When it comes to dealing with a mood or anxiety disorder, seems to me there isn’t a cause or treatment option that can be automatically dismissed. I mean, no stone is to be left unturned. Right? And so it is with the gut. How ’bout we take a trip downstairs?
Research shows that more than 40% of people suffering from digestive disorders are likely to develop depression and anxiety.
Given it had been a year-and-a-half since the last article was posted, I jumped on a guest post offer from Mary Toscano, producer of Probiotics Hub (10.31.20: looks like the site no longer exists). I mean, I find the material fascinating and very mood and anxiety disorder relevant.
So enough from me. Let’s get into “The Surprising Link Between a Healthy Gut and Happy Mind.” Thank you, Mary…
Why the Gut Is Also Called the Second Brain
What goes on in your gut has a profound influence on your mood. This is exactly why you often come across the expression, “Gut Feeling.”
Research shows that a healthy gut contains trillions of good bacteria that control disease and maintain wellness. The microbiome makeup plays a crucial role on your physical and mental health because it is structurally and chemically connected to the brain through an orchestrated symphony of nerves.
The enteric nervous system (ENS) of the gut facilitates back and forth communication to the nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system through a neural network. While the ENS of the gut may not process cognitive functions, it can surely influence your cognitive abilities and this is exactly why the ENS is termed as the second brain of the body.
Now you know why a gastrointestinal disorder or an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) triggers an instant change in your mood!
How Your Mental Health Impacts Your Digestive System
Psychological therapies can influence the gut physiology and improve bowel symptoms. To confirm these findings, a pilot study was conducted on 48 patients suffering from IBS by a medical center in Massachusetts. After a nine-week session of meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the patients reported a drastic improvement in pain reduction and inflammation.
This study makes it clearly evident that mental wellness has the power to alter the gut microbiome and reduce dependency on antibiotics. As stress reduces, overall health improves and so does the quality of life. Psychiatric disorders cause an imbalance in the gut flora which leaves the digestive system susceptible to infections, inflammation, and eventually leads to bowel disorders.
The possibilities of probiotics are being investigated across the globe because of their ability to induce changes in the brain activity that relays and controls the mind-body harmony.
How Poor Gut Health Leads to an Emotional Imbalance
Research shows that more than 40% of people suffering from digestive disorders are likely to develop depression and anxiety. The strong connect between the central nervous system and the ENS makes it clear that any abnormal activity in the digestive system adversely impacts mental health. Multiple studies have shown that an unhealthy gut has lasting neurological implications like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence to substantiate the fact that the intestinal microflora can lower anxiety and stress. The gut mircobiome can be manipulated to ease anxiety and mood disorders using probiotic supplements. Read on to know how.
How Probiotics Can Alter Your Emotions
Probiotic supplements have the power to prevent and treat psychiatric disorders by restoring the imbalances in the gut flora. The good bacteria in the gut play a vital role in lowering bad cholesterol, preventing allergies, and fighting stomach infections and liver disease. They have the power to alter neural functions that control emotions and alleviate psychological stress.
In a research study undertaken to test the efficacy of probiotic supplements on patients of depression, 25 patients were administered a specific probiotic formulation for a period of 30 days.
When the results were assessed, it was revealed that this regimen dramatically alleviated anxiety and stress in the patients. This is because a daily intake of probiotic supplements improves general well-being and digestive comfort, which in turn has a positive effect on the functioning of the nervous system.
Probiotic supplements are shown to produce neurotransmitters that can regulate glycemic control which has been linked to depression and anxiety. Making probiotic supplements as part of your daily diet can improve your digestive health and mood naturally. All you need to look for is brands that contain a combination of bifidobacterium bifidum and lactobacillus acidophilus.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Thanks, Mary. I respect and appreciate your expertise and willingness to share. Glad you dropped me a line.
No doubt, folks, no stone is to be left unturned when it comes to mood and anxiety disorder cause and treatment. This gut thing is pretty amazing, and I’d recommend you do your due diligence.
Hey, relief is out there, but it’s up to each of us to roll up our sleeves and find it…
Oh, I mentioned a previous Chipur article that’s a fit with this subject matter. Here ya’ go: Probiotics in That Gut of Yours | Soothing the Mood and Anxiety Disordered Beast
Speaking of Chipur articles, check-out the titles.