Ever heard of the gut-brain axis?
If not - I'm about to blow your mind.
If yes - keep reading because this has anything and everything to do with your mood and I have a special announcement at the end!
Have you read my blog about the HPA axis? And how an imbalance there has an absolutely massive effect on your mood and anxiety levels?
Well the gut-brain axis (let's call it the GBA) is kinda like that.
In its simplest form, the GBA is a bidirectional link between the central nervous system (your brain) and the enteric nervous system (your gut).
In all its weird and wonderful ways, the GBA involves both direct and indirect pathways between the cognitive and emotional centers in your brain and your peripheral intestinal functions.
Meaning there's a lot of chatter going on between your HPA axis, your immune system and your nervous system.
This girl gang includes the central nervous system, both brain and spinal cord, the autonomic nervous system, the enteric nervous system, and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis.
Ever notice that when you’re really nervous or excited, you feel butterflies in your stomach?
That's your gut-brain axis!
There's tonnnsss of research to support the idea that the trillions of bacteria that populate your gut have an important impact on the gut-brain axis. They interact not only with the cells in your intestines and the enteric nervous system, but also directly with the central nervous system through neuroendocrine pathways.
Neuro = nervous system
Endocrine = hormones
Reason number 2398129381 why your hormonal health is your mental health.
And this whole link between our gut bacteria and the brain isn’t new--it’s actually been known for more than 20 years!!!
There’s been a substantial amount of research linking a disruption in the GBA to mood disorders like depression and anxiety, as well as autism.
This should be part of the standard treatment of mental health by now, but it's not, and that's extremely frustrating.
When it comes to anxiety specifically the gut microbiota influences stress reactivity and anxiety-like behaviour. And if your gut is inflamed, this can increase anxiety-like behaviors.
There's also a massive link between the health of the gut and the production, expression, and turnover of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and GABA.
For example, certain strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria, produce GABA. A dysfunction in GABA signalling increases the prevalence of anxiety and depression.
So, if your gut isn’t a healthy place, it ain't gonna be producing the neurotransmitters needed to keep your mood stable and your anxiety at bay.
There’s a complex interplay between your gut and your emotional state.
Just like any other system in the body, and imbalance in one of them is going to lead to an imbalance somewhere else.
In this case, an imbalance between the good and the bad gut bugs - we call this dysbiosis - interferes with your body’s ability to produce neurotransmitters that are needed to stabilize your mood and keep your anxiety locked up. When there isn’t enough GABA or serotonin floating around you brain, your body panics, and then you start panicking...
The body tries sooooo damn hard to maintain this intricate balance between every system and the choices we make on a daily basis can make or break this balance.
If you have my quiz you know that anxiety is a symptom arising because there is an imbalance in the body. Your body is trying to tell you something THROUGH your anxiety.
The imbalance is either neurotransmitter or hormonal and most of the time, everything that created these imbalances in the first place can be linked back to your gut.
So here’s the thing…
Medication, therapy, yoga, meditation, exercise, journaling, mindset and self-development work are all amazing tools to help manage the symptoms of anxiety but they’re not eliminating your anxiety .. because they do not address gut health.
If you want to break up with your anxiety you HAVE to address your gut health.
And I just put out a new ebook all about how to do this! Grab your copy!
Click HERE to download 💜