+ The gut brain connection and role it plays in mental illness

The gut brain connection and the role it plays in neurobehavioral disorders and mental illness

Following on from yesterday’s post about food intolerance, I wanted to further develop your understanding of the importance of your digestive function.  For 18 years I have been treating the gut of my patients in order to resolve a myriad health condition.  Science is now supporting the importance of nurturing the gut across a broad spectrum of health conditions.

But one area that, for some, holds a surprising connection is the gut brain connection and the role it plays in neurobehavioral disorders mental illness.  You see there are more nerve cells in the gastrointestinal tract than anywhere else except the brain.  We’re are all able to acknowledge the impact that the mind has on the gut i.e.; butterflies in your tummy or experiencing nausea if stressed.  But it is not just one-way traffic!

Neurobehavioral disorders and mental illness of many kinds is benefiting from improving gut health.  Gut health needs to be considered in treating conditions from anxiety to depression, OCD to bi-polar plus many other diseases and disorders, both mental and physical (including ADHD and ASD)…the results are promising.  This fabulous article, Gut feelings: the future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach, explores the concept of the role of the right combination of gut flora (bacteria) being crucial for a healthy mind.  It tells the story of families desperate attempt to find a successful treatment for their teenage daughter, who was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD and refers to groundbreaking research in the area.

Take a look and please share this post with anyone suffering from neurobehavioral disorders or mental illness (or just illness) of any kind.  My post on supporting the proper functioning of your digestion (click here) offers solutions to support the growth of healthy gut microflora.

My message to you is, no matter your ail or illness – DO NOT IGNORE YOUR GUT!

My post on resolving food intolerance may be of some interest too, click here to read it.

Love to hear your comments or answer any questions?

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Brain gut connection

  • Sally O

    Wow, so interesting! I do eat a lot of yoghurt, but do you also recommend taking something like Yakult and if so how often? We did also chat about slippery elm, is it as good or better than a Yakult type drink, and again, how much should I take? Oh and do you give your kids slippery elm? If so, how do you give it to them, how much, and how often is recommended? Sorry for bombarding you with questions but I really think our family could benefit from improving our gut health.

    • Not a fan of Yakult at all. Over priced, too much sugar, can do so much better. Love Slippery Elm bark – it’s a kind gentle herb that heals the gut and provides a healthy environment for the flora to thrive. I’ve found it very safe (even when treating very young babies) but you will need to discuss it’s suitability and dose with your health provider. G x

  • Lisa

    As a school counsellor it is so pleasing to hear that some medical practitioners are treating patients holistically, rather than just prescribing medication. Thank you for the article, I will be sure to share.

    • Hi Lisa. Thanks for your comment. Yes I’m really pleased the science is catching up. Let’s hope more funding is made available for research in this area so less children are medicated. G x

  • Hannah

    Thank you for another informative and encouraging article. Read some similar things in a book recently by Dr Libby Weaver also. Having a history of mental illness in my family I am trying to look into it much more.

    • I believe the human body has amazing capabilities given the right support. Having personally suffered two apparently irreversible, life altering health conditions in my life time (and reversing both to the disbelief of the specialists), I know that knowledge and commitment are powerful tools in restoring health. Good on you for bolstering your knowledge. G x

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