Are you are taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle but still feel like you are struggling with your mental health?
Your gut, I am guessing, is also an area that you seek to understand more. You are inundated with so much news and social media about this and that diet, and are so confused!
At last week’s retreat, even though we touched on certain aspects and points, I had hoped to take a deeper dive into supporting gut-brain health. One thing in particular that many have you have been wanting some insight on is probiotics.
No matter what anyone says, there are NO cut and dry proven protocols for any health issues. We are still very young in this field. There is some great literature, and I certainly use some in my practice, but overall it’s about trying out and seeing what works.
As you know, I make recommendations based on individualized need. And here are some core areas that I like to focus on with my clients to optimize gut-brain health.
We always want to start with balancing lifestyle.
You can take all the supplements in the world and still suffer with one or more imbalances to your system.
If you have something that isn’t working. Start here and ask yourself…
Are there more than 5 areas of my life that are really off kilter?
Food, sleep, movement, meaning, relationships, fun, relaxation, spirituality, environmental, intellectual, financial?
How about your nutrition?
You may be wondering, “What the heck can I eat? Nothing is working!” This is where an Elimination Diet, low FODMAP Diet, or Specific Carbohydrate Diet can come in as a temporary “therapeutic diet”.
If bacterial overgrowth in your system isn’t an issue, you might want to (along with making sure you have at least 7-8 servings of vegetables and fruit per day) eat more pre and probiotic-rich foods. ie. yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, greenish banana, jicama, asparagus etc.
Personalization of your diet is crucial here.
If we need more answers to the question of “what the (f$*#) is going on….”, we may do some gut testing to determine GI function and rule out the possibility of intolerances, microbial overgrowth, parasites or infection.
After we have our info we then must modulate your microbiota and leaky gut (intestinal barrier function) with things like quality sleep, stress reduction, sleep, antioxidants, glutamine, pre- & probiotics, licorice and more.
We support your vagus nerve function, parasympathetic, and enteric nervous system with mind-body approaches, cultured along with fermented foods and supplementation.
We also support your immune system function too, since most of your immune cells line your gut lining and need help. Certain probiotics can help support here.
Probiotic quality is super important here. I don’t recommend Amazon or Costco or any drugstore brand. There are too many variables that can interfere with potency. Shipping, handling and storage may affect the efficacy of the number and viability of the product being one of them.