Gut Health and Depression

Depression is a serious problem in our nation today. It is the most common mental disorder in the U.S. and affects more than 16 million adults. Add in those under 18 and the number goes even higher. Women are 70% more likely to experience depression in their lifetime than men. It is estimated that many more people simply don’t report their depression and so depression is a very real phenomenon in our modern culture.
But thankfully, that isn’t the end of the story. I always prefer to look for solutions instead of just focusing on the problem. I know we must first recognize the problem in order to be able to find an answer, but let’s not get stuck there. There is exciting research that I have read showing strong evidence of multiple links between the state of your gut and your mental health. I know it sounds far fetched, but the health of your gut and digestion can actually affect your psychological state.
It’s called the Brain-Gut Connection and some experts are even calling our gut the “Second Brain”. In fact, there is a whole new field of study newly labelled psychobiotics and may prove to be a new treatment for those with chronic depression.
Search for the phrase “gut brain” and a number of books will come up on the topic that are well worth reading like “The Second Brain” by Michael Gershon, “Brain Maker” by David Perlmutter, “The Gut-Brian Connection” by Cullen Hardy, or “Bugs, Bowels, and Behavior: The Groundbreaking Story of the Gut-Brain Connection” by Teri Arranga. The point is, the research is clear — your gut microbiome can and does influence, and in some ways, even control your moods, emotions, and how you feel. With this knowledge we have the power to alleviate or possibly even eliminate depression with a healthy diet based on a custom protocol. To me as a functional medicine physician, this is very exciting.
With this increased awareness of the link between gut and brain, it amazes me that some people still choose to ignore their junk food diet as a major contributing factor to their poor physical and emotional health. I trust you are not one of them. Make a decision today to act and do something positive about improving your health. Give us a call and we’ll setup up a no obligation consult with you to discuss your health and where you would like to be.