Friday, November 13, 2015

Neurons in Your Gut, 5

Because of these two ‘brains.’ the one in your head and the one in your gut, it’s no surprise that there is a direct relationship between emotional stress and physical distress. Another mechanism that lends credence to physiology as the source of intestinal dysfunctions is the system of mast cells in the gut that have an important role in immune response. During stress, trauma, or fight or flight reactions, brain neurons call for more immune surveillance and mast cells in the wall of the GI system are activated. These mast cells release histamines and other inflammatory agents, mobilizing the enteric nervous system to expel the perceived intruders, which can cause diarrhea. According to Dr. Mawe, professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of Vermont, In animals, inflammation makes the sensory neurons in the gut fire more often, causing a kind of sensory hyperactivity. He is reported to have said, “I have a theory that some chronic disorders may be caused by something like attention deficit disorder in the gut.”

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