• The human gut (intestines) is home to approximately 100 trillion microbes, including bacteria, archaea, yeast, parasites, and viruses.1
• Although most people think of bacteria as “germs” and therefore bad for your body most are actually beneficial because they digest your food, make healthful products, like vitamins, and help to keep your immune system working properly.
• When the population of microbes in your gut shifts and one type overgrows due to antibiotic use, certain prescription drug use or dietary and lifestyle choices, the result may be a gut “imbalance.”
• When people experience gut imbalance, they may notice weight gain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog, lack of energy, poor mood, irritability, anxiety, trouble sleeping and much more.
What does this have to do with my brain?
- Increasingly, studies are suggesting a strong gut-brain link.10 In other words, what is happening in the gut affects the brain and vice-versa.
- Commonly, if there is gut inflammation, there is also brain inflammation.
- When chemicals in the brain are not properly balanced, it is possible to experience depressed mood, anxiety/stress, brain fog, forgetfulness, poor sleep, obesity, and more.
Total body health: The stress response
- The high levels of physical and psychological stress that most of us live with everyday can trigger a chronic “fight or flight” response and take a toll on our health.
- Studies show that when this fight or flight system is continuously turned on, feeding is increased, pain sensation is altered and our brain’s reward system is muted.11 These changes may play a role in obesity, drug-seeking or addiction behavior, and alcohol dependence.
- It is important to restore the body to a peaceful state so that we are not stuck in the “fight or flight” mode continuously.
1. Gill, et al. doi: 10.1126/science.1124234
2. Yang, et al. doi: 10.3109/13693786.2010.487076
3. Hoffman, et al. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066019
4. Mukaremera, et al. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00629
5. Moyes, et al. doi: 10.1038/nature17625
6. Kasper, et al. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06607-1
7. Turnbaugh, et al. doi: 10.1038/nature05414
8. Cuskin, et al. doi: 10.1038/nature13995
9. Jouault, et al. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.177.7.4679
10. Martin, et al. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2018.04.003. eCollection 2018.
11. Witkin, et al. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2013.10.011
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