Why do I get butterflies in my stomach when I’m on a date?

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Scientists have also shown that loud, jarring words and sounds played in different ears at the same time can throw off the rhythm of our guts, as – as shown in one of my own experiments – lying, or discussing uncomfortable life events such as being rejected by a love interest.

It would be challenging to conduct a similar study during a romantic dinner date (imagine having a probe in your colon while trying to make small talk in a restaurant), but scientists have used decades of research on gut-brain communication to find that Find out why dating might trigger butterflies in the gut.

Yvette Tache, a neurobiologist and professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has been studying how stress affects communication between the gut and the brain since the 1980s. When you’re anxious for your date to go well or unsure of how your date feels about you, stress can cause the brain to release a molecule called corticotropin-releasing hormone. which ramps up the adrenaline in “fight or flight”. reply. (This hormone is also responsible for the heartbeat when the meal is over and your date walks through the door with their keys – will you be invited or has the evening come to an end?) Also, This molecule increases cortisol, a hormone that increases in the first few months after falling in love, but then decreases as the relationship becomes more stable.

The sensation of “butterflies” is likely because, on top of everything else, this molecule also delays the emptying of our stomachs while simultaneously speeding up our colons, Dr. Tache said. This may be as a means of protection, she said: Our intestines become more permeable — or “leaky” — under stress, which could be harmful if it were to enter our bloodstream from inside our guts. causes waste. In theory, she said, constricting our stomachs and emptying our colons could reduce the likelihood of this happening.

If the butterflies take hold of you at an inopportune moment, there are a few ways to get your stomach back to normal, Dr. Kiefer said.

One solution is to use a deep breathing technique like “box breathing” — when you breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of four, then hold your breath for a count of four, then another count of four. Exhale for a count and then hold your breath for another count of four. With each four-count, imagine stretching the edge of a square until you can imagine a completely closed box.

People who have the most common disorders of the gut-brain connection, such as chronic indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome, know that butterflies can become a real problem, especially if they cause abdominal pain or the urge to poop. In such situations, prescription medications such as tricyclic antidepressants can help keep the gut from overreacting. Cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation have also been shown in studies to help in the long term.

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