Gut and Mood Connection – The Vagus Nerve
This is not really surprising if we consider that 90% of the body’s serotonin and 50% of its dopamine are synthesized in the gut and regulated by the gut flora[iii].
What’s Happening in Ireland?
Any symptoms such as itching, tiredness, bloating, constipation/diarrhoea, reflux, respiratory problems etc should never go untreated as they potentially can affect mood and mental health in the long term or go deeper. Children are the easiest to treat as they still have a relatively clean system and their bodies are efficient at repair and recovery.
Minding the gut brain begins with expectant mothers and they should be supported to ensure they are looking after their gut health. The first gift a mother gives to the child is her immunity via placenta, through a natural birth and her milk supply. Every pregnancy should include a probiotic supplement or regular fermented foods although care needs to be taken with dosage in the beginning just to avoid abdominal discomfort.
Below is a general protocol I use.
- Remove the trigger foods for a period of time,
- Take herbal anti inflammatories or adrenal tonics (depending on present medication) and symptom picture
- Improve bowel movement
- Take probiotics or fermented foods
- Choose one mind body technique to deal with stress
- Variable personalised add ons, including short term supplementation such as the B vitamins and Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s), depending on the nature of the illness as each cocktail of nutrients provide different end results.
[i] PubMed, Neuropeptides and the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis, Holzer P., Farzi A. Published 15 mar 2015 Available online : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4359909/ (accessed 10 April 2018)
[ii] From gut dysbiosis to altered brain function and mental illness: mechanisms and pathways G B Rogers,1,* D J Keating,2 R L Young,3 M-L Wong,4 J Licinio,4 and S Wesselingh1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4879184/ April 2016
[iii] The Gut, The Brain and Addiction. Sat Daram Kaur Pub Sep 2016. Available online at: http://beyondaddiction.ca/2016/09/04/gut-brain-addiction/ (accessed 10 June 2018)
[v] Irish teen suicide rates among highest in EU Sheehan. C. ; Available online at: https://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/irish-teen-suicide-rates-among-highest-in-eu-262690.html (accessed 21 Mar 2014.)
[vii] Coeliac Society Ireland. Prevalence and Diagnosis; https://www.coeliac.ie/join-now/professional/prevalence-and-diagnosis/ (Online: Accessed 13 May 2018)
[viii] The diagnosis and management of food allergy and food intolerances J. L. Turnbull, H. N. Adams & D. A. Gorard Published online 14 Oct 2014. Available at : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/apt.12984 (accessed 12 April 2018)