Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach when you feel anxious about someone or a situation? Have you ever felt you wanted to eat anything or nothing at all when you are feeling down? Have you ever felt upset after eating something that made you felt sick? Those are simple examples of how our brain interfere in our digestive system and vice-versa. It means our thoughts and emotions affects our digestion, but also the health of our digestive tract affects our thoughts and emotions.
It happens because our digestive system has its own nervous system, called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS), which is located in the lining of the digestive tract. The ENS is connected with the Central Nervous System (CNS) by a bidirectional pathway. Our digestive system produces more neurotransmitters than our brain. For example, 90% of the serotonin we produce in our body is made there. Serotonin is formed by the amino acid tryptophan and is responsible not only for our mood by also for control of our bowel movements, sleep and sexual function. We don’t produce tryptophan, we get it through our diet, with high in bananas, eggs, oats, beef, potatoes, walnuts and sesame seeds.
Recent research has linked imbalances in our gut to our mental function. Leaky gut is linked to depression, fatigue, confusion and poor memory. People presenting with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) can also present anxiety disorder. While celiac disease can also be associated with anxiety, epilepsy, depression and migraines.
So, what should I do to stay healthy? Well, the answer is kind of simple, we must look after our mental state and nutrition. In terms of mental health, it means you will need to manage your stress levels, pay attention to how are you feeling in every situation, what relationships are fulfilling your self, revisit your beliefs, and how your work is affecting you? In terms of diet, choosing non processed foods, avoiding sugar and too much caffeine, checking what foods agree with you. The point is, unfortunately life is not balanced all the time. We all have ups and downs. So, even if you start doing all those things, past actions may still be affecting your body and to balance it you will need help from a qualified practitioner.
What I do in clinic is first address your main concern and once it’s addressed I can start looking into other aspects of your life which may be affecting your health. I use not only my knowledge as Nutritionist, but also my skills of Counselling and Health Coaching.
If you want to have a quick chat with me, I’m offering a 20 minutes free assessment. Just call the clinic and book your appointment at our clinic in Brookvale.
Hope to see you soon!