What Is The Gut Brain Connection?
Gut Brain Connection and Anxiety
Does Your Gut Health Affect Anxiety? Unveiling the Powerful Connection
Did you know your gut has its own brain? Have you ever had a “gut feeling”?
Our gut digests food and also directly links to our emotions, especially anxiety disorders. Scientists have named it the gut brain connection.
The gut brain connection, also known as the “second brain,” shows how our digestive system affects our mental health. It communicates with your actual brain through the vagus nerve and chemical messengers, affecting your emotional well-being. This two-way connection, called the gut-brain axis, is vital to understand.
Your gut sends signals to your brain, which can lead to a stress response if your gut microbiota is unhealthy.
Can a Poor Diet Cause Anxiety?
YES! Your daily diet has a huge impact on your gut and emotional health. Eating foods that are high in sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy fats can lead to an imbalance in the gut microbiome, called “dysbiosis.” Dysbiosis can lead to anxiety and other health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Everything is connected!
A diet low in important nutrients can cause low levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are important for your mood. When your body doesn’t get these nutrients, it can contribute to anxiety and depression.
Can Leaky Gut Cause Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
Dysbiosis can lead to a condition called “leaky gut.” When toxins and undigested food particles leak into the blood, it triggers inflammation, even in the brain.
Inflammation significantly contributes to anxiety and depression, interfering with how your brain regulates your mood. During an increase in inflammation, your cytokines stimulate, and emotions also stimulate. We can call this reactiveness “leaky emotions.”
Have you ever had this happen to you? Your day starts fine. Then you eat what you think is a healthy breakfast.
About an hour later, your belly feels bloated, and next, you feel like you are having a panic attack. Are you unsure what happened? All you did was eat breakfast… This is what happens when there is a leaky gut causing anxiety.
How Does the Microbiome Affect Anxiety?
Your gut houses trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiome. This microbiome plays a vital role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall health. Recent research has revealed its substantial impact on emotions like anxiety.
In a healthy gut, there’s a balance between good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria, like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, help with digestion and produce helpful substances. They can even influence your brain positively by making compounds reducing anxiety symptoms.
Harmful bacteria can grow excessively because of factors such as a poor diet, food intolerance reactions, antibiotic use, or stress. This can lead to dysbiosis, which worsens anxiety and depression.
Can Pre and Probiotics Help With Anxiety?
To maintain a healthy immune system and support your emotional well-being, you can add probiotics and prebiotics to your diet. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria found in foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. You can also take them as supplements to restore a balanced gut microbiome.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are non-digestible fibers found in foods like garlic, onions, and asparagus. They act as fuel for the good bacteria in your gut.
Improve Your Gut Brain Connection and Anxiety