Gut-Brain Axis

Most of us have heard the term gut-health and awareness of the brain-gut connection continues to grow quickly.

This information wasn’t really out there when I was growing up. And it wasn’t until my early twenties that I realized my body and brain could really perform the way I wanted it to when I ate certain foods. This was a big deal, I finally had a sense of how to begin managing my ADHD without meds most of the time. Healthy foods didn’t remove the need for other interventions entirely, but they gave me a huge step up in my mental and physical energy.

I want to briefly review how and why our gut health is so important and why researchers are progressively pointing to how the health of our body and mind are connected.

There are over 100 million nerve cells in the two thin membranes lining our gastrointestinal tract (allowing it to function much like a brain). These cells both send and receive biochemical information to and from our brain. This “little brain” as it is referred to is our enteric nervous system (ENS) and it operates much like an extension of our brain. Researchers point to this significant biochemical exchange as having direct connections with illness and disease. A major player in the transmission of these chemical messages is our central nervous system (CNS) which passes on these messages to many parts of our brain that collectively influence in our mood and outlook.  Mental health issues such as anxiety, stress and depression can frequently be linked to gut health. The important role that your gut plays is even further emphasized in the fact that your gut is accountable for 70% of your immune system health.

SO knowing how important my gut-health is to my mind and body, I’ve taken this experiment a step further and recently decided to find out what nutrients are or aren’t getting absorbed as well as what foods I have sensitivities towards through some simple blood tests. Because our blood carries and distributes all of our nutrients to the necessary cells one of the most common and accurate way to test what’s being absorbed is through nutrient-based blood tests which most naturopathic doctors offer.

For your own investigation check out the Frisco Apothecary and Mountain River Natropthic Clinic where Dr. Justin & Kim Nearpass-Pollack have there practice. I’ll end here and with the simple statement that the body mind connection is significant and well worth our attention.

~We work with other practitioners in our community that believe the best way to move toward health and healing is through looking at the whole person, body and mind.