How does the stomach affect brain function?

25.05.2020 Medicine
How does the stomach affect brain function?

Stressful stomach ulcers

For the first time, the link between stress and a stomach ulcer was established by the English scientist Swan J. back in 1823. The term "stress ulcer" was introduced into medical practice by G. Selye in 1936. Currently, stress ulcers mean superficial, usually multiple lesions of the mucous membrane of the stomach and duodenum that occur against burns, severe injuries, and critical conditions. Only very severe stress leads to ulcers.

How it happens:

  1. Stress stimulates the midbrain.
  2. The pituitary gland is activated.
  3. Production of adrenocorticotropic hormone increases.
  4. Increases the production of adrenal hormones.
  5. Increases gastric secretion - more pepsin and hydrochloric acid are released.
  6. Corrosion of the mucous membrane.
  7. Vasospasm and malnutrition.
  8. Every fifth patient has bleeding ulcers.
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Depression and the stomach

Depression and anxiety are often associated with the stomach. Sometimes stomach diseases develop primarily: persistent pain and other symptoms cause depression. In other cases, anxiety first appears, and then functional dyspeptic disorders occur. Senestoipochondria depression is often accompanied by discomfort in the digestive system. Patients complain of a sudden feeling of fullness of the stomach. At the same time there is a “lump” in the throat, a “lump” in the abdomen, trembling hands, a heartbeat. Pain is possible, but usually they do not have a clear localization: the patient cannot indicate that he has a pain, stomach or intestines. Patients with senestoipochondric depression are sure that they are sick, although analyzes and instrumental studies do not show an organic pathology of the stomach. Such people do not believe the diagnostic results, they often suspect a “conspiracy” of doctors or the entire world healthcare system, and they visit many clinics and specialists. A gastroenterologist cannot help in this situation: such patients need the services of a psychiatrist.

How does the stomach affect the brain?

The stomach and intestines contain more 100 million nerve cells - more than in the spinal cord or the entire peripheral nervous system. Many nerve fibers are connected to the brain. The nerve endings in the stomach are located under a layer of mucous membrane having a certain thickness.

In almost all diseases of the stomach, the amount of mucus decreases, exposing the nerve endings before the action of hydrochloric acid or other irritating substances. Thus, the nerve fibers of the stomach are excited and transmit the received signal to the brain. We need to protect and restore the mucous membrane in order to get rid of the disease and reduce sensitivity. For this, drugs from the rebamipid group (rebagit) are used, which contribute to the regeneration of mucus and the mucous membrane itself.

The stomach receives innervation from the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. She regulates its function. In turn, the digestive system gives the connection back to the brain: they regulate eating behavior, can affect mood - improve it (after eating) or worsen (in a state of hunger).

In the intestine, up to 90% of everything is produced serotonin produced by the body. This substance is called the "hormone of joy." Drugs that increase the level of serotonin in the body are used to treat depression. But the gastrointestinal tract can cope with a bad mood without any medication, if a person does not torment him with hunger, stress or poor food.

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