Is it my Gut or is it Anxiety?
Does something happen in your digestion and you question "Is that normal"?
Perhaps you struggle to have a bowel motion one day and then the next day you have 3 stools in one day? Perhaps the consistency is fluctuating from hard to a toothpaste like consistency? What about gas? Do you have more of that lately? Bloating? Burning? ... the list goes on.
For those of you that see me for consultation, will know that I love to ask the question: “How is your digestion?” because it gives me great insight into what is happening to your body systemically. If your digestive system isn’t working effectively (and by that I mean having any health issues extending anywhere from your mouth (bad breath?) to your anus (including your poo!) then it will be having a direct impact on the rest of your body.
Did you know that on the surface of the gut consists a complex web of gut micro-biome? We now know that there is more than 1000 species and more than 7000 strains of bacteria that are having direct impact on your immune system, your mood and even your behaviour!
In fact - all neurotransmitters that are found in the brain are also found in the gut and there is now increasing evidence that the micro-biome of your gut and your brain are having bi-directional communication. This means that if your micro-flora is displaced then your brain (ie. stress hormones such as cortisol) are affected and vice versa. So - if you are chronically stressed or anxious then it is likely that your micro-biome will be affected further enhancing your experience of stress or anxiety. We also know that some species of micro-flora overgrowth can induce anxiety like behaviour and through the prescription of quality probiotics and herbal medicine we induce alterations of GABA in the brain and help to improve mood, anxiety and sleep. Interesting huh?
So what does this mean for you?
This means we need to keep your digestive tract healthy for your brain to be happy!
Some signs that your gut needs some assistance include:
- Constipation (e.g. less than one bowel motion daily) and / or haemorrhoids
- IBS symptoms
- Food intolerances
- Noisy stomach
- Pain or sensitivity in the stomach
- Recurrent colds and flu
- Low mood, anxiety and/or irritability
What can a naturopath do to help you?
- Assist with dietary changes to support a healthy gut.
- Assist you to choose an appropriate probiotic to support healthy gut flora (not all probiotics are created equal).
- Develop a treatment protocol for you to get you back on track. This may include herbal medicine or other supplements.
Do you have any of these symptoms? Book now for a consultation with Naturopath Melanie Olde today.