The Connection Between Mental and Gut Health
Good mental health and a sense of wellbeing begin with a healthy gut! Gut health determines digestion, cognition, immunity mental/emotional wellbeing and energy levels. Assessing and improving the health of the gut microbiome is crucial to truly optimize physical and mental health, productivity and focus for your employees. Each person's gut microbiome contains millions of bacteria, all working in conjunction with their internal systems. And while most of those bacteria are considered good, even a small percentage of bad bacteria overgrowth can leave our bodies in disarray and cause disease. In recent years, research has begun to emphasize and further explore the connection between the brain and the gut, also known as the gut-brain axis. The gut sends neurotransmitters through the nerves and the immune system, up to the brain, and vice versa. If you've experienced nausea or butterflies in your stomach because of nervousness or excitement, this is the gut-brain axis at play.
If the gut-brain axis is out of balance, it can cause digestive issues, inflammation, mood disturbances, and other health concerns.
Poor gut health can lead to: / Chronic gastrointestinal diseases that cause abdominal discomfort or pain bloating, and irregular bowel habits
/ Inflammatory bowel diseases like crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
/ Systemic metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes
/ Neuroimmune disorders like major depressive disorder, anxiety, chronic fatigue
syndrome and schizophrenia.
/ In naturopathic medicine, we look at the gut microbiome to understand if there is a
bacterial imbalance and we address the problem at the root. By treating the gut first,
we're able to eliminate many symptoms and underlying causes of chronic disease and
4 Easy Steps Toward Improved Gut-Brain Health
/ Book an intake appointment with a functional or naturopathic doctor who prioritizes gut health: A review of your symptoms and health history will help the doctor understand where to begin.
/ Functional testing: Assess for vitamin, mineral and hormones levels; food sensitivities,
and gut metabolites to better understand where there may be an imbalance. Traditional
PCPs don't typically prescribe this type of comprehensive testing as many aren't trained
to interpret this data in-depth.
/ Personalized nutrition plans and supplements: Once testing has revealed areas needing improvement, begin a wellness plan including personalized supplement and
dietary/lifestyle recommendations. As changes are implemented, you can track
improvements in symptoms or re-test some of the problematic markers to guide wellness plan adjustments.
/ Self Care Education: Learning how to implement holistic and therapeutic self care
practices will ensure that you can maintain your health long-term, prevent chronic illness and boost vitality, productivity and focus.
Written by FitPros Speaker, Adeola Mead. Adeola is a Naturopathic Physician with 15 years of clinical experience who provides integrative wellness programs to help improve physical and mental/emotional resilience. Book a session with Adeola now! Looking for something different? Contact us to see how we can customize your health talk or activity.