Stress And Gut Health
New studies are proving that depression and anxiety are often symptoms of chronic inflammation. Our modern lifestyle is the number one cause of chronic inflammation.
Nowadays, we eat processed foods that are no longer healthy, we are mostly stuck behind desks or sat inside our offices, and we are exposed to thousands of modern chemicals each time we step outside. As a result, we suffer from inflammation which then leads to anxiety and depression.
Inflammation is linked to just about every disease we encounter including obesity, diabetes, and even neurodegenerative diseases.
An unhealthy gut causes inflammation. Inflammation is our brain’s way of letting us know that something is wrong or imbalanced.
New studies showed that the markers of inflammation are elevated in depressed patients. The study further went to show that when the depressive symptoms were resolved, the signs of inflammation also decreased back to normal levels.
Additionally, inflammatory proteins found in an unhealthy gut such as C-reactive protein also affects brain inflammation levels. Increased levels of C-reactive proteins can trigger the onset of depression and anxiety.
Simply put, when inflammation is triggered in the gut and the brain, anxiety and depression are triggered.
Our gut and our brain have a direct connection. The gut is where everything we consume from the outside is absorbed into the body. Our intestinal walls are designed to handle many types of foreign matters.
Most of our immune cells are located in the gut. This is where our microbiomes are situated. These are the beneficial microbes that reside in our gastrointestinal tract and help balance bacteria levels. When there’s an imbalance in the guts good and bad bacteria levels, inflammation occurs.
The inflammation then travels from the gut and directly to the brain through vague nerve. *The vague nerve is the longest nerve in the body that connects several parts of the gut to the brain – including the intestines and stomach.
This nerve also connects to other organs vital for digestion such as the pancreas. You’ve probably noticed that when you are too stressed, you are unable to eat or your stomach feels like it’s in knots.
The perceived stress, depression, or anxiety can lead to inflammation in the gut and beyond.
Food and Depression
An unhealthy gut can lead to depressive symptoms. What we eat matters. When you consume foods that have added sugars and other addictives, they cause our gut cells to get inflamed. Furthermore, many of us are unconsciously consuming inflammatory foods such as dairy and gluten.
These foods tend to cause allergic reactions that might be too mild for most people to notice. However, do note that studies have proven sugar, artificial sweeteners, gluten, and casein proteins found in most dairy products have shown to activate inflammation.
Most people are filling up on granola bars and bagels instead of home-cooked and nutrient-rich foods. Our busy schedules have us entangled in unhealthy lifestyle choices. When we get sick, we simply pop antibiotics without a second though or even a single thought of what these things are doing to our bodies.
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Dysbiosis refers to the alteration in the microbiomes. Dysbiosis can lead to a leaky gut. A leaky gut is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine, causing toxic waste products, bacteria, and undigested food particles to leak through the intestines and into to bloodstream.
This causes an autoimmune reaction in the body including allergic reactions such as irritable bowel, migraines, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, and much more.
Since the condition damages cells in the intestine, the body is not able to produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion. As a result, the body is unable to absorb essential nutrients, leading to weakened immune systems and hormone imbalances.
Consuming pharmaceuticals, processed foods, and nutrient-poor foods can cause leaky gut. A healthy microbiome is vital for a healthy brain.
How to treat an unhealthy gut
For many people, simply getting back to a healthy diet reduces inflammation and starts resolving anxiety and depression.
For others, the use of probiotic supplements such as the GI RENU supplements helps the gut microbiome.
An unhealthy gut can also be healed using curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric. Extensive research has shown that curcumin is a very effective anti-inflammatory and antidepressant. If you suffer from hereditary mental conditions such as anxiety or depression, consider adding turmeric to your drinks such as lattes and incorporate turmeric in all your meals.
Another simple way to treat an unhealthy gut is by staying away from inflammatory foods mentioned above. These foods are known to damage the gut tissue, resulting in a leaky gut. Some simple ways you can achieve this are:
Use organic cooking oils such as coconut oils, canola oil, organic vegetable oil, and ghee (as opposed to margarine.)
You should also replace dairy milk with nut milk derived from coconuts, almonds, and hemp. These foods will not only reduce inflammation but they also aid in fighting it.
Finally, chronic stress plays a major role in the gut’s health as stress can cause a leaky gut, resulting in a weakened immune system. Incorporate stress relieving routines into your lifestyle to heal your gut and in turn, treat your anxiety or depression.
Some effective and simple ways you can reduce stress are:
Try yoga, meditation, or cardio workouts. These simple techniques helps the body release endorphin, which is the body’s natural anti-depressant.
Spend more time outdoors. Vitamin D absorbed from the sun rays can help maintain the intestinal barrier, leading to reduced inflammation.
Aside from these, you can try avoid toxins as best as you can. Use chemical-free products whenever possible including body care products and household cleaning products. Finally, try to avoid drinking and smoking.
It can be hard to change your habit such as eating and exercising. However, with a bit of determination and motivation, anything is possible. As you’ve seen, an unhealthy gut can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. The first step to healing your mind is to heal your body from the inside, out.
LIFE RENU’s Recommended Supplements for Leaky Gut
Here are several supplements we recommend to combat the daily health and environmental challenges associate with leaky gut:
DAILY DETOX – Rid Your Body of Harmful Toxins and Improve Digestion with Pre-Biotics
IMMUNE RENU – Rid Your Body of Inflammation and Boost Your Immune System
GI RENU – Improve Your Gut Health with Daily Healthy Probiotics