calm to a chronically "charged" nervous system, and I help restore balance to the gut microbiome by prescribing a gut healing protocol. My work involves a sharp focus on both ends of the nervous system (the gut and the brain), thereby bringing about balance, clarity, and healing. If you want to explore more, send me an email right here through my website and let's connect.