Gut Biology

Have you ever had a gut feeling about something? Maybe you should listen to those powerful intuitions. Many scientists take them very seriously, so much so that many refer to the gut as the body’s “second brain.”

The condition of the gut, consisting of the stomach and intestines, has been addressed in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries, but the theories have until recently, been discounted in western cultures. Although many doctors have long suspected that the accumulation of food waste in the intestines contributes to a number of problems, including anxiety and depression. Practitioners who attempted to treat the problem were usually dismissed as charlatans or quacks. Presently, renowned researchers and eminent medical institutions publish more and more evidence, for instance here:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626

However, researchers are just beginning to understand the importance of the gut and its colonies of trillions of microbes. The microbes excrete a huge number of chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine and other substances that transmit chemical messages between the nerve cells of the brain.

This important discovery indicates that the gut and brain are closely related, and that the gut plays an important role in decision making, state of mind, cognition, mood, intuition and decision making, in short: in our overall mental health. Researchers believe the condition of the gut has a powerful effect on anxiety, cravings and depression, and that advancing knowledge may hold the key to a number of common problems, such as obesity, diabetes, ADHD, OCD, autism, inflammatory diseases among many others.

How can you invite friendly bacteria and improve the condition of your gut? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Increase your intake of healthy bacteria by eating yogurt with live cultures and other fermented food, such as sauerkraut.
  • Eat plenty of healthy fiber, especially fiber from beans, fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise every day to help reduce constipation and improve digestion.
  • Learn relaxation techniques and other healthy ways to manage stress.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fat, which slows down digestion.
  • Avoid processed food and white sugar, which have been implicated in a number of illnesses.
  • Avoid antibiotics whenever possible, as antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria and contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant infections. If antibiotics are needed, ask your prescribing physician for appropriate probiotics to go with the therapy.
  • Drink a generous amount of water to keep your body hydrated.
  • If you smoke, make an attempt to stop or cut down. Use caffeine in moderation.
  • There is more and more evidence to support the notion that a vegan diet is not only climate friendly but may contain the key to a healthy gut biology, to a slender figure, normal blood pressure and last but not least, to a balanced mood.

Restoring the brain’s biochemistry is one of our top priorities in any treatment we offer. Based on a thorough medical examination and extensive specialized laboratory tests, we create a combination of nutritional supplements and a personal nutrition plan tailored for each client. We believe that a healthy biochemistry is an important aspect of long-term sobriety, and that by improving emotional stability and physical vitality, clients are able to receive the highest level of benefit from addiction treatment and rehab. A healthy body is – in our opinion – the best fertile ground for the effect of counseling and psychotherapy.

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