Recent scientific research is discovering how the interaction between your gastrointestinal tract and brain, or the Gut Brain Connection, affects depression anxiety.
A May 2013 Swedish study found that “Anxiety and depression are linked to functional abdominal pain, not only in subjects with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) but also in otherwise healthy people with milder, subtle gastrointestinal symptoms.
An August 2013 Vanderbilt University study found that adults who had stomach aches as children, were 4 to 5 times more likely to have anxiety as adults. Report.
This article explains what is the gut brain connection, how the gut brain connection affects depression anxiety, and how the gut brain connection can be used for depression anxiety recovery.
What is the Gut Brain Connection
The Gut is a shorter non-scientific term referring to your gastrointestinal tract, which usually consists of your stomach and intestines, but which some consider the set of organs that run from your mouth to your anus.
Your gut is an amazingly complex system. Besides producing 70% of your immunity and 95% of your serotonin, your gut has it’s own nervous system called the Enteric Nervous System, which is similar to the brain.
There is a two-way street between your gut and your brain. Each of the organs communicates with the other via the Vagus Nerve, and each of these organs, your brain and your gut, can impact the health of the other.
How the Gut Brain Connection Affects Depression Anxiety
Your brain can cause depression anxiety by affecting your gut. And your gut can cause depression anxiety by affecting your brain. Brain induced gut damage from chronic psychological stress, or environmentally induced gut damage from a poor diet, antibiotics, alcohol, and more, can lead to depression anxiety.
Learn More: What Causes Depression Anxiety
How your brain causes depression anxiety by affecting your gut, is through the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which stops the digestion process in your gut. Any type of chronic stress, such as relationship stress, financial stress, exam stress, illness stress, etc., leads to constant interruption of the normal digestive process, which then leads to damage to your gut.
Learn More: How Stress Causes Depression Anxiety
How your gut causes depression anxiety by affecting your brain is when your gut becomes damaged or inflamed, whether from psychological stress or environmental factors, undigested food particles and toxins enter your bloodstream through openings in your damaged gut (leaky gut), where they are attacked by your immune system, resulting in the release of cytokines and inflammation in different parts of your body and brain. Study.
Related: Probiotics Reduce Gut Inflammation
Inflammation in the hippocampus region of the brain, the area of the brain responsible for learning, memory, and mood (depression anxiety), interferes with neurogenesis, the creation of neurons or brain cells. Study. You are depressed because brain cell generation is depressed. Inflammation also inhibits the ability of nuerons to connect via synapses.
Inflammation in the brain, specifically the synaptic cleft, makes it more difficult for serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter, to connect neurons in the brain. Serotonin based anti-depressants (SSRI’s) attempt to bridge this inflammation gap by increasing the amount of serotonin in the synapse.
Anti-depressants do not try to treat the underlying cause of inflammation and depression, but instead try to flood your brain with serotonin, to overcome the inflammation and increased synapse gap.
Update June 20, 2013 New Study Confirms Gut Bacteria Affects Brain Function
A small scale study of 36 women, funded by the Danone Yogurt company, found that women who ate probiotic yogurt had better brain function after 4 weeks. Proving that the condition of the gut affects the brain.
To summarize how the gut brain connection creates a chain reaction resulting in depression anxiety; either in response to chronic psychological stress, where the brain continuously signals the release of the stress hormone cortisol which stops the digestion process and damages the gut, or from environmental factors which result in damage and inflammation to the gut, undigested food particles and toxins enter the blood stream, invoking an immune system response, producing pro-inflammatory cytokines, which then enter the brain and produce inflammation and slow brain cell regeneration and neuro-transmission resulting in depression anxiety.
Related Article: Best Supplements for Depression Anxiety
How the Gut Brain Connection Can Be Used For Depression Anxiety Recovery
Once your gut becomes damaged and inflamed, whether from psychological stress or environmental factors, your gut can remain in a damaged state, leading to chronic, worsening, and prolonged depression anxiety.
For psychologically induced depression anxiety, it is imperative to resolve the stressful situation causing your depression anxiety, either by taking action yourself or with the help of counseling. If your depression anxiety symptoms remain, after the stressful situation has been resolved, you will need to heal the damage caused to your gut.
Learn More: How to Help Someone With Depression Anxiety
In the case of environmentally induced depression anxiety, from a toxic diet, alcohol, allergies, smoking, air and water pollution, just to name a few, it is important to eliminate the environmental factors causing your depression anxiety.
If your depression anxiety symptoms remain, after the environmental causes have been eliminated, you will need to heal the damage caused to your gut.
Healing the gut heals the brain. Healing the gut stops the negative inflammation cycle which produces depression anxiety.
The Depression Anxiety Recovery Plan uses a specific diet, exercise, and supplement plan, to stop the inflammation cycle, heal the gut, provide the body and brain with critical healing nutrients, promote the creation of new brain cells, to produce a healthy gut brain connection and maximize depression anxiety recovery.
Depression anxiety recovery is naturally possible. The gut brain connection, not only can cause depression anxiety, the gut brain connection can also be used for depression anxiety recovery.