Mental Health Awareness week: the Relationship between your Mental health and that “gut feeling“
In case you were not familiar, Irritable bowel Syndrome or IBS affects 10-15% of the world population. At the same time, about 1-3rd of people with IBS also experience anxiety and or depression. Healthcare use in people with IBS can be stemmed back to both Psychological and Gastrointestinal symptoms.
Having integrated care that addresses the gastrointestinal symptoms and the brain-gut relationship should be considered the standard in treating IBS. Often referred to as the ‘gut-brain connection’, in some cases this connection can cause or worsen symptoms like stress, constipation, anxiety, and nausea.
With the ‘gut-brain connection’ its hard to separate the two altogether, instead you can focus on ways to manage your stress and your nutritional habits. Here are some ways to manage your ‘gut-brain connection’
Addressing your mental health:
- Identifying what stressors are and finding a way within your control to manage them.
- Add relaxation techniques into your daily routine- such as doing activities that bring you relaxation, or trying breathing exercises. Also implementing regular exercises such as walking, swimming or yoga.
- Taking time out of your schedule to spend time with family and friends.
Addressing your Gut health:
- Reducing your intake of greasy, sugary, and processed foods.
- Stay hydrated with at least 8 cups/glasses of water per day.
- Maintaining a regular meal schedule of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also try to avoid missing a meal or eating a meal late at night.
Best advice we can give is to keep your mental and physical health happy and healthy. This looks different for everyone and can have short-term or long-term effects based on your symptoms and daily habits. Reaching to your doctor and discussing your ‘gut-brain connection’ can lead to a better understanding of your body and mind.