As an integrative neurologist, I'm fascinated by the connection between the brain and gut. And what I’ve found after working with thousands of patients over the years is that a smart brain requires a smart gut.
People don’t think of the gut as having intelligence — but it does. The enteric nervous system (ENS), or "second brain," in our gut has about the same number of nerve cells as the entire spinal cord, and just like the brain, the gut sends and receives nerve impulses, records experiences, and responds to emotions. The ENS and the brain communicate all the time.
We used to believe that the ENS was a kind of servant to the brain, doing what the brain asks. But now we know that the brain is actually doing most of the listening and the ENS is probably doing 90 percent of the talking.
So if your gut isn't healthy, it can have an impact on more than just your digestion. Here are seven signs that indicate your gut isn't up to speed: