Most people do not know the importance of the gut microbiome and the way in which it has the ability to affect our moods, energy levels and cognitive function.
If you find that you struggle with mood swings, brain fog, frequent low moods or unexplained anxiety or depression, then you may have a microbial imbalance (gut dysbiosis).
Our guts do so much more than digest food and absorb nutrients. Did you know that 95% of your serotonin, the happiness hormone, and the key neurotransmitter for regulating mood, is produced in your gut.
The gut-brain axis is the communication pathway that exists between your gut and your brain.Your gut bacteria communicate through this pathway in two main ways:
- Bacteria in your gut have the ability signal your vagus nerve. This is a large nerve that transmits messages between your brain and your gut. Scientific data and research show that gut bacteria signal your vagus nerve, sending messages to the part of your brain responsible for your emotions and your fear response.This is where people will commonly say they “feel butterflies” when they’re anxious or nervous, or when people use the term “gut feeling”, well this is true in a sense; your gut bacteria are giving you these deep emotional sensations.
- Bacteria can influence your neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that control your nervous system, and tell your body and brain what to do. As mentioned above, we now know that the bacteria in your gut can produce serotonin, which, is the the neurotransmitter that helps you to feel happy and social. Gut bacteria has the ability to effect GABA, the neurotransmitter that helps you to feel calm and relaxed.
In addition to this, science now shows that digestive issues and mood disorders go hand-in hand. Dysbiosis typically leads to inflammation in the gut lining, frequent bloating, cramping, constipation and IBS, as well as increased rates of anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, and impaired ability to cope with stress.
So what are some of the causes of dysbiosis?
- The overuse of antibiotics
- Frequent use of medications like anti-inflammatories, antacids, and laxatives.
- A diet high in processed foods such as sugar, processed vegetable oils, refined grains, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods
- A diet high in inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy
- Consumption of drugs and alcohol; and
- Chronic stress
So what can we do to restore balance to the gut microbiome?
If you would like some tips on how to restore your gut microbiome or are interested in being coached by me with a specific gut health protocol tailored to you as an individual, email me or click the link below for package options. I would love to help you.