Over the past few decades researchers have worked to unravel the delicate connections between the human gastrointestinal microbiota, (the trillions of inherited bacteria within of intestinal tract), and the brain and the mounting evidence suggesting that psychological stress affects gastrointestinal function.
Research suggests that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) May be a stress-sensitive disorder. Some research suggests that episodes of anxiety and depression may be experienced more frequently in patients with gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, Crohn’s disease and colitis. Early life stress and trauma, in the form of abuse, neglect, or loss, contribute to the development of gastrointestinal disorders.
The relationship of exactly how stress effects gastrointestinal function will be discussed in future emails. The purpose of this email is to help bring awareness to the significant role of emotional stress on GI function.
The gut-emotion connection is a double edge sword. I discussed earlier in this email how stress effects GI function, however GI issues such as Leaky Gut, IBS and colitis may be caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. In this case the GI dysfunction effects stress hormones leading to anxiety or depression.
A functional medicine approach to these conditions in many ways differs from a conventional medicine approach.
In conventional medicine the focus is on pharmaceutical treatment of symptoms such as steroids for inflammation, or anti-depressants for symptoms of loneliness and sadness.
In a functional medicine approach a good amount of time is invested in a life health history and functional laboratory testing to uncover the underlying factors leading to a patients symptoms. This approach to healthcare is often referred to as personalized lifestyle medicine.
If you or a loved one, suffers from GI issues, anxiety or depression and may be looking for alternatives to drug dependency for relief, consider calling our office for a functional medicine consultation.
Mention this email and receive a $50 discount when you call to schedule your consultation.