There’s absolutely no doubt that when you have bad bugs living in your gut, it can make you feel anxious, a point that was drilled home to me over the weekend.
Somewhat ironically given the line of work I’m in, I had a spot of food poisoning at the weekend.
I ate at a restaurant that a friend recommended, but woke up on Sunday with pretty nasty stomach cramping and the smells emanating from my rear end were not particularly pleasant, I can tell you!
24 hours later, I’m pleased to say it’s completely gone, probably because I took high dose probiotics and antibacterial herbs all day yesterday.
The event took me back seven years to when I was feeling very anxious most days and reminded me of how my anxiety went away as soon as I successfully treated my H. pylori infection.
I actually felt anxious yesterday – a weird sensation, given I had nothing to be anxious about.
Here’s why it happens:
When bad bugs are sitting in your gut, your body perceives them as “stress”.
Most of the bad bugs we see in clients’ stool tests cause inflammation in the gut, and the inflammation is itself seen by the body as “stress”.
Now, think about when you felt emotional or mental stress: did it make you anxious? Probably.
The fact is that any type of stress can make you feel anxious and much of the stress people are under these days comes from inside the body, not outside.
Your body has a marvelous stress-coping mechanism, which gets switched on to help deal with the stress at hand.
Your adrenal glands make more adrenaline and cortisol – the two major “stress hormones”.
These hormones, by design, make you more alert, on edge and, of course, this can lead to anxiety.
Furthermore, the more stress hormones your body makes, the fewer calming hormones are made.
So yesterday, when I had food poisoning, my body was operating in a high level of “stress response” to help get rid of the bad bugs.
On one hand, being in the stress response was great, because it helped my immune system fight the bad bugs, but on the other hand, it made me feel anxious.
Now, imagine if this situation had gone on for many days, and turned into weeks, months or even years.
Well that’s EXACTLY what happens in some people. Chronic digestive infections, inflammation in the gut, and elevated stress hormones can lead to chronic anxiety, where you feel anxious all the time.
I’ve seen anxiety melt away in some clients simply by removing bad foods and bad bugs that were causing inflammation, generating more stress hormones, lowering calming hormones, and creating anxiety!
Hormonal imbalance isn’t the only factor at work.
A damaged gut – especially in chronic, long-term cases of anxiety and mood disturbance – can lead to problems with nutrient depletion.
Inflammation damages your gut’s ability to break down food and derive nutrients that calm the nervous system.
Magnesium and certain amino acids such as GABA and glycine can become depleted, which can also cause anxiety.
Furthermore, serotonin and dopamine – two key mood regulating chemicals in the body – are made in your gut. Thus, a damaged gut can lead to reduced levels of these important chemicals.
So, if you have been experiencing anxiety – or other mood issues – for some time, without a reasonable explanation as to why, I highly recommend you order a comprehensive stool test to figure out whether your gut is the reason for your anxiety.
And don’t make this mistake:
You do NOT have to be experiencing digestive symptoms in these situations. The inflammation and bad bugs can cause imbalances in your body that lead to fatigue, anxiety, etc. without you feeling their presence in the gut.
This is actually the same for any symptom: no gut symptoms does not mean your gut is not playing host to bad bugs inflamed and damaged.
A stool test is done in the privacy of your own home – you just send of a sample in the packaging provided.
And if it comes back ‘blank’, you get a full refund.