The Gut-Brain Connection

I see many clients with digestive health disorders. Whether I’m treating someone with IBS,Crohn’s Disease, Ulcertive Colitis, Celiac Disease, GERD, etc… I can always tell at the beginning of a follow-up appointment before my client even says a word if my nutrition plan helped them. If it did, they walk in like a huge weight was just lifted off their shoulders, walk in smiling (or holding back a giant smile!), and generally with a very positive energy. It can change someone’s life completely! I love being able to help make such a change in someone’s life, which is partly why I’m so passionate about helping people with digestive health disorders.

Ashley Charlebois - Dietitian

I often wonder – how much of my clients’ moods are improved simply because their stomach feels good again and it improves their overall quality of life, and how much of it is due to the effect our gut’s health has on our brain and serotonin levels? Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a major role in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. Our gut bacteria produce about 95% of our body’s serotonin supply. Logically, one would think from that if our gut is in a healthier state, it would definitely affect our mood due to the effects it may have on serotonin.

There is more and more research being done in the area of how the microbiome (or community of bacteria in our gut) affects the brain and overall mood. Some research is going as far as showing an improved microbiome can potentially treat depression and anxiety disorders. Here’s an interesting article if you’d like to read more.