Trust your gut, hate your guts, gut check

Why are there so many idioms about the gut and how do they relate to living with a damaged gut? Chronic inflammation caused by a GI disorder and the subsequent surgeries to correct them have dramatically altered how these everyday sayings apply to my emotional experience.

Trusting your gut:  The constant pain and inflammation plus the resected vagus nerve after many abdominal surgeries makes it hard for me to “feel” these gut feelings or to trust them when I do think I feel them. There are tons of information the human body processes without going through the conscious portion of the brain. Your guts respond

A study done with Chron’s patients showed that they actually experienced more intense emotions when in the active phase of the disease. The immune response and emotional health is closely related. First it was only thought that emotions effected the immune system but it’s a two way street, the immune response directly affects emotions.

Hating your guts: I don’t hate anyone’s guts except my own. My guts have been a source of pain and misery for 30 years. It could be from the practice of ancient Egyptians keeping the intestines and tossed the heart and brain. No one is certain. For those who have had abdominal surgery or suffer from IBD know what its like to explicitly hate one’s own guts. I have on more than one occasion shouted out that “I hate my guts”.

It maybe ironic that negative emotions like hate, can actually have a detrimental effect on one’s guts. This is why I try to limit the hate to a minimum. When “I hate my guts” I am causing more inflammation which results in my guts hating me even more.

Gut Check:  Gut health has a direct link to emotional health. I’ve known this for decades and for the last few years scientists are starting to figure it out as well. Whenever my adhesions are causing severe inflammation in my gut my mind is directly affected. I feel sluggish, indecisive, and unresolved. The very opposite of what “gut check” means.  Brain inflammation caused by the immune system has been linked to having a detrimental effect on cognitive thinking. The human immune system is centered in the gut. There is actually a branch of science that investigates the relationship between the immune system and emotion.

My guts are at the core of my being.  If my core isn’t functioning normally my body intuitively knows that I should flee instead of engage with external stressors. When I feel sick or hurt or have adhesion issues I want to hide from the world. I choose to flee from threatening situations; which can include something as innocuous as going to lunch with someone My guts are a huge influence over my emotional state due to all the abdominal trauma I experienced and maybe those who originated these phrases did as well.

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