Gut Inflammation

The connection between the brain and the gut is profound.

Your gut microbiome is a highly intelligent ecosystem of organisms. Bacteria tend to dominate this ecosystem, but you’ve also got viruses, fungi, and protozoan, among other organisms that exist there. Your microbiome is defined as all of these organisms, including their genetic elements.

When the bi-directional connection between the brain and the gut (also called the gut-brain axis) is underdeveloped, and/or the ecosystem becomes imbalanced, we often see anxiety, depression, violent behavior, autoimmunity, ADHD, eating disorders, autism, and a lot of other conditions I work with in my clinic.

There are actually a few reasons the gut is called the second brain. First, a lot of metabolic and neurotransmitter byproducts such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA are produced in the gut that affect the brain in a very significant way. The second reason is that the enteric nervous system, which is a neurological system, lines the entire digestive track.

The enteric nervous system is only second to the brain in terms of the number of nerve endings it has. In fact, it’s got more nerve endings than the spinal cord does making it a very, very dense neurological tissue. The gut and the gut bacteria have direct access to the entire nervous system, and the enteric nervous system is directly connected to the brain through the vagus nerve, also called the wandering nerve because it wanders from the brain into organs in the neck, chest, and abdomen.

The vagus nerve functions in a wide variety of ways including communication between the brain and the gut, digestive tract, respiration, and heart rate functioning, speech and taste sensation, as well as fear management (fight, flight, freeze), among other functions.

If there is dysfunction of the development of the neuronal tissue itself, meaning there is not proper signaling back and forth between the gut and the brain, the effects can be profound from behavioral disorders, to memory and response time issues, as well as challenges with appetite, mood, and sleep.

However, most of the time what goes wrong is the wrong type of microbes start inhabiting the gut at high levels, therefore impacting the brain significantly. For example, if opportunistic and pathogenic microbes are allowed to proliferate, they will produce neurotransmitters in the gut that go to the brain that can cause you to have high anxiety, which can then lead to a panic disorder.

In my adolescent clients, this manifests as anxiety through tantrums, hyperactivity, and extreme meltdowns over the slightest little occurrence. Often these episodes occur after consumption of sugary processed foods loaded with gluten, dairy byproducts, and lots of chemical flavorings engineered in a lab designed to stimulate opioid receptors (thus creating a “high”) in the brain. These foods are triggers because they feed the “bad” microbes into producing the aforementioned byproducts that are inflammatory to the brain (and body, as we often see in autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis).

As adults, we have learned over time how to navigate the world by suppressing our anxiety. Unfortunately, this causes us to socially isolate, binge on food and alcohol, and live in fear, afraid to reach out for help. I spent most of my life this way so I have an intimate understanding here.

I am often asked how did I get a leaky gut or why do I have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) or yeast overgrowth? The answer is simple, yet layered: genetics is one piece (including biochemical imbalances from mom and dad), epigenetics (how your genes interact with your environment) yet another. When you layer in stress from work and relationships, heavy antibiotics in childhood on top of a standard American diet (or very restrictive dieting), a shift in the microbial terrain occurs creating permeability issues to the gut barrier.

You have a magnificent intelligence that resides in your gut. Gut reconditioning, nutrient and dietary therapy, as well as lifestyle modifications are powerful in their ability to heal the gut, creating health and happiness in your life.

Gut Inflammation Articles

How Gut Inflammation Causes Anxiety
Gut Inflammation

How Gut Inflammation Causes Anxiety

Can gut inflammation cause anxiety? Can the health of your gut microbiome really impact you on such a profound level?...
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What to Do When Diet and Probiotics Don’t Work
Gut Inflammation

What to Do When Diet and Probiotics Don’t Work

Feeling frustrated is understandable when diet and probiotic therapies don’t provide the relief you seek to heal yo...
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Could Oxalate Toxicity Be the Cause of Your Health Issues?
Gut Inflammation

Could Oxalate Toxicity Be the Cause of Your Health Issues?

Vegan diets and spinach-packed green juice have become symbols of health, vitality, and saving the planet, but is the...
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Glutamine Versus Glutamate: Nutrients and Safety
Depression/Anxiety

Glutamine Versus Glutamate: Nutrients and Safety

In today’s post, I explain what glutamine is, its effect on the brain and body, and why it’s not a safe nutrient ...
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Ashwagandha: Herbal Remedy with Dangerous Repercussions
Depression/Anxiety

Ashwagandha: Herbal Remedy with Dangerous Repercussions

Ashwagandha is a powerful herb. In this week’s post, I share the hidden dangers of this adaptogenic herb. What is As...
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Histamine Intolerance: Methylation, the Gut, & Copper
Gut Inflammation

Histamine Intolerance: Methylation, the Gut, & Copper

If you think you may suffer from histamine intolerance or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), then this post is for...
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Yeast Overgrowth and Yeast Toxicity Tips
Gut Inflammation

Yeast Overgrowth and Yeast Toxicity Tips

Yeast Overgrowth and Yeast Toxicity Tips. There was a time in my life when I really struggled with gut dysbiosis (micr...
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Gluten Intolerance or Oxidative Stress?
Pyrrole Disorder

Gluten Intolerance or Oxidative Stress?

Of all the health challenges I work with in my practice, gluten intolerance, or more specifically, sensitivity to a wi...
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What is Breast Implant Illness?
Autoimmunity

What is Breast Implant Illness?

Can breast implants cause health problems? How common is breast implant illness and what are the symptoms associated ...
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What is PCOS and How to Reverse It
Autoimmunity

What is PCOS and How to Reverse It

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, is the most common endocrine disorder in...
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Gut Inflammation Podcast Episodes

Bonus Replay: The Gut-Brain Connection with Kiran Krishnan
Podcast

Bonus Replay: The Gut-Brain Connection with Kiran Krishnan

For December, I’m sharing a couple of my favorite episodes while we take a little break to spend time with friends ...
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EP 56: The Gut and Gum Disease Connection with Dr. Al Danenberg
Podcast

EP 56: The Gut and Gum Disease Connection with Dr. Al Danenberg

Are amalgam fillings really safe? Do antibacterial mouthwash and fluoride-based toothpaste live up to their claims? W...
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EP 55: What Your Doctor May Not Know About Thyroid Function With Jim Paoletti, BS Pharmacy, FAARFM, FIACP
Podcast

EP 55: What Your Doctor May Not Know About Thyroid Function With Jim Paoletti, BS Pharmacy, FAARFM, FIACP

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, an estimated 27 million Americans have thyroid di...
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EP 54: Reversing Hashimoto’s and Autoimmune Diseases with Donna Mazzola, PharmD
Podcast

EP 54: Reversing Hashimoto’s and Autoimmune Diseases with Donna Mazzola, PharmD

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. In 2014, it was estimated that 14 million pe...
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EP 52: What Is The Main Cause of PCOS? with Dr. Felice Gersh
Podcast

EP 52: What Is The Main Cause of PCOS? with Dr. Felice Gersh

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women.  And all too often, women ar...
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EP 50: Back to Basics: What is Food?
Podcast

EP 50: Back to Basics: What is Food?

In celebration of Eat for Life’s 50th episode, I’m exploring food. What role does your relationship with food ...
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EP 46: How Oxalate Toxicity Impacts Your Health with Sally K. Norton, MPH
Podcast

EP 46: How Oxalate Toxicity Impacts Your Health with Sally K. Norton, MPH

Kidney stones are a commonly known side effect of oxalate toxicity, but many people are unaware of the other serious ...
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EP 44: How Short Chain Fatty Acids Can Fix Your Gut with Steven Wright
Podcast

EP 44: How Short Chain Fatty Acids Can Fix Your Gut with Steven Wright

Today I’ve brought back Steven Wright of the Healthy Gut Company to talk about the tremendous impact short-chain fa...
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EP 43: How to Fix Your Gut When Probiotics Stop Working with Steven Wright
Podcast

EP 43: How to Fix Your Gut When Probiotics Stop Working with Steven Wright

If you feel like you’ve tried everything you can to heal your gut from very low carb or low FODMAP diets to pre and...
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EP 41: Environmental Toxins And Your Health With Lara Adler
Podcast

EP 41: Environmental Toxins And Your Health With Lara Adler

We talk a lot about toxins and you may think you’ve heard it all before, but hear me out! We are exposed to enviro...
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EP 38: The Truth About Gluten-Free Diets Part 2: The Gut Brain Connection with Dr. Tom O
Podcast

EP 38: The Truth About Gluten-Free Diets Part 2: The Gut Brain Connection with Dr. Tom O'Bryan

To this day, I get asked if gluten is problematic. And I often get pushback from people who tell me that they have...
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EP 37: The Truth About Gluten-Free Diets Part 1: Grainflammation with Dr. Peter Osborne
Podcast

EP 37: The Truth About Gluten-Free Diets Part 1: Grainflammation with Dr. Peter Osborne

Half of the American diet is composed of highly processed wheat and gluten-based food products, making it a major con...
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EP 33: Autoimmune Disease And The Gut Microbiome With Kiran Krishnan
Podcast

EP 33: Autoimmune Disease And The Gut Microbiome With Kiran Krishnan

23.5 million people in the United States suffer from at least one autoimmune condition, and that number is rising fas...
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EP 30: Post-Birth Control Syndrome: Fix Your Hormone and Digestive Health with Jenna Longoria, FDN-P
Podcast

EP 30: Post-Birth Control Syndrome: Fix Your Hormone and Digestive Health with Jenna Longoria, FDN-P

So many women struggle on birth control. Yet when they finally decide to go off it, they continue to have the same...
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EP 29: Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance with Beth O’Hara, FND
Podcast

EP 29: Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance with Beth O’Hara, FND

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and histamine intolerance have been buzzwords for quite some time now, but these ...
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EP 28: 2 Causes of Unexplained Behavior Change in Kids with Dr. Jill Crista
Podcast

EP 28: 2 Causes of Unexplained Behavior Change in Kids with Dr. Jill Crista

Drastic behavior changes. Extreme irritability. Developmental regressions. Why did your child become someone you bare...
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EP 17: Understanding the Human Microbiome with Kiran Krishnan
Podcast

EP 17: Understanding the Human Microbiome with Kiran Krishnan

Understanding the complexities of the human microbiome can be overwhelming. At its most simple, we can think of the mi...
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“I started working with Sami because of chronic digestive issues (and I was hoping that along the way I would lose about 30 pounds). Now, six months later, I am 33 pounds lighter and the problems I have suffered with for DECADES are significantly better! Amazing healing has occurred! I learned so much about what diet works for my system, and with Sami’s encouragement, I have developed really good habits that I know I will stick to because I feel so good!”

NOLA WOOD, OWNER, WOOD, WIND & WATER

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If you’re ready to start your healing journey, schedule your free one-on-one consultation to discuss your current mental and/or physical health challenges, history, and desired health goals. Take the first step on your healing journey today.

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