The Bible teaches that our “bowels” are directly connected to our passion and focus:1.  Jeremiah 4: 19 My bowels, my bowels!  I have pain in my insides and they roar and are unquiet in me; They push me to speak up, and why? Because my soul heard the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 2. Our bowels: make us long for relationship with others/ long for our children to be safe/ want to be with a lover/ are churned up when we hide our sin/ are stirred up when we see the danger that sinners are in or when we feel remorse for our own rebellion/ when we see destruction come to others. 3.They are refreshed by fellowship. They lead us to have compassion on the needy and meet their needs. 4. Our bowels fill us with love when we see fellow believers serving God and others and lead us to fellowship with and be of one mind with them.

God has rumbling bowels of mercy towards those he loves who are in trouble.

I am told to, “greatly long after fellowship ( in the bowels of Jesus). “

I am to put on bowls of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering.

See: Genesis 43:30, 1Kings 3:26, Job 20:14, Song of songs 5:4, Isaiah 16:11, 63:15, Jeramiah 31:20, Lamentations 1:20, 2:11, 2 Corinthians 6:12, 7:15, Philippians1:8, 2:1, Philemon 7, 20, 1Joh 3:17, Colossians 3:12

Science finds out details of how the bowels do all this!

BRAIN TALKS TO GUT: through: a. chemicals in the blood, b. the spinal cord, c. hormones and d. the vagus nerve.

Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience? Do certain situations make you “feel nauseous, have butterflies in your stomach, feel sick to my stomach, feel scared ****less, feel gut heaviness etc?” All these and more are gut responses to the brain signaling that something important is happening and we need to pay attention and relate to the situation according to the type and intensity of challenge.

The bowel nervous system is two thin lacy network of more than 100 million nerve cells. These are arranged in an intricate double layer of lacework neurons forming a sock around the intestines from esophagus to rectum. The Enteric (gut) Nervous System, ENS, produces more than 30 neurotransmitters that affect the gut walls and bacteria. Together, these are referred to as our “second brain”. When we perceive stress, these neurons are signaled to set the tone of our response.

The cells of the gut wall are instructed to put out cytokines to alert the immune system to fix any damage that might occur and protect against invaders.

In the middle of the gut, the bacteria are signaled to put out needed neurotransmitters.

GUT TALKS TO THE BRAIN: Gut bacteria “talk” to the gut-brain and also to the head-brain via: Neurotransmitters, hormones, fatty acids, metabolites and cytokines.

I need to listen to my gut. It (generates a sense of caution even when a situation or opportunity may seem positive to my frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is too “logical” to pick up on concerns that are not really clear, but the gut responds to the “hard to put my finger on” ruminations of the emotional back parts of our brain.
For decades, researchers and doctors knew that anxiety and depression contributed to gut problems. Now we realize that it is also the other way around. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system sends signals up to the central nervous system that trigger mood changes. The vagus nerve sends information about the state of the inner organs to the brain via afferent (upgoing) fibers. Then the Vagus nerve sends messages back to the gut that calm down cytokine production in the lining of the gut. The gut says “watch out!” and the brain answers back, “calm down”. (Cytokines stir up the immune system and, if run too long, cause inflammation.)

The gut sends messages up the Vagus nerve that increase serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine systems in the brain stem. Short term, these help us calm down, analyze and take action. Long term, this constant release of the neurotransmitters, causes depletion of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, and this contributes to mood and anxiety disorders.

“Friendly” gut bacteria (which thrive on a fiber diet) have a beneficial effect on mood and anxiety, partly by affecting the activity of the vagus nerve.

“Unfriendly bacteria (which thrive on sugar) will attack the protective mucous layer, the friendly backteria and the connective tissue between the cells that line the gut. This opens holes for food and bacteria to enter the blood and trigger the immune system and chronic inflammation. The gut lymphoid tissue is the largest immune organ in the body and when stirred up can cause almost every illness known: cancer, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, irritable bowel, asthma etc.

Hormones and peptides that the gut nervous system releases into the blood circulation cross the blood–brain barrier (e.g., ghrelin) and can act synergistically (along) with the vagus nerve to regulate food intake and appetite.

Bacteria in the gut put out chemicals that trigger hunger in the brain for the food that the bacteria like. When these chemicals reach the brain they generate an urge to eat specific foods such as sugar or chocolate. Your chocolate bacteria are screaming, “feed me, feed me).

SO WHAT TO DO? Type, “healthy gut” into the search on my blog. The good news is if I eat fiber, the fiber-loving bacteria put out chemicals that urge more fiber consumption and the chocolate bugs die or are eliminated. It can seem complicated but it is simple: focus on and care about the current moment, seek grace to obey , let go of things I cant change and cast any leftover care on Jesus because he cares for me. OR ( Stress = put out cortisol = causes holes to appear in the gut lining = trigger an immune response = put out IL6 in blood which calms down cortisol receptors = causes the brain to be even more sensitized to stress = put out more cortisol and round and round.)

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