When it comes to mental health, medications and counselling are important tools and can be life saving, but they’re not your only option.
Taking a whole person approach, practitioners such as naturopaths and nutritionists look at the underlying health issues that can contribute to mental health issues.
If these underlying issues go unchecked, there is possibly only so much that conventional methods can help with.
Some of these issues include:
- Gut dysbiosis
- Chronic inflammation
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Poor sleep
- Chronic stress
- Hormone imbalances
Interestingly, all of these underlying factors are related to gut health.
There’s a large body of research on the link between gut health and mental health, so let’s look at what we know:
- Up to 80% of your body’s serotonin, the happy hormone, is made in your gut.
- Vagal nerve innervation of the gastrointestinal tract connects the gut directly to the brain, and this is called the gut-brain connection.
- Other brain chemicals are made in the gut as well and were once thought to directly influence mental health, however we now know it’s a bit more complicated than that.
- The balance (or imbalance) of microbes in your gut directly impacts your mental health.
Most people have some degree of dysbiosis: an imbalance of bacteria, yeasts and other organisms in the gut.
This imbalance promotes chronic inflammation and immune activation which directly impacts the brain.
One of the most recent theories of depression is that it is an inflammatory disease – and we now know that this inflammation stems from the gut.
The good news is, this puts your mental health in your hands.
When you work with a practitioner we do a comprehensive health intake to determine what type of digestive issues you have.
If necessary, we use functional testing such as comprehensive digestive stool analysis or organic oat testing to determine the root cause.
Once we have your test results we then create a customized protocol to reduce inflammation and ultimately improve mental health, gut health, and brain function.
If you’re struggling with your mental health and would like to learn more about the role of your gut health in mental well being, book a session with our naturopath or one of our nutritionists to start feeling yourself again.