Many chronic GI conditions are influenced by malfunctioning and miscommunicating between the brain and the gut. An illustration of the gut-brain axis (or pathway) is when you experience butterflies in your stomach when in a situation that makes you feel nervous. The gut-brain axis is formed as a fetus when the gut's nervous system (enteric nervous system) and brain are developing.
With DGBIs, the experience of ongoing pain or ongoing stress can begin to wear out the nerves in the GI tract. This can result in situations where intermittent pain can become chronic pain. Other GI symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, can also be influenced by the brain-gut axis.