Better Me with BodyByBree

Connecting Bloat & Your Brain

January 10, 2024 BreeAnna Cox Season 5 Episode 103
Better Me with BodyByBree
Connecting Bloat & Your Brain
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered why that stubborn bloating won't leave you in peace? It could be your brain signaling SOS from your gut! Today, let's unravel the mystery behind that all-too-common bloating and its surprising link to our mental wellbeing. You'll be fascinated to discover that our gut is not just about digestion—it's a chemical powerhouse where neurotransmitters like serotonin reign, directly influencing our mood. We'll also examine how the tug-of-war between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems can mean the difference between a day of discomfort and digestive peace, especially when our emotions get entangled with our eating habits.

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Are you looking for a space where you will learn to improve your mental strength, emotional health and heal your insecurities from the inside out? Take the first step to living a more meaningful life with the Better Me with BodyByBree podcast. I'm your host, Bree. I'm a certified personal trainer, entrepreneur and mother of three. I've helped empower thousands of women to take action through fitness, nutrition, meditation and mental development and aligning thoughts with action. This podcast is for those who are ready to feel inspired and motivated to live a more purposeful life. Let's grow together. 

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a really flat stomach and then, by the time you go to bed, you look like you're six months pregnant? It can be super frustrating to feel bloated and even more frustrated not to know why. So in today's episode we're going to break down bloat and your brain and how it's connected. I'll give you all the tips to help you beat that bloat. Let's get started. 

Hi friends, welcome to the podcast. I don't know if you can hear the beach in the background. I'm actually recording this at the beach because I was so sick of my office. I'm like, I need to get outside and I don't think my listeners will care if there's a little bit of ocean waves in the background. So I am at the beach, but today let's talk about your bloating. How frustrating is that when you wake up with a flat stomach and then by the time you go to bed, you look like you're six months pregnant and it's really frustrating not to know why this is happening or how to fix it. So a lot of times I see clients with bloating and they don't realize that it all stems from gut issues. So let's talk a little bit about the gut, how we can heal the gut and how we can help you with this.

All-day bloating. I'm not sure if you guys have heard of the phrase ADB, but it's all-day bloating and combined with stress or anxiety. That is what has to do with the gut brain connection. So, yes, it could be SIBO, a parasite, your diet, a leaky gut but chances are, if you're having all-day bloating, it has something to do with your relationship between your brain and your gut.

 So what is behind all day bloating? Why is this happening? And also, why is it connected with anxiety and depression? So I'm going to say ABD, so that means all day bloating. This is the kind of bloating that, when it's combined with stress, it's pretty much guaranteed that it's some sort of neuroendocrine disruptor. Let's talk about the gut and the brain. So to get a little sciency, we all know that your emotions and your thoughts affect your gut. So, for example, even if you think about ice cream on a hot day and make your mouth water, it gets the saliva and the digestive juices flowing. Or when we're nervous, we experience a knot in our stomach or loose bowels. So the connection between the gut and the brain goes both ways. This is super interesting. About 90% of messages between the gut and the brain are going from the gut to the brain via the vagus nerve and not the other way around. So if you have a troubled gut, you have a troubled brain, and a person's stomach or their intestinal distress actually can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress and depression.

So people don't realize that your gut actually has its own nervous system. It's called the entry nervous system or the ENT, and there are actually 100 million neurons in your small intestine alone. Is that not crazy? People nickname it your second brain. So when people say gut - brain connection, it's your second brain, is in your gut, and that's why it's so important to understand this and understand how your foods play a part in not only digestion but your moods as well. So the ENS that we talked about, the entry nervous system, or your gut nervous system, can trip, trigger emotional shifts. Isn't that crazy? Especially with people with IBS and gut disorders like constipation, diarrhea, and that's why a high percentage of people with IBS and other gut issues develop mood disorders like anxiety and depression. So your gut is directly tied to your mood. Super fascinating. 

Also, neurotransmitters, that's what's telling your brain what to do, there's trillions of bacteria in your gut that can produce and consume a wide range of neurotransmitters. So you have certain neurotransmitters that are responsible for making you feel good, like you have dopamine, you have serotonin, you have GABA, which is like your feel-good, happy neurotransmitters, right? So that has a huge effect on our mood. So serotonin, for example, which is nicknamed the feel-good neurotransmitter, that includes feelings of happiness and well-being and calm. 95% of all of our serotonin is in the gut. Isn't that crazy? And if you have a shortage of serotonin and you're not taking care of your gut, it can cause addiction, constipation, depression, so fascinating. So it makes sense that our gut is also controlling how we feel and our mood and our bloating.

So what's behind the all-day bloat? Your nervous system has different modes. Okay, and, without going into too much detail, there's two different modes. You have either your sympathetic nervous system, which is the SNS, or the fight-or-flight. So you have a fight-or-flight nervous system or you have the parasympathic nervous system, PNS. Okay, you don't need to know all this, but you either have SNS or PNS. That's your rest and digest nervous system. So when we're eating in a relaxed state, we're in the PNS mode right, the relaxed and the digest. And that means that you can rest, digest, everything is great, you're calm, this is a great way to eat. But if you're in emotional distress or, let's say, you're like at dinner with your friends and you're talking and you're excited and like there's a lot going on, you're in the SNS, which is in the fight-or-flight. When have you ever eaten with your friends and you're like, oh my gosh, my stomach hurts after, like you can't digest all of your food? That's because you're in the fight-or-flight. So you want to try to be calm when you're eating and slow down, because that will definitely make your bloat worse.

Okay, so let's talk about the strategies of how to reduce the all-day bloat. So first off is using herbs and enzymes to prepare your gut for food. If you are already bloated, you have to do digestive enzymes every meal. This is going to help break down your food. It'll help you digest and absorb all of your food and you're going to feel so much better. So I have digestive enzymes that I've created because this helped me so much, not just when I was competing, because we ate a lot of protein when we were competing and my body literally could not digest it and I looked pregnant, it was really bad. So I would take a digestive enzyme before I ate, every meal. I cannot tell you how much it helped. It's almost instant, actually. Like if you, let's say, you're out to dinner with your friends and you're in that fight-or-flight mode and you're eating and you come home and you feel super bloated, you have cramps, take my digestive enzyme within 20 minutes you will feel better. I live by my enzymes.They help me feel amazing. Also, don't drink cold water while you're trying to eat your food. So warm water or room temperature water really helps your digestion. And then chew your food. I know it sounds simple, but like actually take the time to chew your food and slow down, because it's really hard on your body to try to digest all of that food when it's not broken down. So another way that you can help. Another tip is to calm your SNS. 

Okay, so that nervous system that we're talking about. The stress management is take breaks throughout the day. Go on walks, take deep breaths. You want to lower your stress. A way to help lower your stress, too, is magnesium and B vitamins. So, along with things like yoga, pilates, going for a walk, make sure that you are also taking your essential vitamins. I take magnesium before bed every night and it helps so much. Also, practice mindful eating. I don't know if you've heard of this. There's actually, when I was going through my meditation training, there's something called meditation eating and it's really cool. It's where you're just practicing mindfulness while you're eating so that you can actually take in your foods and slow down and be in the rest and digest state.

Okay, number three is take probiotics. So there are certain probiotics that have actually been shown to improve mood, sleep, reduce bloating, help with your healthy gut microbiome, and I have my own probiotics that are specially formulated and they're verbally optimized so that they can survive your digest digestional tract so that actually makes it to your gut. So if you're interested in probiotics or digestive enzymes, I actually have a gut health bundle on my website. Go read the reviews. Like, my clients love the gut health bundle. It makes them feel amazing. I religiously take them every single morning and I feel incredible and I do not feel bloated. I used to feel bloated. It's like my magic, it's like my secret is this gut health bundle. So if you're interested,, go check it out. We have the gut health bundle

So that's it. Those are the tips. So if you're feeling the all-day bloat, slow down while you eat. Make sure that you're chewing your food, take a good digestive enzyme, and a good probiotic

One other thing that I didn't mention that also could be causing bloat is if you have a food sensitivity. So I do notice when I eat dairy or gluten I feel a little more bloated than usual. And if you take a digestive enzyme when you eat those foods, it will help with those food sensitivities, not an allergy. If you have celiac, that's different, but if you have a food sensitivity and you notice that you're feeling a little bloated, I would suggest taking the enzymes and then limiting those foods just so that you can give your gut a rest if you're having issues. 

All right, that is all I have for you today. I hope that you fully understand the power of your gut and your brain and we can help heal that bloat. Have a great day, you guys. I will see you back here next time. 

Thank you for joining us in today's episode. If you liked the content and wanna hear more, remember to hit that subscribe button and write a review. As a small business owner, I appreciate it more than you know. If you are looking for a program to help with self-confidence to lose weight, get in shape and work on your mental, physical and emotional health, check out my training programs on My team and I helped to hold you accountable through the BodyByBree app, where you log in to see all your workouts, custom meal plan made specifically for you and your needs, and communication through the messenger. You are never alone when you're on the BodyByBree training program. Click the link in the show notes to get more information on how to transform your life from the inside out.

Understanding the Gut-Brain Connection