Several studies suggest a two-way relationship between a person’s gut and mental health. Probiotics and diet may help a person improve both.
according to National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. At the same time, gastrointestinal diseases are responsible for
Research exploring whether anxiety and gut disorders are linked has focused on the “gut axis,” a complex system of communication between the two organs, and the role of microorganisms in people’s digestive systems.
This article explores the link between gut health and anxiety, gut issues that cause anxiety and anxiety symptoms, and ways to manage anxiety and gut health.
The gastrointestinal tract or GI tract (GI) is a series of organs, nerves, hormones, and bacteria that work together to…
Learn more about digestion.
Within the lining of the digestive system is another important control center, the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS contains 100 million neurons and can function independently of the brain. Scientists believe It may play a role in the relationship between the gut and a person’s mental health.
Experts believe that ENS may also lead to major emotional shifts in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders. Irritation in the digestive system may send signals to the central nervous system that lead to mood changes.
How does gut health affect anxiety?
Several studies have focused on the relationship between the gut microbiome and anxiety. The gut microbiota is a system of microorganisms in the human digestive system,
Gut bacteria play an important role in regulating the immune system and processing energy from digested food. Changes in the microbiota can affect these functions, and scientists believe mental health can be affected as well.
Learn more about inflammation here.
Irritable bowel syndrome, a contagious gastrointestinal condition involving inflammation and suspected changes in the gut microbiota, has a co-existence between 44 and 88% With anxiety and depression. More research is needed to assess whether this relationship is causal.
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Gut bacteria also regulate the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, a chemical that scientists believe plays a role in stabilizing mood.
Everyone experiences some form of anxiety. But if a person has excessive anxiety that prevents them from living their daily lives, they may have an anxiety disorder.
according to growingAnxiety disorders are a group of related conditions, each with unique symptoms. But people with anxiety disorders typically experience persistent fear or anxiety in non-threatening situations.
Both anxiety and depression
People with an anxiety disorder may also have one or more of the following symptoms:
Learn more about symptoms and signs of anxiety.
Several treatment options can help people manage symptoms of anxiety.
Health care professionals may recommend a combination of approaches, and treatment will vary depending on a person’s symptoms, preferences, and general health.
Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” is a
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Many
studiesThe effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders has been demonstrated. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on finding strategies to reduce the beliefs and behaviors that contribute to anxiety.
- Exposure treatment: This behavioral therapy can help people overcome certain types of phobias. Psychiatrists instruct people to expose themselves to situations or stimuli that elicit fear or panic; Over time, these feelings diminish.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): This type of therapy uses goal setting and mindfulness to reduce anxiety. ACT is a new form of psychotherapy, but
ResearchACT is associated with improved mental health and quality of life.
Learn more about the types of treatment here.
The most common types of medication for anxiety disorders include:
Learn more about the different types of anxiety medications.
There are many stress relaxation techniques a person can try to reduce anxiety, including:
The mechanisms by which physical activity reduces anxiety symptoms are unclear, but researchers believe it is likely a combination of biological and physiological factors.
Learn more about anxiety exercises.
Scientists believe that taking steps to improve gut health may also help manage anxiety.
Research has focused on the benefits of adding probiotics to a person’s diet and promoting healthy gut bacteria through diets high in fiber and low in saturated fat.
Learn more about the health benefits of probiotics here.
Various studies have explored the potential of probiotics in restoring the balance of the gut microbiota that has been disturbed by stress and anxiety and whether this improves symptoms of anxiety.
Fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics. Common types
Learn more about the best probiotic foods for a healthy diet.
The researchers also studied how diet can affect a person’s gut microbiota and how this relates to stress and anxiety.
Researchers have highlighted the following foods as supporting healthy microbes:
This was in contrast to the excessive consumption of animal protein, saturated fats, and refined or artificial sugars.
The study also suggests that sticking to high-quality diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, reduces the risk of depression.
The Mediterranean diet has anti-inflammatory benefits (inflammation is a risk factor for anxiety and depression), is low in saturated fat and is high in dietary fiber, enhancing its role in supporting a healthy microbiome.
Learn more about the Mediterranean diet here.
A person should speak with a health care professional or psychiatrist if they have symptoms of an anxiety disorder. They can advise the person about treatment options and direct them to needed support.
Likewise, people should seek medical advice if they have persistent digestive issues. The health care team will be able to identify any underlying problems they may be causing, including whether they are related to an anxiety disorder.
It may also be helpful to speak with a qualified nutritionist about how to improve the diet and how to increase your intake of probiotics.
Bowel health disorders and anxiety are common health problems in the United States. Researchers exploring the link between these conditions have focused on the “gut-brain axis,” the complex system of nerves, hormones, and bacteria that allows these two organs to communicate.
Research has shown that stress can alter the composition of the gut microbiota, a system of microorganisms in the digestive system that plays an important role in people’s health. A person’s gut microbiota is also involved in the development and function of his or her adaptive stress response.
Adding probiotics to a person’s diet may help regulate their gut microbiota, which may also help improve symptoms of stress and anxiety. Eating a healthy diet can further support a healthy gut microbiome and reduce the risk of depression.