Tag Archive for gut health

Is Your GI Tract Out of Whack? How to Restore Your Gut and Your Mind

Is your GI tract out of whack? Your mental and physical health become impaired when your gut is imbalanced. Find out how to heal it here.
If your GI tract is out of whack, your mental and physical health will be too. Fatigue and fuzzy thinking, not to mention bloating and irregular bowel movements, are linked to your gut health. If your sick and tired of feeling less than your best it’s time to look at your gut health.

Your GI Tract is Your Second Brain

Scientists consider the GI tract (Gastrointestinal tract) the body’s second brain. It’s vital to your mental and physical health. The microbes in your gut are responsible for more than 80% of your immune system and can help your body fight off foreign invaders such as the cold or flu.

Your GI tract is also a key player in your brain chemistry. It breaks down amino acids in your gut turning them into neurotransmitters in the brain. If this process isn’t running smoothly (literally) your mood and health are compromised.

Is Your Gut Hurting or Helping Your Brain Chemistry?

As you know, amino acids are found in the foods you eat and the supplements you take. When your GI tract is balanced, your mood and energy levels are too. Allergies, stress, and toxins can cause severe damage to the lining of your gut; this disrupts your mood and mental health too. If your feeling down, depressed or drained testing your neurotransmitter levels can help identify if there is an imbalance; in your brain and in your gut.

Your GI tract is responsible for producing important neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA. The bacteria in your gut is in charge of making these inhibitory very important neurotransmitters that regulate your mood. In fact, more than 95 percent of the serotonin in your body made in your gut. If you struggle with depression or anxiety, your gut health is likely to blame.

Is My Gut Imbalanced?

Some of the most common symptoms and side effects of an imbalanced GI tract are:

  • IBS
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches or Migraines
  • Eczema or Asthma
  • Intense Seasonal Allergies
  • Fibromyalgia or Joint Pain
  • Chronic fatigue or Fogginess
  • Hives or Rashes
  • Mood Disorders and Anxiety
  • Autoimmune Illnesses
    • Ulcerative Colitis
    • Celiac’s
    • Crohn’s Disease
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Psoriasis
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Lupus
    • Scleroderma
    • Rosacea
    • Type 1 Diabetes

What Can Cause or Contribute to a GI Tract Imbalance?

  • Refined carbohydrates, processed or fast foods
  • Processed white flour
  • Foods high in sugar: The more sugar we eat, the fewer the binding sites available for Vitamin C and therefore a dampened immune response.
  • Artificial flavors and dyes (such as Blue #1, Blue #2, Red #3 and Red #40 and Yellow #6)
  • Preservatives (BHA, BHT, sodium nitrate/nitrite, sulfur dioxide and potassium bromate) and flavor enhancers (Monosodium glutamate and Disodium Guanylate)
  • High-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats)
  • Toxins such as processed wheat, soybean and corn oil that can contribute to leaky gut
  • Gluten or dairy
  • Antibiotics
  • Birth Control
  • Alcohol
  • NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin. NSAIDs can inhibit your body from rebuilding the intestinal lining.

How to Balance Your Gut and Your Mind

There are natural ways to balance your GI tract. The most important thing to do is talk to your practitioner and look at your histamine levels (high histamine indicates a food allergen). This will help to identify if there is a trigger in your diet, and without removing it, all the supplements in the world will not heal your gut. Repairing your gut may take some time, but when you are working with a trained practitioner like those here at Neurogistics, you will have support and accountability along the way. Other ways to repair your GI tract include:

  • Taking supplements to support immune and central nervous system such as glutamine that supports immunity and digestion and Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin D
  • Avoiding chemicals, pesticides, and other environmental toxins
  • Taking Probiotics such as kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt
  • Reducing Stress through these mindfulness exercises

Significant changes in your GI tract and your brain can take just a few weeks to start working.  For more information on testing your neurotransmitter levels and balancing your GI tract look into our programs.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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7 Things You Need to Know About Probiotics

You may be taking a daily probiotic or have been interested in the idea of taking one for a while. But do you know why probiotics are so important to your body and brain chemistry? A healthy gut leads to a healthy brain, without the right bacteria your body can’t process the vital nutrients from food or supplements. Probiotics help us keep the good bacteria in our bodies and increase our health. In fact, research has shown that taking probiotics can help fight cancer, colds, constipation, and mental health issues. » Read more..

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New Research Shows This Food Additive Can Ruin Your Gut

Additives seems to be in everything we eat these days. Many of the foods that we think are healthy contain additives that can actually be extreemly unhealthy, espeically to your gut. Food additives called emulsifiers may keep snacks fresh and looking like their label but they can impact gut health. According to the research, these additives disrupt the intestine’s protection from bacteria and boost inflammation in mice, scientists report online February 25 in Nature. » Read more..

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New Research on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Serotonin

Scientists say they have identified the underlying reason why some people are prone to depression in the winter months, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Difficulty regulating a chemical in the brain, serotonin, may explain why some people suffer from SAD, according to new research. » Read more..

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Why You Need More Serotonin and How to Get it

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

We know that serotonin is the “feel good neurotransmitter” but new research shows that it can keep you stay calm and patient in frustrating circumstances. Waiting for the light to turn red may make your blood boil, but with balanced levels of serotonin, your system is hardly phased by the stress. It is also improves impulse control. The urge for giving into the sweet treat or bad habit won’t be as strong with enough serotonin in your system. » Read more..

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In Response to ABC’s Nightline Gluten-Free Segment

Recently ABC’s Nightline did a piece titled “Is Gluten Free Healthy?” We at Neurogistics found this interview highly unprofessional, in that they talked more about the “fad” of gluten-free instead of the well documented benefits for many people; not just those with  disease.  They did not touch on individuals who have sensitivities to Gluten and whose guts are not working well.  Many studies confirm that gluten increases constipation in ones gut, thus decreasing absorption of nutrients.  We see that replacing gluten with rice or other options has benefited so many children and adults in creating optimal health. Pam Machemehl Helmly our Chief Science Officer and Clinical Nutritionist says ” For many Gluten is toxic and has a huge role in children’s behavior and overall health.”

Although Dr. Green makes a point in regards to Gluten free diets may lack in fiber and B vitamins, that is only true if you are not eating a well-balanced diet. It is more unhealthy to be getting all of your fiber and B vitamins from white flour, which Dr. Green says is where the Gluten-Free diet lacks in health benefits.  It is recommended before placing yourself or your child on a specific diet to get nutritional counseling, or even allergy and gut testing to identify these sensitivities and get proper dietary recommendations.  However, we have seen many more than only Celiac clients benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets. For some Gluten has an opiate like effect on the brain, and in children or adults who eat it we see an almost “drug-like” reaction. Intense cravings, mood swings, and uncontrollable behaviors can steam from gluten.

In Dr. Green’s defense, you can tell this was an incredibly short segment, and if time alloted I am certain he would explain in depth the benefits of gluten-free diets.

The blog by Gluten Free Fitness does a great job of analyzing the segment.  The author says ”

Overall, I was incredibly disappointed.  There has been so many great news pieces done on celiac disease and gluten intolerance lately that this was like a kick in the teeth.  “This was a wonderful opportunity for education and discussion on the beauty of naturally gluten free food, on the importance of eating ‘real food,’ how you CAN get nutrition in your diet, how celiac disease is under diagnosed, and it wasn’t that at all.” Read more here

 To watch the segment click here and let us know your thoughts.

In Good Health,

Emily Roberts MA, LPC

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