The Nose-Stomach Connection

. Posted in HEALTHY BODY

After passing through the nasopharynx, mucus is swallowed, dropping into the throat (pharynx) and behind the voice box through the esophagus and finally into the stomach (1). The acids and enzymes in the stomach kill bacteria, viruses, and molds and break up the mucus without problems. Finally, the mucus and its dirt particles pass through the digestive tract, get destroyed, and are finally excreted.

Yet beyond this, there are many other direct connections between the nose and the stomach. For instance, we often feel hunger pains when we receive the welcoming smells of food. Also, many people, especially senior citizens, complain that their nose runs when they eat. You may have experienced this yourself when you eat hot soup or spicy


foods. I believe that this connection involves the autonomic nervous system, a very complex system of nerves that connects our entire body and is responsible for seemingly involuntary bodily functions. The autonomic nervous system prepares and organizes the set of events that occur from the time that we feel hungry (i. e., when our blood sugars drop) and smell food to the time that our food is ingested and processed, providing nutrients to our body. For example, eating triggers a response in the nose that can cause congestion.

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