Suzy Cohen has a simple message for those who are struggling with anxiety:  “Gut bugs impact your brain.” In other words, the kinds of bacteria occupying your gut play an important role in your mental health. That’s why she recommends using probiotics for not just maintaining physical health, but mental as well.

Cohen notes that many of the medications that we commonly used to treat medical conditions can actually trigger anxiety. These range from an asthma inhaler, antibiotics, thyroid drugs, to even SSRI’s. That’s why she doesn’t recommend using prescription drugs in order to treat anxiety. She sees the real source of the problem is in your intestines, not your brain.  

Probiotics are bacteria that help your body, not hurt it. They aid your body in processing nutrients, but they also:

  • Supports your immune system.
  • Improves bowel function and the elimination of waste from your body.
  • Contributes to the health of your hair and skin.

Probiotics also help your body with making a hormone called GABA, which contributes to staying calm and is made when you are sleeping. They additionally aid the body in suppressing cortisol, which is a stress-hormone and contributes to problems such as feeling tired anxiety, aches and pains, and weight gain.

What causes your gut biome to get out of whack? The source is junk food, sugar, food that is highly-processed, and certain supplements and medications. To solve this problem, Cohen recommends a body detoxification program to flush out these compounds and to avoid consuming these foods.  Also, avoid using supplements that have glutamine.

Additionally, she suggests looking at your life in general. Are there any stressors in your life, such as work, friendships, or other relationships. Once you have detoxified begin using healthy and high-quality probiotics to build up positive gut bacteria.

Want to learn more about the connection between anxiety and gut flora? Read the full article here:  Gut Flora and Anxiety.