A new study finds decreased social anxiety among young adults who eat fermented foods. Further evidence of the connection between the gut and mood disorders, and hope for a better alternative to addictive benzodiazepenes.
A new article published in the November/December issue of Psychology Today reveals that gastrointestinal disorders, like infection, inflammation, and IBS cause anxiety and depression, and that probiotics may replace prozac and Valium as drugs of choice for some psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. This concept, first introduced over 5 years ago and referred to as Sickness Syndrome, is finally gaining the attention of popular media channels.
For those of you who are experiencing anxiety and depression, there are options available to you that go beyond masking symptoms and address at least one of the underlying causes of why you are feeling the way you do. We see the success of naturopathic medicine in treating anxiety and depression in our medical practice everyday, and treating digestive health is often the first step.
In health and wellness,
Exercising in the green, natural environments has long been known to boost – not necessarily the physical health benefit – but one’s mood, self-esteem and odds of avoiding mental illness such as depression and other psychological conditions. But a study has pinpointed exactly how much time spent working out in green environments – not sitting around outside but actually exercising in those parks, gardens, nature trails and nature-heavy environments – is required to achieve maximum mental health benefit. And it’s a mere five minutes. The study conclusions were released on May 1, by the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Click here and type in “depression,” “anxiety” or any other mood-related health challenge in the search bar to learn more about what you can do to enhance your outlook and stave off depression and anxiety. Another helpful site is SickSyndrome.com.
Researchers Theoharis Theoharides and colleagues from Tufts University have identified a link between mast cells (immune cells that cause allergic sneezing) and autism. The researchers found that among 400 people with mastocytosis (excess mast cells in the body) the incidence of autism was five to seven times higher that the rate in the general population.
Interestingly, mast cells are found in significant quantities in the brain and in the gut, where they play a role in intestinal permeability and the blood brain barrier.
I have found in practice that the majority of patients facing autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia have intestinal permeability and a hyper-response to foods that are not digested properly. Sickness Syndrome is a condition that involves the immune system and links disorders in the gut with inflammation in the brain and mental health disorders.
There is an old saying that your gut is your second brain. This new research paired with the newly identified Sickness Syndrome condition, brings new light to this saying.
When treating patients with autism, it becomes imperative to supply specific digestive enzymes, and an autism-specific nutritional protocol that works to repair the gastrointestinal tract, optimize the integrity of the blood brain barrier and reduce inflammation in the brain. By doing so you invariably decrease mast cell production, which can lead to a relief of symptoms related to this hyper immune response.
The diagnosis of autism has increased to approximately one in every 180 people. It is time that physicians treating autism begin to integrate the basic principles of Sickness Syndrome (connection between stress, digestion and inflammation in the brain) into our treatment protocols, to serve the best interests of children, adults and the families affected by this condition.