Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had nothing on me a number of weeks ago. My head was stuffy. I took sniffling, sneezing, and nasal-speak to artistic levels. And yet, after weeks of over the counter antihistamines and denial, I was not improving.
My husband convinced me I needed to see a doctor which, until he applied puppy-eyes, I was loathe to do. I just didnâ€™t feel THAT sick. Snuffly? Yes. Sick? Meh. Deciding he needed a good nightâ€™s sleep void of me getting up to blow my nose eighty times, I went to the clinic. I did it for him.
With a few questions and vital signs recorded, I was given an antibiotic. â€œTake it for ten days,â€ the doctor said, â€œand if youâ€™re not better, weâ€™ll do another ten.â€ I cringed. I know how hard antibiotics are on our systems.
After two days I was feeling surprisingly better. The sinus infection diagnosis was apparently accurate. Huh. Nonetheless, after the ten-day stint of antibiotics was over, I went heavy on my intake of probiotics and prebiotics.
My husband said he read somewhere that it takes upwards of six months to re-establish a healthy variety of intestinal bacteria after antibiotic use. Six months! I am taking probiotic tablets, and have upped my consumption of fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, and miso. Prebiotic foods include raw garlic, leeks, bananas and cooked oatmeal.
Around the time of my antibiotic treatment I received my monthly newsletter from Dr. David Williams. Coincidently, his topic was on microorganisms in and on our bodies, but particularly those found in our digestive system. This may sound boring, but it was quite interesting. Iâ€™ll hit a few highlights from the newsletter, but would highly recommend reading the entire piece. (Alternatives, Volume 17, No. 2, Feb. 2014)
â€“There is a strong link between our brain and our gut. Many mood disorders like depression and anxiety are linked to a damaged gut and the microflora within.
â€“50% of folks with irritable bowel syndrome have mood disorders and antidepressants are one of the most common treatments for IBS.
â€“The artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda, for example) reduces beneficial bacteria in intestines by up to 50%.
â€“Autistic children usually have gut problems. An Arizona State University study on the gut flora of autistic children aged 3-16 found they had less variety of bacteria in general, and less of three strains in particularâ€”Prevotella, Coprococcus, and Veillonellaceae.
–ADHD. In this country it is estimated that 11% of all children between 4-17 are diagnosed with ADHD, and that one in every five boys in high school have it. Western medicine treats ADHD with drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, but in France they use tools like psychotherapy, family counseling, discipline, and diet. They severly limit artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners. The percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD in France? 0.05%.
So my friends get your prebiotics and your probiotics. Get them through food, drink, and supplements, but get them. Iâ€™ve got a gut feeling youâ€™ll notice a difference in your health.
Tell me your stories! Do you, or anyone you know have stomach issues AND mood disorders? Do you believe there is a link?