The way we think and how we feel can hugely impact on our digestion. There is a large connection between our brain, our mood and our ability to break down food. In high stress situations, when the body is in ‘fight or flight mode’ we do not prioritise digestive processes. This can lead to less blood flow to the gut, resulting in constipation, bloating, fermentation, diarrhoea or gas.
I am often contacted by people who are under a lot of stress, whether it’s work stress, relationships, dealing with grief, or recovering from an accident or surgery; the way we manage stress levels makes a huge difference to how we manage our gut health and symptoms.
When Susan got in touch, she was struggling with a number of debilitating IBS symptoms – bloating which was worse after food, cramps, spasms, trapped wind, loose stools, and lack of appetite. Unable to eat properly, Susan was feeling extremely fatigued and often tearful.
Susan was recently diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), which affects her legs, balance, stability and energy levels. It has impacted her physical and mental health and exacerbated her IBS symptoms.
Given the strong connection between the gut and the nervous system (gut/brain axis), I wasn’t surprised to hear that Susan’s FND is triggered when she experiences a flare-up of IBS symptoms; the reverse is also true here – gut health playing a part in neurological function and overall physical and mental health. A healthy gut is therefore key for Susan to be able to manage her FND. Keen to reduce the anxiety around her health, Susan was looking for some advice about her IBS.
After asking some more questions about Susan’s medical history, it emerged that she had needed to take several courses of antibiotics over the years – for tonsilitis during childhood and UTIs as an adult; she had also had food poisoning and a stomach virus in the past. All of these episodes will have created significant imbalances in her gut microbiome. There was also the possibility that there was still a pathogenic bug/parasite lurking in her gut, which is why I recommended Susan carry out a 5-day Charcoal cleanse to give the digestive system a ‘deep clean’.
I also recommended that she take one Live Bacteria capsule before breakfast and one before bed with a little cold water and one natural Digestive Enzymes tablet just before lunch and one just before dinner. These supplements are designed to detox the digestive system, ensure that food is being properly digested and nutrients absorbed, as well as reduce the unpleasant symptoms that Susan was experiencing.
When Susan got back to me a month later, I was delighted to hear just how much the supplements had helped relieve her discomfort. She told me that once she began to take the supplements, symptoms settled quickly and her appetite returned.
Susan was kind enough to leave this review:
I have since recommended a maintenance protocol of a daily Live Bacteria capsule before breakfast and one Digestive Enzymes tablet before Susan’s main meal of the day. I also suggested she carry out the 5-day cleanse again in December or January.
You can read more about the benefits of activated Charcoal and how to carry out the 5-day cleanse in my Activated Charcoal Fact Sheet here.
If you have any questions about a digestive and gut health issue, or would like to know more about a tailored supplement protocol, please get in touch.