The Gut-Brain Connection
Having a “gut-wrenching experience” or “feeling butterflies in your stomach” when you see the person you fancy is not as metaphorical as we may think: Anxiety, sadness and anger are all linked to stomach problems, since our gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion and very intimately connected with our brain. They can send signals to each other, with stress sometimes causing bad guts and vice versa. And now you know why being nervous before a date makes you need to poo.
With This Ring I Got Fed
A 2017 study revealed that married men tend to have bigger bellies than their singleton cohorts. This supports the idea of “social obligation theory:” Being happily snuggled up with your spouse basically means eating more regular meals, but also attending more social occasions where richer foods are served in more abundance. Short version: It’s tough to diet in a relationship.
Breaking It Down
Our stomachs might be the way to our hearts, but they also act as one of our first lines of defence, producing three litres of industrial-grade hydrochloric acid every single day to both kill microbes and break down food. If spilled on your hand, your stomach’s acids would liquefy your muscles, bones and skin, then splurge out the other side and continue to ruin the carpet. In fact, were it not for our stomach’s totally integral, romantically-named ‘mucus lining’—which is replaced every two weeks—the acid would mess us up our insides in the much the same way love feels like it does. Or more specifically, the way emptying a car battery in there would.