Not only does "Carol" have to suffer the daily headaches, she also has reduced her life to work, home, tv, and work again. When friends make plans, she hopes they will cancel. When her husband wants to go out, she makes excuses to avoid any activities.
When I asked her about anxiety, she admitted to suffering from panic attacks when under stress.
She has reduced her diet substantially in an attempt to avoid the headaches.
As her story unfolded, I learned that she had been a marathon runner (!) and once her headaches started, she stopped running. A case of what she thought was food poisoning occured and 9 days later, her headaches started.
”Has anyone ever done a stool test on you?” I asked, as she had seen other holistically-minded practitioners.
“Have you ever gotten sick while traveling or had other bouts of what seemed to be food poisoning?”
She had, multiple times in multiple countries.
I sent her home to do the stool test and told her that if it came back with nothing detected I would pay for it. I am that convinced that her answers will be in that stool test.
What does the gut have to do with depression, physical symptoms, and anxiety? Everything.
Consider the gut as a hub for many activities. Some neurotransmitters are made there, the majority of our body's microbiome is present there, and, the gut sends signals to the brain for countless activities. And, the gut is where digestion, absorption and some detoxification takes place. This is a lot of important activity for a tired or sick system.
What can show up on a stool test? The sensitive, informative test that I use will not only pick up the presence of parasites or worms (I know, yuck) but will also give me ranges for good and bad bacteria, inflammation, gluten antibodies, fat malabsorption, immune response and even more. For example, clostridium bacteria and mental health have a huge connection. Clostridia inhibits the enzyme that converts dopamine to norepinephrine, thereby causing high dopamne levels. These symptoms look like insomnia, anxiety, and an overly "turned on" system that can't relax. Anyone have clients with these symptoms?
Everyone is having gut issues, what's the deal? Aren't we supposed to be able to fight off bacteria?
Most holistic practitioners agree that processed food, pesticides being in everything we eat, genetically modified foods that are designed to be resistant to weed-killer, (if its resistant to weed-killer, how could we possibly digest it?) high sugar diets, and fast foods are largely responsible for our epidemic of gut issues. In addition to our food supply, most people have had many rounds of antibiotics and use medication that alters our microbiome like birth control pills.
Solutions lay in uncovering the real cause of depression and anxiety. Medication to lessen symptoms is not the same as digging deep and resolving root causes.