Sep 29, 2015
By: Scott Morey, Senior Program Director
You know, when you walk into a room and can just feel the tension? You see someone fall down and your own gut tightens? Your stomach is gurgling, and you can’t concentrate on your work? Yes, we have many gut feelings. Do you trust them? Believe it or not, new research is demonstrating that we may not have as much choice as we think! Our guts – our small intestines – have an intelligence of their own. This amazing organ is communicating and influencing our behavior more than we think. And recognizing how important my gut feelings are helps me identify with those we serve at the END Fund.
Literally millions of neglected people, especially children, suffer from the impact of intestinal worms and other parasites. Imagine eating a meal or a snack and feeling no more energy than before you ate it, day after day. When I can’t concentrate, I reach for a banana “pick-me up.” It reminds me, I don’t have intestinal worms. What an impact deworming has to change a child’s outlook on their morning, their concentration in the classroom, and ultimately their destiny.
Scientists are discovering new links between our guts and our behavior. Someone once said: “you are what you eat” and this doesn’t only imply your body but your mind and moods. Indeed, we all know what happens to our feelings and sometimes our behavior when we are “starving.” We might be grumpy or aggressive. But imagine your own belly full of parasitic worms eating what little you had to eat this morning? What happens in our guts has direct and remarkable effects on our emotions, energy, and concentration. You know that yourself! Even our brains and decisions are affected by the condition of our gut, not the opposite!
I have been experimenting to see what effects changes in my diet have on my moods, energy, and outlook. What I discovered is changing my life. I used to be someone who just ate whatever I felt like. It took a while to realize that “whatever I felt like” didn’t make me feel very good A LOT of the time. I kept thinking how I felt was something I could just overcome by my will power… without realizing the direct influence of the poor content in my gut! Starting to eat more thoughtfully “what my guts were telling me” and taking a longer view of my eating habits dramatically changed my energy during the day.
Let’s take it a step further, next time you feel that gurgling in your gut remember what a blessing it is to have some choice as to what is in there. Think about those who don’t have such a luxury and, with your support, help us END the neglect and suffering caused by intestinal worms.