While we have talked about the importance of gut health before, we keep coming back to it because it can have such a profound impact on your health. Not just for your digestion, but also for your physical and mental wellbeing. (1-4)
How is it that addressing my gut health can help my wellbeing, you ask? Well the answer to this is not as simple as we would like, so let’s talk about a couple of potential issues.
Ultimately, we are looking at the relationship between our gut and our brain, this is known as the gut-brain-axis. Your gut is involved in the production of serotonin, one of your feel-good hormones and is a precursor for melatonin. (1) It has connections with your immune system as well as a huge connection with our nervous system through the vagus nerve. (3) These can affect your brains ability to regulate mood signalling, emotional regulation, and even our sensitivity to stress. (1-4)
The gut-brain-axis is heavily influenced by the flora and microorganisms, microbiome, living in your gut. (4, 5) There is a delicate balance in play here between all the different microorganisms, and research has shown that these are out of balance in some patients with depression. Things like antibiotics, pathogens and foods have been shown to impact and change the delicate balance of the microbiome. In fact, research has also shown that gut infections can cause anxiety. (4-8)
Conditions such as depression and anxiety are multifactorial, and as such it is best to get to the root cause(s) for the best possible outcomes. Addressing gut health is an important step for a lot of people, but not everyone is going to have all their symptoms resolve completely through healing the gut alone. This is why we at sprouting health treat holistically and refer to appropriate services where necessary.
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