Powerful Things to Know About Gut Health and Anxiety

It seems like there is something to be said for the adage “you are what you eat.”  The truth is that for many of us, our lives in 2021 require that we lead a fast-paced lifestyle, which leaves little room for thinking about the food that we ingest daily.

An apple a day, right?

We know that anxiety is a significant issue that many people struggle with daily, and while there are many ways to treat anxiety, we thought that we would share some of our findings with you.

Here are some powerful things to know about gut health and anxiety.

Gut Health & Mood Studies

Our gut health has a massive impact on our health in many aspects, but what is gut health? According to MedicalNewsToday, gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live within your digestive tract, commonly known as the microbiome or gut flora. These microorganisms are bacteria, fungi, and viruses that assist in the processing of food within your body but more importantly, they significantly impact your metabolism, mood, and immune system.

We know that the primary chemical associated with mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, serotonin, is produced mainly in the digestive tract. But did you know that according to psychology today, scientists found that gut bacteria also produces other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and dopamine?

There is a significant correlation between gut health and how we feel.

Some Insight on Neurotransmitters

Norepinephrine is a stress hormone released into the blood when the brain receives a signal that a stressful event has occurred. Stressful events can range between extremes. For example, public speaking may be as stressful to someone as merging onto a lane on the highway. Great or small, there is a chemical response in the brain that manifests in the body.

Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is the part of the peripheral nervous system which contracts muscles, dilates blood vessels, and increases bodily secretions in addition to slowing your heart rate. Lastly, dopamine-you may have heard the word before, but what is it?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in feeling pleasure. Think of the last time that you completed a puzzle or shared in a team’s victory. Your brain’s chemical response to dopamine is what produces those feelings of accomplishment.

Furthermore

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in America. Statistically, 40 million adults in the U.S. are affected each year. Out of the 18.1% of the adult population that suffers from these specific mood disorders, only 36.9% receive treatment.  

Studies have shown that a diet comprised of heavily processed foods can cause an imbalance in the bacteria associated with preventing illness. As stated previously, we know that processed goods considerably impact your metabolism, mood, and immune system. 

So the question is, what can we do to help ourselves?

Look at the Signs

Firstly we want to make sure that we are on the lookout for tell-tale signs that there might be an issue. The following are symptoms that could be present for someone with gut health issues, as stated by Megan Dix of healthline.com.

  • Upset stomach with bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn.
  • A diet comprised of high sugar-Candies, donuts, soda.
  • Unpredictable changes in weight- weight loss or weight gain.
  • Constant fatigue- sleepy, sluggish, or tired consistently.
  • Autoimmune conditions-Rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus. 
  • Food intolerance- The development of difficulty digesting food.

We strongly suggest that you check in with your doctor if you feel affected by signs of an unhealthy gut. 

NOTE: WE DO NOT ENCOURAGE SELF DIAGNOSING. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS

How Can CBD Help with Gut Health?

Historically CBD has been utilized in various applications to promote better health and wellness. Studies have shown that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory as well. CBD is very efficient for a variety of applications. Being an inhibitor gives way to the idea that it may help with symptoms related to intestinal inflammation and subsequent mood disorders that can occur in the presence of bad poor health.

CBD can be used to treat the root of the problem, but additional advantages exist. It can relieve pain and reduce anxiety caused by poor gut health, as previously mentioned. It can also assist with heart-health and alleviate issues caused by chronic or terminal illness. 

The use of CBD to treat ailments is elective. While many studies have shown the positive effects that it may have, there can also be side effects to its consumption. We can not stress enough the importance of working with your doctor to ensure that you are doing all you can to help with your health and wellness issues overall.

To Sum it All Up

We need to take a moment and reflect on our well-being. Nutrition and the importance of a well-balanced diet have been preached to us ever since we could remember. Oh, the trusty food pyramid 🙁. While we may have a predisposition for some chronic issues, there are many cases of ailments brought on by habits, diet, or a lack of understanding of our highly complicated human body and its systems.

To understand what is going on with our bodies, we must educate ourselves, ask questions and seek relief from effective treatments and solutions. Lowering stress levels, getting enough sleep, taking probiotics and diet regulation are some examples of good practice in our daily routine.

How can you promote a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle?

References

10 research-backed ways to improve gut health. (n.d.). Retrieved February 01, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325293

Azab, M. (2019, August 07). Gut Bacteria Can Influence Your Mood, Thoughts, and Brain. Retrieved February 01, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/neuroscience-in-everyday-life/201908/gut-bacteria-can-influence-your-mood-thoughts-and-brain#:~:text=Scientists%20have%20found%20that%20gut,in%20how%20our%20brains%20react.

Dix, M. (2020, August 25). 7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut and 7 Ways to Improve Gut Health. Retrieved February 01, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/gut-health

Facts & Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 01, 2021, from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics#:~:text=Anxiety%20disorders%20are%20the%20most,of%20those%20suffering%20receive%20treatment.

Microbiome. (n.d.). Retrieved February 01, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microbiome