Mental Illness can possibly stem from your Gut; ADHD, OCD included.
“The gut is really your second brain. There are more neurons in the GI tract than anywhere else except the brain. The connection may have been established, but scientists thought communication was one way: it traveled from the brain to the gut, and not the other way around. But now, a new understanding of the trillions of microbes living in our guts reveals that this communication process is more like a multi-lane superhighway than a one-way street.”
–quote from Gut feelings: the future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach.The right combination of stomach microbes could be crucial for a healthy mind, By Carrie Arnold
This is one of those articles you pull up on your computer hoping to read and something important takes you away. It may be as important as a cute puppy pic of Facebook. I just couldn’t close the tab. I left it there for four days. Finally I read it. I was so excited I had to post here. The quote above got me. But more than that…the cure.
These are the helpful bacteria in your body. You find it naturally in yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Yogurt is what most people are familiar with, just make sure to read the label. It must read “live active cultures”. The heavy sugar ones are countered with the negative effect of sugar. Better to buy plain and lightly sweeten yourself. I mash in a well spotted banana the day before I eat it, which gives the natural sugars time to blend.
So, back to this connection with mental health and probiotics. A 2001 study out of McMaster University showed:
“Bacteria-free mice exhibited higher levels of risk-taking, and neurochemical analysis revealed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and altered levels of the brain chemical BDNF, which has been implicated in human anxiety and depression. Jane Foster, the study’s lead author, said. “Everybody knew that stress and anxiety could lead to gastrointestinal symptoms, but we looked at it from the bottom up and showed that the gut could communicate with the brain. It was the first demonstration that the gut itself could influence brain development.”
Changing the bacterial balance early on seems to be the most beneficial. It is still helpful later in life but, hey, this is something for all parents to consider.
How healthy is your child’s gut?
When my daughter was three she was in the hospital with Kawasaki, a viral disease that mimic the bacterial Scarlet Fever. She was incorrectly treated for the later which involved heavy doses of antibiotics. To counter this, her whole life, I have provided her with probiotics. Chewable when she was little and later the pill along with yogurt. Mind you, no doctor ever mentioned this to me, this was my own fix. I felt it was very important. And now I see a strong backing from the research currently being done. Actually this research started twenty years ago by Boston-area psychiatrist James Greenblatt whom the article refers to. He started this study at George Washington University while studying eating disorders.
The door is just beginning to open to much of this research, as to which strain of probiotics, how much and what stages of human development are crucial.
I am certain of this. My body functions better when I have a healthy gut.