Gut Feelings: They do exist!
It has come to my attention lately how important the gut/brain connection is, not only how your thoughts effect your gut but, more importantly, how your gut effects your brain and therefore, your thoughts. I just really wanted to expand on this important association, especially since I see so much of this in my clinic.
Medical research often will find correlations that will link specific environmental factors, such as diet, lifestyle, medications and toxins to disease states. Correlations are interesting but do they actually prove causation.
So it is exciting to myself and others in our industry that there are now really strong mechanisms that exist between the gut microbiome and how it influences brain health.
The mechanisms for this that are receiving a lot of attention are;
How the immune system responds, especially to pathogenic bacteria - which, by the way, are the disease causing bacteria - This response causes inflammation which directly stimulates specific nerves associated with our feel good hormone, serotonin.
The association with the Vagus nerve, which is the direct pathway between the gut and the brain.
The last mechanism, which is not a new one, is how the toxins produced by the pathogenic bacteria in the gut effect many of our neurotransmitters, which are responsible for our moods.
In order to support your mental health through the gut micobiome I have listed three things that you can do immediately to support healthy gut bacteria.
Manage your diet so that you include healthy, gut healing foods which we call 'prebiotic foods'. These include radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, asparagus, carrots, sweet potato, onions and garlic, and 'probiotic foods' which include fermented foods, such as kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables, coconut and cheese.
Manage stress levels as best you can because there is a direct link to stress impacting on your healthy gut flora.
Probiotic therapy can be prescribed for you to directly impact on the gut flora population, especially if you have recently taken antibiotics or other medication, your diet is not optimal and your stress levels are high.
For more suport on your gut health book a consultation with one of our highly trained naturopathic professionals. 02 60210557