Apr 05 2020

In Addition Pay Attention to your Mental Health

Published by at 11:17 am under General

Paying close attention to your mental health is especially important during these “crazy times”.

Maintaining a healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system as well as strong mental health.*

People are calling what is going on right now “crazy times.” You hear it everywhere. And there is a good reason. It is crazy! We have never been through anything like this before as individuals, as communities or as a nation. It is natural and normal that all this quarantine, isolation and bad news can make us all feel extra levels of anxiety and depression. But keep in mind, that keeping our mental health is just as important as maintaining our physical health, especially in times such as these.*

Even before the coronavirus hit, anxiety and depression have been on the rise in our country. Researchers believe that the shift in diet over the many decades has had its toll. Guts have become less healthy due to diets high in processed foods and sugars, which has also led to higher rates of obesity. When the gut is unhealthy, it affects the brain. “…Patients with various psychiatric disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder have been shown to have significant differences in the composition of their gut microbiome…”1*

Our guts, just like our brains are comprised of a network of hundreds of millions of neurons hidden in the walls of our digestive tract, which when stretched out would span about nine meters. This bundle of neurons is called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). “…Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology…” But it also plays a particular role in our emotional well being and overall health by sending information to the brain. “…The Enteric Nervous System doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results…” Scientists have learned that “…90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus (the connector cable,) carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around…” And most of this information that the gut sends to the brain are things that affect our well being without us even knowing about it. (2,3)*

The gut also produces hormones and neurotransmitters typically associated with our primary brain.  In fact, our guts produce more hormones than any other part of our body, with the neurons in the gut, believed to “…generate as much dopamine as those in the head…” It is also responsible for 95 percent of the serotonin produced in our bodies which is our mood-stabilizing hormone.  It is an incredibly complex system and more complicated than researchers had ever previously understood. (1,3)

For these reasons, taking care of your gut with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ with Prebiotics is extremely important. We need a healthy microbiome to keep our immune system at its healthiest. And we need it to keep our mental condition at its healthiest too. In addition, exercise daily in some form, minimize stress as much as possible (don’t keep the news on constantly), eat right, and don’t burden your gut with excessive alcohol or junk food. It’s easy to turn to drink and snacking when we are home all the time and bored…but just be mindful of balance.*

It is of great concern that many people who were already struggling with mental health conditions are now burdened further with the worries of the world, job loss, and isolation. If a person has depression or anxiety they will have a harder time making the best of things and finding that silver lining. Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better. So do your part by staying home, follow social distancing and handwashing guidelines set forth by the CDC. The important thing is to keep yourself and your family healthy. If you are suffering from depression, reach out to a friend or loved one. If you know others that suffer from depression, reach out to them and anyone in need. Service to others not only helps them but boosts your mood too.  Take a walk in nature and take some deep breaths. And if you are feeling that things are becoming unmanageable, call a health care provider or a local help hotline. Many health care practitioners are diagnosing and advising over the phone and are there to help.4*

We will get through this! Healthiest wishes,

Kelli


Resources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31530002
  2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-brain-gut-connection
  3. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/
  4. cdc.gov

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