Additionally, the holidays can bring anxiety, sadness, and depression to many, and in light of the current pandemic, these emotions have likely been heightened. These stressors can take a great toll on our health, particularly our brain and gut health.
In fact, we seemingly don’t have a problem with one, without it affecting the other. The brain and gut are intimately connected, which means that triggering factors that affect one, will ultimately affect the other. An imbalanced intestine can send signals to the brain, just as an imbalanced brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause, or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression (Harvard).
Patients who suffer from autoimmune disorders can be among those who suffer the greatest during the holiday season, making the postholiday recovery period even more critical to restoring overall health. Gut dysbiosis, or imbalance of intestinal microorganisms, plays a major role in the development of autoimmune diseases. Conversely, good gut health is vital to the management of autoimmune-related symptoms. With the connection between the gut and brain being so significant, you can see how there could be a vicious cycle between mental wellness, gut function, and overall physical health and how the heightened emotions of this past year’s holiday season might have exacerbated this cycle, especially for those who are autoimmune-compromised.
To remedy these issues, here are five tips to help restore balance and improve your brain and gut health this new year:
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