Nervous System Dysregulation

Disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI) and other psychophysiologic disorders (PPD) are wake-up calls. Symptoms of pain and discomfort seize our attention and tell us that something is wrong, though nothing is actually physiologically wrong. Rather, your nervous system may be dysregulated.

Unlike a well-regulated nervous system, which activates and settles through threat-response cycles, a dysregulated nervous system is stuck in a constant or chronic state of stress, no longer able to find enough calm and ease to reach a state of sustainable rest-and-digest. Getting rest-and-digest turned on more often and keeping it turned on for longer periods of time is how you are going to help your gut and body to stop doing symptoms.

While we know the deleterious effects that long-term stress has on the body, it can be difficult to know just how much stress is contributing to the generation, perpetuation, or exacerbation of your DGBI or PPD symptoms. That is because stress is not a conscious process. You can be conscious of becoming or being stressed, but by the time you become conscious of being stressed, your body is already under stress. It is also possible not to be conscious of becoming or being stressed, so you can be stressed without recognizing it.

Your nervous system is designed to survive all kinds of threats. One way your nervous system handles certain threats is to trigger rather sophisticated defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms serve to protect us by preventing us from feeling feelings, sensing sensations, or re-experiencing experiences that have been deemed too threatening to feel, sense, or experience. When feelings, sensations, and experiences are not conscious to us, we become unable to emotionally process and digest our life’s experiences, and that prevents us from seeing, perceiving, and understanding certain things clearly, including understanding just how much stress your body has been under.

Your body is capable of finding ease, calm, and flow again, but it needs help getting back into a sustainable state of rest-and-digest. Learn how to work with, not against your nervous system. Learn how your nervous system, especially your autonomic nervous system, works. Listen to or watch the 5-part Brain-Gut Connection series. Then learn how to heal your gut and body in the Healing audio series.  If you need more individualized help, feel free to reach out to Dr. Franklin.

Dr. Jennifer Franklin is a unique mind-body & gastro-psychologist (NC #4137; CA #PSY20709) inspired by her own personal experience of healing and recovering fully from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. She has been specializing in the treatment of disorders of gut-brain interaction and other psychophysiologic disorders since 2001 and offers a wealth of knowledge, expertise, training, experience, and insight. While managing symptoms is important, Dr. Franklin’s ultimate objective is to help people to heal and recover.


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