Linda Wilbert-Steward, FDN, HHP, Contributor
Linda shares her thoughts on why antidepressants should not be the first go-to answer when dealing with depression, Gut health and adrenals need to be considered as well, in most thyroid patients with anxiety issues.
Thyroid patients are often prescribed antidepressants. Why is that?
I have personally received several prescriptions for antidepressants and pain killers (which ended up in the trash can) from my endo and family doctor because, they thought I needed it for the rest of my life. At the time, I was suffering from extreme muscle pain and felt depressed. Of course, I felt depressed ,because I was in pain. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, with the only treatment option given, of thyroid replacement hormones. Nobody checked my neurotransmitter, gut or adrenal function.
I believe that my doctor and endo didn’t know what else to do for me. After all, they received their training from the pharmaceutical industry, so why bother to make positive changes with food or even probiotics?
Would the antidepressants have been the answer to my problems? I don’t think so and here is why:
Serotonin, the feel good hormone, is produced from tryptophan in the gut and brain. In fact, 90 % of serotonin is produced in the gut. Serotonin can affect mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory and sexual desire.
Scientists believe that neurotransmitters produced in the gut cannot cross the blood brain barrier. However, the nerve signals influenced by serotonin in the gut, can influence mood. In 2006, the British Journal of Psychiatry, vol189, p282 indicates that the stimulation of the vagus nerve can be an effective treatment for chronic depression.
Research studies found that gut dysbiosis (the imbalance of good and bad bacteria) can alter the brain chemistry of the animals tested. The findings proved the possibility of using beneficial bacteria in order to treat mood and even anxiety disorders. A study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences in 2011 found that harmful bacteria increases anxiety in mice and beneficial bacteria calms them down.
This is not surprising, especially if you think about our second brain in the gut. The gut contains 100 million neurons, which is more than in the spinal cord.
What does the thyroid and adrenal function have to do with gut health and vice versa?
Stress, internal and external, influences the adrenal glands to produce high level of cortisol, which has a negative effect on the gut’s immune system. Over time, when the stress becomes chronic, the adrenal glands produce less and less cortisol and other hormones, which we call adrenal fatigue or better a Hypothalamus – Adrenal – Axis dysfunction.
Adrenal fatigue causes low thyroid hormone output; also known as hypothyroidism.
Both scenarios can cause depression.
So, what should we do when we feel depressed?
I believe that we should start with gut healing, simply because the gut is not just a tube in our body where food gets digested. The gut healing process starts with anti-inflammatory foods, clean water, and a probiotic that trains the immune system and fights invaders.
You probably know that inflammation is the root cause of most chronic diseases, but did you also know that:
LPS, lipopolysaccharides released from gut bacteria causes inflammatory processes in the gut and is an endotoxin?
Just eating one unhealthy meal from McDonald’s causes gut inflammation, which can be seen up to 15 days afterwards in test results. A high Omega 6 fatty acid diet and high caloric diet causes bacterial die off and LPS release, which causes leaky gut and inflammation. The good bacteria in the spore based probiotic MegaSporeBiotic can have a dampening effect on LPS release, therefore lessen inflammatory processes.LPS, lipopolysaccharides released from gut bacteria causes inflammatory processes in the gut and… Click To Tweet
Let’s take a look at our second brain / the immune system in the gut: 90% sits in the gut, it can influence our whole body. When we take a look at the probiotics that live in our gut, we find out:
• We are more bacteria than human
• The human body has about 10 trillion cells
• Bacteria in and on us counts to about 100 trillion
• Bacterial genes outnumber human genes 150 to 1 (25,000 human genes vs. 3.3 million microbial genes). We do not have enough genes to produce all the proteins necessary for bodily functions. So, who produces those proteins? The gut bacteria.
In order to heal the gut, we need to first support the immune system, which can only be done with a spore based probiotic that has a 100% survival rate, MegaSporeBiotic. It contains bacterial strains in spore form that are found naturally in the microbiota. The spores are anaerobic. They need to be anaerobic, since aerobic bacteria cannot live in the GI tract.
The spores in MegaSporeBiotic, once they come out of the spore form:
• Increase the growth of important GI tract commensals such as Lactobacillus
• Fight the bad bacteria in the gut and therefore address dysbiosis
• Deliver highly – bioavailable carotenoids (antioxidants), which control bacterial overgrowth in the GI tract
• Fight for space and nutrients to eliminate the invading species, such as Candida and C diff.
• Produce vitamin K2
So, Hippocrates was right: all disease starts in the gut.
About the Author
Linda Wilbert – Stewart, FDN, HHP is a Certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner and Certified Holistic Health Practitioner with diplomas from the Natural Healing College. She is a Certified Health Coach from Beyond Organic University. She took classes in Functional Blood Chemistry. Module one and two MTHFR, Methylation & Biochemistry master course. She graduated in Germany as an Occupational Therapist in 1988. Linda uses functional diagnostic lab tests to find underlying causes of symptoms. Check out her website, ExclusivelyHolistic.com to get a Free Health Consultation and get her Free EBook, here. Please be sure to follow her on Facebook. Shop amazing probiotics, here.