Your gut and brain
Generally, when your stomach is full, a hormone called gastrin is secreted by the lower part of your stomach. Gastrin acts as a neurotransmitter on the vagus nerve, which enables the belly to communicate with the brain. Another hormone, called cholecystokinin (CCK), acts on your appetite. CCK is released after food moves into the small intestine. Like gastrin, it appears to act on the vagus nerve. Two neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and serotonin, are also very active in the digestive system. When activated, they signal the feeling of satiety. In fact, more serotonin is potentially active in your gut than in your brain.
Consider that the older you get, the more protein you’ll need in your diet. Also as you age, you’ll be less tolerant of sugar in your blood and will have trouble absorbing vitamins when you consume them.
Let’s take a closer look at the role of sugar. Sugar Factors The brain uses glucose as fuel, but when it gets too much of it at one time, this can create a number of problems. It is no accident that many of your organs—including the pancreas, the liver, the thyroid, the adrenal glands, the pituitary gland, and the brain—are enlisted in controlling the amount of glucose in your blood. When your blood sugar drops too low, your brain (specifically, the hypothalamus) signals your pituitary gland and your thyroid gland to alert your liver to process more sugar from body fat. Too little blood sugar results in hypoglycemia, and too much sugar results in hyperglycemia. Either way, your ability to think clearly and maintain balanced emotions becomes compromised. When your blood sugar rises after eating, your pancreas secretes insulin to help move sugar out into your cells. If your blood sugar drops below the normal level, your brain sends out a distress signal, which triggers the release of the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) to signal your liver to make more glucose. As a result, you may feel nervous, dizzy and light-headed, fatigued, weak, or shaky, or you may have heart palpitations. The symptoms of low blood sugar are particularly compromising if you tend toward hypoglycemia and consume coffee on an empty stomach. If you have diabetes, your system is all the more fragile, and you’ll need to be scrupulous about managing your blood sugar. The symptoms I listed above, such as nervousness and fatigue, are more obvious than the ones that relate to your attention span, your short-term memory, and your mood stability.
Your Brain Coach Mo