THE MICROBIOME AND PAIN
Our gastrointestinal tracts and brain play a crucial role in maintaining health and wellbeing. The brain and gastrointestinal tract communicate directly through the gut-brain axis (a specialised part of our nervous system). The bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract (microbiome) via the gut-brain axis modulate brain function, mood, stress and behavioural responses to rewards, including food and drugs. The food we eat and the medications we take directly affect our microbiome and, therefore, have the power to both positively or negatively affect an individual's pain.