Fibromyalgia linked to gut microbiome

New gut microbiome findings

and the effects on mental and physical health

This year we have seen an incredible increase in studies working with faecal microbiota testing to identify what bacteria is causing what diseases and mental health conditions.

This study by McGill University Health Centre, Montreal and at the West Island Rheumatology Clinic identified that [1] "Consistent alterations in the abundance of butyrate-metabolism-related bacteria were observed:

F. prausnitzii and B. uniformis were found in lower relative abundance in FM (fibromyalgia) patients"

"Those species putatively depleted (lower in relative abundance) in FM included F. prausnitzii, B.uniformis, Prevotella copri and Blautia faecis.

F.prausnitzii is one of the most abundant and well-studied butyrate-producing bacteria in the human gut. This species has been reported to be depleted in multiple intestinal diseases.

Within the gut, F. prausnitzii has been reported to exert antinociceptive as well as anti-inflammatory effects and to enhance the intestinal barrier function."

What does it mean for you and me?

Fibromyalgia and many other co-existing conditions such as depression, anxiety, cognitive function, brain fog, mood swings and fatigue all stem in part from depleted gut bacteria and or overgrowth of harmful bacteria.

Balancing gut health as part of mental health treatment is essential for successful outcomes because of the way the gut controls so many functions of your body, immune systems, hormones, blood sugar level, brain function and much more.

Faecal microbiota testing is just one of the tests that we do on programme to identify what is happening in your gut and how it is directly linked to mental and physical health.

How can you make changes to your gut?

Diet

It's obvious on some levels that the food we eat affects how we function, it's fuel that should nourish us at the end of the day, but when it comes to mental health or even chronic infection diet tends to be ignored. That's because when we are depressed, anxious or stress we look to food for comfort and when we are completely fatigued and in pain, we just want convenience.

So we reach for sugar ladened foods, high starch carbohydrates that are highly processed and full of preservatives. But what do these foods all have in common?

They feed the bad bacteria. As the bad bacteria grow in strength they diminish your gut's ability to function correctly and signal to the rest of your body the required response.

So your diet, amongst many other factors, impacts the control centre (gut-brain axis), which then results in cognitive decline, mood swings, depression, anxiety, overactive immune response, fatigue and more.

This is, of course, a simplified snapshot of what diet does and the role of nutrition in your mental health, but if you take anything away from this article it should be this:

  • eat whole foods not processed
  • remove sugar from your diet
  • try lots of different vegetables every day
  • reduce dairy
  • reduce grains
  • reduce starchy carbohydrates

The above sounds easy, but for many people that we treat coming off sugar and carbs is no different to coming off a drug, it will be hard, but it's worth it.

There is a lot more you can do and we can assist you with a tailored plan that can turn your mental health around.

Other things you can do now to heal your gut

Exercise and sleep

These are two simple things that you can do now to assist in altering your gut microbiome.

The easy start

  • create a routine - go to bed every night at the same time. This tells your body to begin hormone processing.
  • eat dinner at sundown - together with sleep routine you are correctly feeding your body and giving it time to process the food

See our sleep post or our sleep hygiene checklist for more information 

If exercise is not your thing, you just have to move. Go for a walk outside at a minimum. Get sunlight for Vit D and just circulate blood. In time when you begin to feel more energetic, look to increase your heart rate with a variety of other exercises.

If you already do these things then begin intermittent fasting. Leave 16 hours between dinner and breakfast.
We are mentioning these point as the bulk of depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD treatment cases don't do any of the above. Within 4-6 weeks of guided nutrition and lifestyle modifications, together with the right testing, treatment and integrated therapies, the gut begins to balance out and function correctly. This results in:

  • Reduced fatigue
  • Level moods
  • Hormonal balance
  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced stress
  • No brain fog
  • Reduction in pain/inflammation
  • Improved digestion
Are you struggling with depression or anxiety?

If you are then it can be difficult to reach out for help, we understand that.  It takes courage and determination to make a change or even just take the first steps in finding help.

However, you can begin to help yourself now with modifying how you eat, sleep and move.  Stick at it for as long as possible and you will notice a change, even if it is a small one.

Of course, mental health is more than just gut health, particularly when dealing with PTSD.  We can assist you with testing and integrated therapies to get to the root cause of your condition or even just point you in the right direction if you are not ready for change.

Call us on 1800 940 962 or email enquire at www.goodsky.com.au