Sticking with last week’s topic of stress, I want to discuss IBD and anxiety because anxiety creates massive amounts of stress in our bodies and greatly impacts our lives.
I am going to be bold and say that of all the symptoms associated with IBD that I experienced, anxiety and panic attacks were by far the worst. The physical pain and exhaustion, the loss of blood, the food sensitivities that can seriously restrict intake of food, the skin related issues, the weight loss that leaves you looking as sick as you feel and dreading the mirror, all of these were dwarfed in comparison to that constant chatter in my mind about the future, a future of sickness.
Something I have learned through my many years of researching IBD is that there is a direct correlation between mood issues such as anxiety and the health of the gut. And, I should add that you don’t have to be diagnosed with IBD to suffer with anxiety as most of you probably know. Even though it doesn’t seem logical, if you suffer with anxiety, start taking a closer look at the health of your gut.
You might have heard that our bodies are chock full of trillions of microbes. It wasn’t until 2007, the year the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) began a five-year project to identify and characterize the microbial community that coexists in our bodies. HMP’s project opened the door to countless studies and really was the catalyst to understanding the role the microbiome plays in health and disease.
One major finding was pertaining to mental health and the direct correlation between that and hut health or the health of the microbiome. There are many reasons someone might have a microbiome that is out of balance. Just to name a few:
- People that were born via C-section or were bottle fed as opposed to breastfed
- People whose mother had imbalances in their microbiome while pregnant
- Antibiotic usage
- Certain medications including birth control pills can disrupt the microbiome
- Traveling to other countries
- The Standard American Diet
- Poor sleeping habits
Through all of the research that has transpired since the HMP we now know so much more about how to work towards balancing the microbiome and returning our bodies to a state of good health. This is in fact one of the biggest goals that I aim for when I work one on one with people trying to reverse diseases like IBD. The good news is that if you have IBD and you suffer from anxiety, healing IBD will cause the anxiety to cease.
If you are sick and tired of living in fear and a constant state of anxiety, reach out and let’s find out if working together could be the answer you have been looking for.