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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Can The Health Of Your Gut Affect Your Mood?

Many people who are experiencing depression, anxiety, memory loss, addictions, migraines and more, may actually have a health problem in their gut.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is actually called the “Second Brain”.

When we were being formed in our mother’s womb, two brains were formed. One obviously went to our head and the other one went to our gut. They are connected together through the Vagus nerve. This allows both of the brains to communicate.

An example of that would be, when you are experiencing high moments of stress, fear or anxiety you may feel “butterflies” in your stomach, or you may feel queasy, or if it’s a very negative situation you may feel like someone “punched you in the stomach”. We’ve all felt such feelings in our gut during strong emotions.

That is because one of the vital aspects of our digestion system is the production of serotonin – the “feel good” hormone. Most people think it comes from your head, but actually over 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the GI tract. Your gut plays an important role in the production of serotonin and many of the body’s vital functions.

You know it to be true, because when you aren’t “regular” and feeling good in your gut, your whole health is affected.

Many health problems are attributed to a lack of serotonin including depression, anxiety, addictions, and migraines. It also affects digestive disorders, such as IBS, diarrhea, constipation, plus skin conditions and even some auto-immune diseases.

Serotonin is manufactured from the amino acid tryptophan, which is derived from the food we eat. So what we eat can greatly affect our overall health.

Diet influences not only the state of our digestive system and overall physical health, it also has a profound impact on memory, mental clarity, mood and even the foods we crave. These functions are all regulated by hormones including serotonin.

So what can you do?

Many people reach for over the counter medications to help with stomach acid and reflux. When they stop working, they turn to prescription medications from the doctor. They may work temporarily, but they have side effects. The body tries to overcome the medications, making the situation worse. They spiral out of control. Stronger meds are introduced and later the symptoms return. It’s a vicious cycle.

To break this vicious cycle you must heal the gut. You do this through diet. The type of food you eat and don’t eat is so very important.

Certain food groups need to be added – fresh vegetables and lots of them, whole grains, but be careful of seeds and nuts. An unhealthy gut cannot process seeds and nuts and can make situations worse.

Fruits in moderation can be good, but be careful of acidic fruits while the gut is healing. Dairy also may need to be avoided. You will want to make sure you are taking a good calcium supplement to make up for it.

Lean protein, preferably a vegetable sourced protein like soy is best. You want to avoid heavy meats like beef. The stomach and intestines have to work extra hard to break down beef and if it’s sick, it won’t do so efficiently.

Since you will be cutting back on animal protein, you must make up for the lack of protein by adding it back in through a vegetable sourced protein. You must have an adequate supply of protein to build a healthy body.

Probiotics are definitely a must and lots of them. A good, but healthy cleanse is needed, but do not do harsh cleanses and you should always do them with the guidance of a knowledgeable health guide. If you are on medications for other health problems, consult with your doctor first and monitor your health during a cleanse to adjust medications accordingly.

There are some other supplements that have been shown to greatly help heal the gut, but everyone is an individual. It is best to talk with someone who can ask the right questions to determine the best course of action based on your individual needs.

Would you like to talk with us to learn more about having a healthy gut?

Please make an appointment with us to discuss your specific situation. To do this, you can click the “Contact Us” tab up top and fill out the short form and submit it. We will then contact you to set up a time to talk.

When you make an appointment with us we can also share with you a wonderful webinar that we did on Natural Approaches to Reflux, IBS, and Leaky Gut - Healing the Digestive System Naturally.

This webinar that is only 30 minutes long does a wonderful job of explaining how healing the gut can help your health, both physical and mental. It also goes into more detail about diet and supplements. This is available free when you make an appointment for a free consultation.

We hope this helps you understand the vital importance of healthy gut to your overall health and mental health!

Be well my friends.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Please consult with a doctor for medical advice.

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