5 Different Gut Types, From A Functional Medicine Specialist
In my experience with nutritional therapy and health coaching, everyone has what I consider a distinct “gut type”—or your gut’s default state of imbalance, which shows its true colors when you’re stressed or internally out of whack.
That’s because our microbiomes and mind are connected via the gut-brain axis. So when you are stressed out (mentally or physically), this sends signals to not only spike your cortisol (the stress hormone), but also sends inflammatory stress signals from your brain to your gut—kicking your default “gut type” into high gear.
The way I see it, your gut type is a reflection of whether or not your gut is working in tip-top shape. For example, if you have a “digestive gut,” when your body is out of balance from lack of sleep or anxiety, your default mode is to turn towards digestive-related symptoms, such as bloating or constipation.
You certainly can experience symptoms from all gut types, however your primary type is what I use to identify the body’s default tendency amid imbalance. Knowing your gut type can help you better customize food, supplements, and lifestyle factors that help you feel your best.
Here’s how I qualify the five basic gut types, based on my experience:
Speaking of cortisol and stress, the last primary gut type I’ve identified, the “brain gut type,” is exactly what it sounds like—disruption in the brain-gut connection. The brain gut type experiences mindset imbalances and challenges as their primary default symptom.
The brain-gut connection is a two way street. The more stress you feel, the more likely your gut health suffers. A key marker of an altered brain-gut axis is also slowed motility—constipation and bloating, gastroparesis—and a tendency to get IBS, nausea, or loose stools when overly stressed or anxious. This is because the vagus nerve—the brain nerve that connects the brain to the gut—controls gut motility and bowel movements.
Interestingly, when you support the gut, you can change the brain—regardless of your mindset or mental health challenge. A review of 21 studies, for example, suggests modulating the gut through probiotic supplementation and lifestyle interventions may offer countless benefits for individuals with anxiety and IBS.
This content was originally published here.