There’s been a recent shift in the world of diagnosing and treating depression. Many scientist and medical studies are concluding, through years of research that there is a strong relationship between the gut microbiome, inflammation and our brain health. The studies have not been small but done on a vast scale with more than 6000 participants and over decades of study and observation.
Depression seems to be a bigger and bigger problem we face, not only as women but men and children as well. In 2020, according the CDC, one in four women were treated for depression or a mental health condition. That number has risen significantly, just in two years since the report was completed.
According to Finnish scientists who have been studying depression for more than 40 years have found a common denominator in people experiencing depression; an excess in the bacteria Morganella.
Our gut contains millions of bacterial specimens but ideally, these exist in balance with one another. When a disruption occurs, often, bad bacteria become more prevalent than the good bacteria and an imbalance and even serious health conditions can arise. An inflamed and overgrown gut creates an environment of toxicity.
There are some other factors that can create an imbalance in our gut microbes like stress, environmental toxins, processed foods, and even aging.
As we age, the amount of stomach acid reduces. This coupled with our overuse of anti-acids, we create a perfect storm for a microbe imbalance. We need stomach acid to break down food properly, absorb nutrients and protein as well as destroy bacteria, and viruses that get into the stomach. Often, we think we have acid reflux but what we really have is a case of low stomach acid so the food, instead of getting broken down, ferments and creates acid that burns as it creeps up our esophagus. The gut is the main producer of serotonin. Did you know that? Serotonin regulates our sleep, mood, libido and many other things. If we aren’t nurturing our gut microbiome and getting proper nutrition then bacteria is allowed to grow unchecked, and this, over time, will lead to poor immune and mental health.
How do you take care of your gut? Here are a list of things we can do today, to start the healing process.
- Lemon water- helps to remove toxins from the liver
- Increase your Omega 3
- Add more leafy greens to your diet as a pre-biotic
- Switch to nutrient dense foods and choose organic whenever possible.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
- Back off on Anti-acids and talk to your doctor about a good enzyme with minerals and herbs to build up our stomach acid and mucosa lining.
- Drink at least half of your weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 pounds, your daily water intake should be about 75 ounces. Drink more if it is hot or you are stressed.
- Increase your sleep. If you can’t get 8 hours of sleep at night, plan a couple of strategic power naps to add up the difference. Our body heals when we are at rest.
- Movement helps to manage stress and sleep.
- Eliminate foods that create bloating and inflammation. Some of these many be gluten, artificial sweeteners, dairy, processed foods.
These are just a few ideas to get you started today. As is customary, check with your doctor first. Only a trained physician and guide in specific ways to heal your gut health and diagnose the problem in the first place. More importantly, depression is different for everyone and sometimes a chemical imbalance can be a strong contributing factor as well as situations you face in life. We strongly urge you to see your physician if you are experiencing depression and do not stop taking prescribed medications in lieu of a natural approach. Depression is a serious medical condition, and you must be monitored at all times, especially when changing your approach, and never do so alone. this post is to suggest supplementary means that, when combined with a doctor’s prescription, could show positive benefits, not a guaranteed healing from mental illness.