The Gut Brain Connection

gi health gut health Apr 19, 2023

Katie Breazeale, MS, RD, LD


Your gut, to be more specific the microbiome of your gut, is a major player in your body’s health. It’s as old as you are starting to form from birth. The microbiome in our small and large intestine is huge! Not thousands large, but trillions of different bacteria, fungi, yeast, and viruses. 


I am going to go through different ways your gut can affect your body!


  1. Immune System. 80% of our immune-producing cells live in our intestinal tract. With 80% of our immune-producing cells being in the gut that allows our gut to communicate with these cells and control how the body will respond to the infection. 

  2. Weight. When the gut has more bad bacteria than good, a disbalance, there can be an increase in weight gain. The disbalance can affect how nutrients are absorbed, metabolized, and stored.

  3. Heart Health. Research has shown a happy gut can promote HDL (good) cholesterol. On the flip side when the gut is at a healthy balance it can produce TMAO, trimethylamine N-oxide. TMAO is a chemical that plays a role in blocking arteries. 

  4. Brain Health. Did you know that serotonin, which is an antidepressant neurotransmitter, is made in your gut? The gut is also connected to the brain through millions of nerves. What does that mean? The gut has the ability to control messages that are sent to the brain through all those nerves.

  5. Gut Health. Needless to say, your gut microbiome affects your gut health. When a disbalance occurs, it can affect IBS or IBD. Disbalance can be seen with excess bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain.

  6. Blood Sugar Regulation. While research is not as comprehensive in this area there are studies showing that when there was a disbalance in the gut, or a drop in diversity of the microbiome, the person developed diabetes shortly after. Also, different gut microbiomes displayed different blood sugar readings based on the different types of bacteria in the gut.

  7. Inflammation. Research has shown that our gut microbiome may play a role in inflammation in the body. Certain bacteria can cause inflammation, but also certain conditions like obesity, diabetes, IBD, and atherosclerosis have inflammation linked to them. These are all diseases that can be affected by the gut. 


It’s amazing how interconnected our gut is to the rest of our body. Are you struggling with obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases or symptoms? Working with a dietitian can help restore your gut-brain connection to a healthier level and create healthy lifestyle behaviors. Click here to see what insurances we’re taking and how to get started!

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