Brain fog, forgetfulness, anxiety and depression are symptoms many people suffer from. The UCLA found 14% of men and women aged between 18 and 39 complain of poor memory. And academics from the University of California found, on average, the female mind loses up to five per cent of its sharpness between 50 and 60. 1 in 5 people can expect to develop some form of neuro-degeneration. And nearly half (43.4%) of adults think they have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life.
So, if you’re one of them, you may have tried a number of ways to improve your brain health. But did you realise one of the most common factors for symptoms is poor gut health? This is because the gut and the brain are closely connected, so poor gut health can lead to poor brain health.
The lining of your stomach is designed to only allow certain compounds into the bloodstream. But if your lining becomes damaged, then toxins, undigested food and other pathogens can enter. This triggers an immune cascade resulting in systemic inflammation, increasing the risk for food sensitivities, inflammation, pain, and autoimmune disease. And if the pathogens enter the brain, this can lead to inflammation which damages brain tissue and ages the brain more quickly. So a leaky gut can cause symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, memory loss, and other brain-based disorders.
The Gluten Connection
Have you heard of celiac disease? Gluten Sensitivity? You may have even been tested for it, wondering whether you need to take gluten out of your diet. But did you realise gluten has more effect on the brain and nervous tissue than any others (in those with gluten sensitivity). You can have symptoms without any digestive complaints whatsoever.
The microbiome is the community of bacteria that live in your gut. It’s vital to have a diverse range of gut bacteria for good health. Older people who lack microbiome diversity are more susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The gut microbiome is also linked to mood and psychiatric disorders and other brain-based disorders.
Our brain needs specific nutrients to function optimally. So, if your digestive system is not working properly, you won’t be able to digest and absorb all the nutrients your brain needs to be at it most effective.
Sleep and stress
If you’re stressed or sleeping badly, this has an impact on your digestive system and also damages your memory centres. It’s important you’re in a calm and stress free environment when you eat. This will keep your body in the ‘rest and digest’ mode.
For some people a combination of these root causes are a perfect storm for a rapid decline in brain health. And it means a single drug won’t fix declining brain health – instead the root causes need to be addressed.
This ‘Perfect Storm’ hit me eventually when I found myself suffering from memory problems. Like many people, initially I came up with all kinds of excuses for my terrible memory such as:
- I’ve been so busy
- I’ve not had enough sleep
- I’ve not had my coffee yet
- I’m just getting older
- It’s ‘daddy brain’
Sound familiar? However, I didn’t want to accept these excuses and instead researched what would help. And by addressing the root-cause factors that influence brain health, I fixed my brain. I learnt so much about what works that I was motivated to create a workshop to help other people understand why they are experiencing brain health symptoms and how to fix them.
We now hold regular workshops at Ancestral Health in Tiptree about Gut/Brain health. To book your FREE place at our next The Guts You Need to Heal Your Brain Workshop simply reserve your seat here.