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Brain-Gut Connection and IBS - Gastrointestinal Society

Jeffrey Roberts

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Jeffrey Roberts


Brain-Gut Connection and IBS

If you’re one of the millions of people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may be aware that stress and anxiety can deeply affect your gut and sense of wellbeing. IBS is categorized as a disorder of the gut-brain interaction (DGBI),1 which means that there’s a disconnection between how your brain and gut are communicating with each other. You might have felt those familiar butterflies in your stomach before a presentation or experienced that sinking feeling in your gut when fear or anxiety kicks in. These sensations highlight the strong connection between our emotions, thoughts, and digestion.

Interestingly, the gut is often called our second brain, as it has its own intelligence system with more than 100 million neurons,2 capable of functioning independently from the brain. While many people think that IBS can be managed through diet alone, treatment is typically more complex. Understanding this brain-gut axis could be the missing key in alleviating your IBS symptoms and finally regaining control of your gut health.

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© Gastrointestinal Society 2023

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