Ask yourself honestly:
Certain foods including:
Shortly afterwards, our blood sugar levels can rapidly crash which is usually when we start to feel hungry again or our sweet cravings kick-in.
You may be familiar with the term, "hangry", which describes a person who is hungry and angry, usually from prolonged fasting and low blood sugar. Perhaps you experience it first-hand yourself, or know somebody who does? This is a classic sign of low blood sugar and will have a very negative impact on mood and anxiety.
How to recognise when you're blood sugar is crashing
When your blood sugar crashes, your body produces "fight or flight" hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. At this point you may start to experience:
These stress hormones send alarm signals around your body warning that the foods are “shocking” and “scaring” and to "please eat something again" in order to get blood sugar levels back to normal. Cortisol and adrenaline can lead to feelings of anxiety and “jitteriness”. The long-term effects may include panic attacks.
How to avoid sugar crashes
To minimise our risk of low mood, depression and anxiety our aim is to focus on eating foods that keep our blood sugar stable such as good quality protein, like eggs, and healthy fats such as almonds and avocados.
Could your anxiety or low moods be symptoms of blood sugar imbalance?
I’ll explain step-by-step how to avoid this from happening in my upcoming online masterclass: Nutrition, Anxiety and your Gut on 8th September 2020 at 7pm. Grab your ticket here.
Did you know that hidden in the walls of our digestive system, we have a second brain called the gut-brain-axis and it is transforming our understanding of the links between good gut health and mood?
The gut-brain-axis (GBA) consists of a two-way communication between our brain and our enteric nervous system, (neurons in our gut that control the function of our gastrointestinal tract).
This system of nerves in our gastrointestinal system has over 100 million neurons!!! This system has so many nerves our gut has earned the nickname “the gut brain” or “the second brain”.
Stress, anxiety and depression can have a direct impact on our “gut brain” and how well our gut works, and vice versa.
Our “gut brain” is influenced by our sympathetic (“fight or flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) modes and sends signals along the vagus nerve (an information highway) to our brain, relaying important messages about what’s going on.
This can influence how well our gut functions and helps explain why during times of worry, anxiety and stress (fight or flight) we may experience:
This two-way communication between our brain and our gut brain influences how we feel and think on a daily basis. A prime example of this in action is the feeling of butterflies in our stomach when we feel nervous or anxious before an important meeting or exam.
Probiotics and good gut bacteria support anxiety, mood and mental health
The balance of our gut bacteria matter when it comes to mental health. Recent advances in gut health research has highlighted the importance of certain gut bacteria in this bi-directional communication.
The health of our gut and the variety of our gut microbes influence how we think and how we feel.
Addressing leaky gut or any other gut imbalances is an essential step when it comes to supporting mental wellbeing, such as:
How does the gut brain and our actual brain communicate?
Our gut bacteria chat with our brain and vice versa and use different modes of communication, including:
The health of our gut has an effect on our brain and how we feel from day to day. Inflammation, a lack of microbial diversity and even specific species of gut bacteria have been linked with poor mental health including anxiety, low mood and depression. Research shows that altering bacteria in the gut through specific dietary changes may help to treat stress-related mood disorders and anxiety.
Contact me now to find out more about my 90-day personalised 1:1 support package to nail your nutrition and solve your anxiety and gut symptoms for good.
If you test positive for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, (SIBO), it means you may have bacteria in the small intestine which may be addressed medically (with antibiotics) or naturally (with anti-microbial supplements).
A SIBO friendly diet should also be introduced (more on that to come) and steps taken to support your general gut health. SIBO can be chronic in some people which suggests it may not be the root cause and further support and gut healing may be necessary.
If you test negative for SIBO, other causes of excessive bloating and gas could be food intolerance, digestive enzyme deficiency, bile insufficiency and/or bacterial imbalance in the large intestine. A comprehensive stool test may be helpful as it includes many of these markers. You may also enjoy reading my top five tips to prevent bloating.
Find out more about how we can work together to find the best approach for you here. If you'd like to arrange a time to chat we can discuss the best way forward for you here.
No one really knows for definite (yet) what causes small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Some theories include:
Could this be you? Find out more about what SIBO is and how to get tested for SIBO in the UK.
If you've tested positive for SIBO find out what to do about it here.
Further information on SIBO testing, including prices can be found here.
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