Medical understanding of the human gut is constantly evolving, and we now know that there are a number of triggers that can aggravate digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

With that in mind, the AIRE app allows you to track potential triggers beyond food, such as stress levels. We’re just starting to understand the relationship between the mind and gut, but there’s a lot of evidence that the two are closely linked.

Stress may alter gut bacteria

A recent study showed that bacteria in the gut of mice changed after a stressful event. As a result, there was an increase in bacteria that cause inflammation. The mice also produced less of the mucus and enzymes that help protect their intestinal walls. Each factor alone could potentially contribute to digestive symptoms. Together, these two issues may compound the problem.

This research opens up the possibility that stress is physically altering what’s happening in your gut. However, research suggests that the link may go the other way as well.

The gut-brain axis

There’s emerging evidence that the bacteria in your gut may communicate directly with your brain. John Cryan, Professor and Chair of the Anatomy and Neuroscience Department, and Ted Dinan, Professor of Psychiatry, both at University College Cork (UCC), recently authored The Psychobiotic Revolution, which explores research into the link between gut and mental health.

The professors’ research at the APC Microbiome Institute found that some bacteria can secrete powerful neurotransmitters. These natural chemicals lowered signs of anxiety and other mental health issues in mice. While further clinical research on humans is needed, the studies open interesting questions about whether the makeup of the bacteria living in your gut could affect your mood!

Read more about their research into how gut health could potentially affect your mood in the Irish Examiner!

AIRE is a pocket-sized breath analysis device. It helps people with chronic digestive issues determine the foods that work best with their digestive system. To learn more about AIRE, visit