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  • Writer's pictureBrian Dooreck MD

The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health 🧠

Updated: Jul 24, 2023



Have you found yourself anxious before?


Have you found yourself depressed?


Have you felt a stomach ache before a significant life event?


The gut has always been linked with the brain. The CNS (Central Nervous system) hormones in our brain send signals into our brain, releasing neurotransmitters into our bloodstream, causing all these side effects in the gut. The gut and the nervous system communicate via the gut-brain axis, which has been associated with the gut microbiota to gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal diseases. Dysbiosis and gut inflammation have been linked to mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression—a healthy gut results in a healthy mind.


A healthy gut results in a healthy mind.

Probiotics can restore normal microbial balance and therefore have potential, although not conclusively or scientifically proven, role in treating and preventing anxiety and depression.


What is the "gut-brain axis"?

The gut-brain axis consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions, signaling from gut-microbiota to brain and from the brain to gut-microbiota using neural, endocrine, immune, and hormonal links.


How does the "gut-brain axis" function?

Its role is to monitor and integrate gut functions and link emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions made up of pathways to CNS and efferent signals from CNS to the intestinal wall.


Both neural and hormonal lines of communication combine to allow the brain to influence the activities of intestinal functional effector cells, such as immune cells, epithelial cells, enteric neurons, smooth muscle cells, and interstitial cells. The gut microbiota influences these same cells, whose contributing role in brain-gut reciprocal communications has recently been assessed.


What is Dysbiosis?

It is a condition that causes inflammation in the GI tract. It is a type of Gut microbiota dysbiosis characterized by decreased microbial diversity and increased pro-inflammatory species. This imbalanced microbiota cannot protect from pathogenic organisms, which can trigger inflammation and produce genotoxins or carcinogenic metabolites.


The effects of dysbiosis in the gut?

When your body is experiencing dysbiosis, your health may decline. From mild effects like cramps, diarrhea, and constipation, the gut microbiome affects how you overcome problems. Symptoms of dysbiosis include digestive issues, acid reflux or heartburn, anxiety, depression, and other more severe chronic illness.


Studies have shown variations in the microbiome and the effect on various CNS disorders, including, but not limited to anxiety, depressive disorders, schizophrenia, and autism.

Gut dysbiosis has been associated with several diseases such as obesity ,inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer, anxiety, depression.

"I hope to add real value to social media and share what my patients ask me about." — Dr. Dooreck


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Treatment and prevention to improve brain-gut health ?
  • Keep an excellent high-fiber diet

  • Increase intake of food rich in probiotics

  • Reduce stress

  • Have a good sleep

  • Exercising daily

  • Reduce smoking

  • Anti-depressants

  • Therapy

  • Meditation


Here is a short informational video from the Nestlé Nutrition Institute on our gut is linked to our brain.


 



Fun Facts

  • Gut bacteria are key players in your mood and mental health.

  • Gut bacteria can relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress but can also worsen symptoms.

  • The vagus nerve connects your gut and your brain.

  • When the vagus nerve is impaired by stress that directs energy and attention to your muscles and brain, it can’t react effectively to inflammation, which is bad for your gut and your gut bacteria.


Statistics


A study by the California Institute of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology found that more than 20% of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients have sleep disturbances and depressed behaviors.


 

Summary


There is no magic formula for long-term, sustainable weight loss.


Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿


Personally


I eat a high-fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.


"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

Gut Health ➕ Patient Advocacy with Navigation ➕ Life Balance


If you were looking for information about Private Healthcare Navigation and Patient Advocacy from Executive Health Navigation


Connect with Dr. Dooreck on LinkedIn, where he focuses his sharing on Health, Diet, Nutrition, Exercise, Lifestyle, and Balance.


 

gastroenterology | colonoscopy doctor | colonoscopy and gastroenterology services | gastro doctor | gi doctor | gastrointestinal diagnostic centers | public health

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1 Kommentar


Lindsay Jacob
Lindsay Jacob
04. Apr. 2023

The no red meat thing is fascinating to me. Would you still advocate for that even if it was 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef?

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