Do you have gut instincts or have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous? Have you ever felt like your stomach is cramping when trying to make an important decision or you became nauseous when something just didn’t feel right? This is because your nervous system and digestive system have a huge impact on one another.
The connection between the brain and the gut is a two-way street called the gut-brain axis. The brain controls the gut, but the gut also affects the brain. By ensuring proper communication between the brain and the body via specific chiropractic adjustments you are improving this communication, however, to really take your health to the next level you must also balance your gut bacteria.
Let’s look at some of the evidence that experts are referring to when it comes to the complicated relationship between your brain and your belly.
1) Mood: More than 90% of neurotransmitters – chemicals like dopamine and serotonin that serve to regulate our mood are made in the gut according to Dr. Perlmutter, author of Brain Maker (a great resource if you are ready to learn more about this massive connection). He explains…it’s the bacteria themselves that play an important role in manufacturing these neurotransmitters. If your gut has the wrong bugs (bacteria), they wont be able to make the same feel-good chemicals, which can have a major impact on your brain and overall mood. This is particularly true if you have ever been on antibiotics.
2) Depression and Anxiety: Gut bacteria play such an important role in creating these neurotransmitters that an imbalanced gut is linked to depression. Most often people are prescribed anti-depressants to elevate their levels of serotonin in the brain. Why don’t we just look to elevate serotonin by having a properly functioning gut flora instead of using medication? Similar to depression, an imbalanced gut may also be the root of anxiety.
So HOW do you improve your gut flora?
Start by having your nervous system tested for interference and rebalancing it through proper chiropractic adjustments. Then, add in good sources of healthy bacteria in the form of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, olives, yogurt or kombucha. If you aren’t a fan of sauerkraut, then get your hands on a good probiotic supplement. Good supplements indicate the number of live colonies in each capsule before its expiry date. Shoot for a brand that has several different types of bacteria with a minimum 10 billion per capsule. The one we use is Genestra HMF Forte. Take the supplement daily. For children, we recommend buying probiotic powder that can be mixed into pureed foods or sauces.