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Doctor's Notes

When I talk about belly bugs, technically known as gut microbiota, I usually talk about them in terms of digestive function and treating gut problems like IBS, IBD, constipation or bloating. But now there are new studies from Nature.com exploring the effect of the microbiota on mental health.

Mind Control, science fact.

The highlights are that a vaginal birth can affect a baby’s tendencies toward anxiety or depression. The microbiome passed to the infant through the vaginal tract is important and if babies are born via C-section (and not receive the mother’s bacteria) they are more likely to have anxious and depressive moods. And this can continue to be true for the entirety of their lives. Another study showed that the lack of the bacteria Bacteriodes fragilis in a mouse’s digestive system caused autism-like symptoms. When replaced, the bacteria the mice recovered normal behavior and digestion. Furthermore – a bacterial product found in their blood was injected into normal mice who then displayed the autism-like symptoms. All this leads me to deduce that bacteria are amazing at mind control!

Healthy Digestion and Mental Health Depends on your Microbiome

The article linked above also discusses leaky gut and its role in allowing bacteria to perform its mind-blowing mind-control. So although ‘leaky gut’ or gastrointestinal permeability has been accused of being a quack term, it is at last being recognised in biomedical science.  Overall this is a pretty huge step forward in recognizing and understanding the complexities and importance of those symbiotic bugs that have largely been ignored over the last 80 years of medicine.

How to Alter your Microbiome

With any patient that comes through my door I will often consider their belly bugs. Have there been recent antibiotic treatments? Is there constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or even acne or eczema? These are clues to an imbalance of belly bugs. And if we answered yes to the about then, since probiotics are so safe, we usually treat with a good, high quality probiotic right away. However, if there are major digestive problems then I will often test their microbiology profile. These stool tests are highly sophisticated investigations into the balance of healthy, commensal (opportunistic) or infective bacteria in their digestive system? Is there an overgrowth of yeast? By treating two Rs, remove and reinoculate, we can totally shift the health of one’s digestive system and their whole body! Are you interested in this investigation? You can call Qi to book an appointment or even come in for a complementary 15 minute visit to ask me more.

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