Gut Reactions

The Mind-Gut Axis
  • W. Grant Thompson


The gut often provides an outlet for the emotions. The relationship of soma to psyche is perhaps greater than many will admit, even though it is apparent that our guts react to events in our environment. Who has escaped the queasy stomach or the loose bowels that often accompany stressful ventures? Such “gut feelings” may occur in a variety of situations: at a board meeting, during an examination, or at a hockey game. The effect of emotion on gut function, however profound, is unpredictable. When soldiers are ordered into battle, for example, some are nauseated, some vomit, some are incontinent, and some experience a curious sense of well-being—a release at the prospect of action. It is a common experience that contemplation of a difficult situation may elicit more gut reaction than the situation itself.


Duodenal Ulcer Personality Disorder Enteric Nervous System Illness Behavior Functional Abdominal Pain 
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Copyright information

© W. Grant Thompson 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Grant Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and Digestive Diseases Research UnitOttawa Civic Hospital and University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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