Follow your Gut: The Brain/Gut Connection
What came first, the egg or the chicken? The same goes for digestive issues and mental health, what causes what? These days research is coming out on the close relationship our gut has to our mental health. Stress negatively impacts the whole body but significantly the gut.
In Chinese Medicine the gut is tied to the Spleen/Stomach meridians. While the main organ that carries stress is the liver. The liver likes to be a bully when its stressed out and who does he beat up first? The digestive system. In my practice I find this will be the fist sign of the body being impacted by stress. Showing up as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, heartburn, fatigue and brain fog.
So how does our diet cause more stress? I mean that delicious cookie sure seems to make me feel better! If you know me, you know I am all about balance and living life. But if you enjoy a little too much of something that could be causing inflammation in you body, you need to pull back. Blood sugar plays a HUGE role in the stress/gut connection. Refined sugar/carbs causes our blood sugar to go from highs to lows and back again. Many experience increased anxiety due to spiked or drops in blood sugar alone.
Another big hitter is leaky gut. This happens when you are repeatedly exposed to the same food irritants over and over again. The intestine walls begin to pull apart allowing food particles to float into our blood stream. Our gut is amazing and is meant to digest like a rockstar. But in todays society it can't win. Between all the processed food, pesticides, toxins and genetically modified food our bodies have to work in overdrive. When you are constantly inflamed and can't absorb the nutrients you need because your digestion is not working optimally, therefore causing anxiety/stress.
Chinese Medicine has been treating this relationship for years. No drugs needed and no you are not crazy. Too often western medicine will prescribe medication like SSRI's that further aggravates the issue. First off acupuncture teaches the body how to tap into the sympathetic mode (rest and digest), as many don't know how to anymore. Also customizing a nutritional plan to heal leaky gut through food as well as supplements to repair the intestinal walls. Chinese herbs swoop in for the win with gut healing properties as well as herbs to calm the mind. Basically, I've got you covered! Much love~ Katie