Feeling ‘doki doki’ for someone??

Wanna know why you get butterflies in your stomach on seeing your crush??

Well, Science has already given the reason behind this nervous feeling upon seeing someone special or the stressful condition before an interview as a mechanism of the body developed for evolution.

  • There exists a direct link between the gut and the brain known as the Gut-Brain connection.
  • The connection goes both ways. Hence, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression.
  • When the body is in a stressful or a potentially dangerous condition, the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system prepares the body for “fight or flight” mode which directs the neuroendocrine signaling pathways to release adrenaline hormone.
  • Adrenaline brings about an overall increase in metabolism such as high heart rate and blood pressure, dilation of pupils and increase in breathing rate.
  • There is also redirection of blood from the stomach to other muscles of the body such as the limb, resulting in increased sensitivity and contraction of the smooth muscles in the stomach.
  • This added sensitivity is what causes the fluttering sensation – the so-called butterflies in the stomach.
Although there is no presence of actual butterflies inside the stomach, studies have confirmed that there is a rich microbiome inside our gut. The gut microbiota is a key regulator of the gut-brain axis, consisting of a diverse array of microbes, mainly bacteria. The total weight of these microbes amounts to 1-2 kg, almost similar to that of the human brain. Microbiota and their host organism have co-evolved throughout the years and are mutually codependent for survival. Mammals have never existed without these microbes.

Source of Study:

  1. Foster, Jane A., Linda Rinaman, and John F. Cryan. “Stress & the gut-brain axis: regulation by the microbiome.” Neurobiology of stress 7 (2017): 124-136.
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection

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