Gut Instincts: Why gut health matters

Gastrointestinal symptoms are a common cause of presentations to primary care. Up to 40% of people may have symptoms at any point in time.

Key developments in recent years, driven by advances in technology, have led to a deeper understanding of the gut-brain connection. This has led to the re-naming of functional gastrointestinal disorders as disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI) and have changed our approach to their management.

In this topic, we refer to Ngā Manawa – a Te Ao Māori concept of the human body having three hearts: manawa (our heart), pumanawa (our gut) and whatumanawa (our minds). The interaction between them may be used to help explain the bi-directional relationship between the gut and other body systems from a Te Ao Māori view.

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