The Gut Brain Connection; An Introduction
Leading a happy life is often difficult when you aren’t feeling well. Since happiness is the foundation that health is built on, how do we achieve either without the other. This conundrum lead me to focus on what is known as The Gut Brain Connection, which has been revolutionising medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.
Researchers and doctors previously thought that stress contributed to gut problems such as constipation, upset stomach, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and bloating and impaired immune protection. But new research suggests that it is a two-way street, with the brain and gut in constant communication, each capable of altering the other’s state. A sluggish gut can cause mood changes just as stress can change your available energy.
Not only is our gut linked to our brain far more than we originally thought, we have also found that 70% of our immune system is located along the intestinal walls, monitoring microbes as they come in and out. Communicating with the gut bacteria, the immune cells are capable of coordinating a faster and more effective response to incoming threats. Without a healthy range of gut bacteria, the body can not respond as well to bacteria before it has a chance to take over.
Signs and Symptoms of Poor Gut Health
- Digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, upset stomach
- Food allergies or sensitivities such as reacting to lactose or gluten
- Anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability
- Skin problems like eczema, acne, dryness
- Autoimmune diseases such as thyroid imbalances, rheumatoid conditions and Crohns
- Frequent Infections like UTIs, thrush, cold and flus
- Poor memory and concentration, low or sluggish energy or hyperactivity
What can you do differently to be more HAPPY?
How can what you EAT change how susceptible you are to getting a cold or improve your energy?
How do you cultivate happiness AND reduce your risks of chronic conditions?
- LIMIT gut damaging irritants such as sugar, alcohol, wheat, processed foods and excessive pain killer medications
- INCREASE your water intake to 2 litres every day to encourage your body to flush out what it can
- INTRODUCE fermented foods such as natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha into your diet to supply the digestive system with a variety of healthy bacteria
- REPAIR the lining along the digestive system with cell repairing glutamine, healing turmeric and soothing aloe vera
- FEED gut microbes with fibre such as slippery elm powder as well as 5-6 serves of fresh vegetables every day