Do you suffer from anxiety and/or depression? You are not alone. Roughly 20% of adults suffer from a form of anxiety or depression. In this article, we will discuss the relationship between gut health and brain health and how you can become more relaxed and happy.
Both anxiety and depression, along with other mood and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as eating disorders, bipolar disorder or sleep disorders, generally result from a complex interplay of factors. These may include a combination of nutritional, physical, environmental, social, emotional, and spiritual factors, affecting your genetic tendencies and brain biochemistry (meaning that your neurotransmitters, or the chemical messengers within your brain, can be affected by these key components of well-being). You can think of anxiety and depression as disruptions in brain health.
Anxiety and depression are neuropsychiatric disorders that result from nutritional, environmental, social, emotional and spiritual conditions. Most medical practitioners treat anxiety and depression as any other condition: with medication. Our practice of functional medicine differs, as we’ve recognized that medication alone is not a solution for all patients. Medication is helpful to many patients, but our holistic and functional approach points us to the cause of the issue, not simply the symptoms. That’s why we begun to focus on the gut as a source of anxiety and depression.
The gut is not a “fix-all” for treating anxiety and depression, but we feel it’s a great place to start.
Emotional well-being begins with the gut.
The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms and bacteria that are vital to our health. If disrupted, these beneficial microorganisms can lead to disease, illness and of course our theme, anxiety and depression. In our experience, the bacterial mix in a patient’s microbiome shows specific dissimilarities between those with depression versus those without depressive disorders.
Probiotics are often used to reduce feelings of anxiety. By nourishing the healthy gut bacteria, studies have shown that anxiety was reduced and stress was decreased, positively affecting mental health.
The benefit of gut health through probiotics teamed with therapy, and antidepressants in some cases, is a winning combination, but only when the underlying issues are addressed.
Our functional medicine approach offers a targeted treatment to your specific needs. We tailor our services to the individual because no two people are alike, as no two mood disorders are alike.