Bowel Problems Can Cause Depression
Nutritionist Maria Cross told how she cured the increased intestinal permeability, which caused a mental disorder.
What is the syndrome of increased intestinal permeability
The intestines not only digest food and extract nutrients from it. It represents a protective barrier between internal organs and the outside world. But there is a weak link in the system. The intestinal mucosa consists of a thin layer of epithelial cells, which «stitched» between themselves with special proteins — tight contacts.
These proteins, like a gatekeeper at the door, do not pass unwanted elements into the body: toxins, undigested food particles, viruses and other foreign bodies that enter the intestines with food. Under normal circumstances, such intruders are quickly cleared naturally.
But the epithelium is very easy to damage, and as a result, it begins «to flow». Microscopic holes appear on the mucosa, tight contacts are weakened. Unnecessary substances enter the bloodstream, and with it — any part of the body.
The problems are partially explained by the increased amount of toxins. Typically, the liver copes with the daily volume of harmful substances, but when there are too many of them, they are eliminated in other ways. For example, in the case of acne — through the skin. Recently, scientists have found that depression also refers to symptoms...
How is this related to depression?
Inflammation — one of the main signs of intestinal permeability. It is caused by bacteria that must be in the intestines. But because of its increased permeability, they enter the bloodstream, where they release harmful substances — endotoxins. And they trigger an immune response, including the appearance of inflammatory proteins of cytokines. Cytokines alter the production and transmission of neurotransmitters responsible for mood. And this leads to negative emotions and fatigue...
There is increasing evidence that cytokines and endotoxin lipopolysaccharide can lead to clinical depression. According to researchers, 47% of people with this disease have an increased level of inflammation in the body. No wonder if you recall the modern lifestyle and nutrition that can trigger inflammatory processes. However, when depression disappears, inflammation also decreases...
Leading to inflammation and depression?Medicines
First of all, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For example, aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac. According to researchers, approximately two-thirds of people who use such drugs suffer from increased intestinal permeability.Stress and anxiety
They lead to the leaky gut syndrome, which in turn increases stress and anxiety. In addition, during stress, many harmful free radicals are formed in the body. They also affect intestinal permeability...Dysbacteriosis
This is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. Symptoms of dysbiosis include bloating, gas, abdominal cramps and other disorders of the Gastrointestinal Disorder path, as well as confusion and depression.Food
Among foods that increase intestinal permeability, — alcohol, sugar, simple carbohydrates and refined vegetable oils. Of the latter, corn, soy and sunflower are especially harmful. They contain a lot of omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids, which contribute to the development of inflammatory processes.Smoking
This habit harms the whole body. Including due to the huge number of free radicals.Allergens
Products that cause your allergies or intolerances also lead to inflammation in the body.
How to be treated?
Fight the cause, not the symptoms. First of all, see if you have problems with intestinal permeability. To do this, you need to pass tests. If it’s to blame intestines, start a rehabilitation course.Take Probiotics
These are beneficial microorganisms and supplements with them. Probiotics fight harmful bacteria and restore the intestinal microflora. They also strengthen the bonds between intestinal epithelial cells and secrete anti-inflammatory substances...
Moreover, they have a positive effect on the psyche. Bacteria in the intestines are known to «communicate» with the brain through the vagus nerve. According to one study, after 30 days of taking probiotics, the symptoms of psychological stress significantly decreased, including depression and anxiety.Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet.
Refined carbohydrates are essentially sugars. White bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes, chips, sweets are broken down into glucose in the intestines. And it gets into the blood, raising insulin levels — a hormone, which in itself provokes inflammation.Cut back on refined oils
To do this, you must constantly check the labels on the products. Vegetable oils with omega-6 unsaturated acids are used in almost all convenience foods and snack foods. Therefore, it is better to cook on your own using olive, coconut or butter. They do not split at high temperatures, which means they do not form free radicals.Give up alcohol
It acts as a depressant and irritates the intestines...Eat more vegetables
Try to eat vegetables and leafy greens every day. They have many antioxidants that fight free radicals. In addition, they are a source of probiotics: these substances feed beneficial bacteria in the intestines...Include fermented foods in your diet
Live yogurt, kephir, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables increase the content of lactic acid bacteria. And they improve the intestinal microflora.Eat fatty fish
Salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, anchovy, and sardines are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. They are needed for brain development, associated with mood and cognitive functions. Patients with depression have been found to have lower levels of these acids...Check what you take
If you are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, talk with your doctor about other treatment options...Avoid Allergens
If you know that some food makes you sick, avoid it. In the case when you are not sure what exactly you have problems with, try to abandon gluten-free foods. It is found in wheat, barley, and rye.Do not snack between meals
Long breaks, like short-term fasting, reduce inflammation. It is not necessary to switch to fasting. Just stop chewing anything and eat only when you are hungry.
On average, it takes at least two months to recover...
First, digestion calmed down, pains and gas passed. The skin was restored longer, but gradually the inflammation began to appear less often, healed faster, and then passed completely. At the same time, I noticed other improvements: clarity of thinking, good sleep.
Remember that you have the opportunity to improve both physical and mental health by changing your diet...