Learn to de-stress.
Imbalances in Your Gut Can Make You Depressed, Anxious and More
If you’re feeling stressed, it’s therefore essential to realize that not only could this affect your gut health, it could be caused by your gut health, or more specifically, your lack thereof. Increasingly, scientific evidence shows that nourishing your gut flora with the friendly bacteria with fermented foods or probiotics is extremely important for proper brain function, and that includes psychological well-being and mood control. For instance, the probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 has been shown to normalize anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis.
Research published in 2011 also demonstrated that probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry under normal conditions — in such a way that can impact your feelings of anxiety or depression. In short, the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a marked effect on GABA [an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is significantly involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes] levels in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior. The authors concluded:
“Together, these findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the bidirectional communication of the gut-brain axis and suggest that certain organisms may prove to be useful therapeutic adjuncts in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.”
Interestingly, neurotransmitters like serotonin are also found in your gut. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and suppressing aggression, is found within your intestines, not your brain!
As written in the featured Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology study:
“Stress, which is defined as an acute threat to homeostasis, shows both short- and long-term effects on the functions of the gastrointestinal tract … The major effects of stress on gut physiology include:
1.Alterations in gastrointestinal motility
2.Increase in visceral perception
3.Changes in gastrointestinal secretion
4.Negative effects on regenerative capacity of gastrointestinal mucosa and mucosal blood flow
5.Negative effects on intestinal microflora
Mast cells (MC) are important effectors of brain-gut axis that translate the stress signals into the release of a wide range of neurotransmitters and proinflammatory cytokines, which may profoundly affect the gastrointestinal physiology.”
Do drink valerian root extracts if your stomach is in knots. If it is gas pain, take carminatives. Many aromatic herbs are carminatives, especially the seeds of members of the Apiaceae family including dill seed, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, anise seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds. Just put a big spoonful in a cup, cover well with boiling water, steep five minutes, sweeten if you like, and drink.
Ginger is another readily-available carminative. Especially warming to the guts. You can make a tea with powdered ginger, or use up to a tablespoon of fresh ginger per cup of water for a strong brew. Ginger works best sweetened with honey. NASA found it would counter the nausea of space-sickness. You can also buy crystallized or candied ginger to take traveling with you.
The fastest remedy for gas pain is two capsules of acidophilus. I expect pain relief in 5-10 minutes. And I don’t pay much attention to the expiration date on it. I keep mine in the refrigerator, and use them so rarely that I often have a bottle for ten years – and they still work.
But most people in America drink coffee in the morning on an empty stomach. Might this be one reason so many are in such digestive distress? Instead of coffee, try this:
~ Put one ounce by weight of dried peppermint leaf in a quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water.
~ Cap tightly and allow to steep for 4-8 hours. (OK to let it steep while you sleep.)
~ Strain the plant material out after the allotted time, squeezing it well.
~ Then drink the liquid: hot or cold, salty or sweetened, with milk or whiskey or what have you.
~ Refrigerate what you don’t drink then. This will stay good in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Peppermint helps move the intestines and make you feel really awake, just like coffee. I would not use it if someone were feeling nauseated, as it tastes vile on the way back out.
Source: Dr Mercola and Susan Weed