Monthly Archives: May 2018

Our Depressed Brain – The Role of Our Immune System and Gut

Gastrointestinal depression is that even a thing?

Change or loss of mucosal tolerance causes an up or down regulation of key immune responses. These changes are related to problems with the gastrointestinal immune system. Proinflammatory chemicals are introduced into our body and result in the long term a chronic inflammatory conditions. This can cause autoimmune diseases, allergy, cancer, and depression.

Some depression types can be traced back to a set of symptoms caused by a hyperactive immune system’s inflammatory responses.

 

All the bacteria, viruses that cause an immunological stimulation in the gastrointestinal tract. This needs an ongoing requirement for a maintaining the consistency of our internal state in response to the alteration of the function of our biological systems, induced by external or internal stimuli.

Proinflammatory cytokines produced by our body may highly contribute to a risk of developing depression (symptoms).

Signals to the brain are sent via several mechanisms by cytokines from our body’s immune system. This can also cross the brain‐blood barrier via our bloodstream.

The cytokines activate our brain and induce behaviors of anxiety, depression, mood changes.

The Cause of Autoimmune Diseases are Unknown – Part 6

Seasonings and Good Fats


Photo by Joanna Kosinska

After you follow a strict diet and eat the foods we talked about in part 5 for a few months the inflammation in your body should have improved and seasonings can be introduced gradually, one at a time. And by now you should be enjoying the natural taste of vegetables, fresh fruits, and other whole foods. This is also a huge bonus of the elimination diet, to increase the taste bud sensitivity and decrease the amount of not so healthy seasonings like salt.

Let’s talk about Beneficial Fats and Their Role in our Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory for inflammation-based autoimmune diseases.

These fats are found for example in chia, hemp, and flax seeds and dark leafy greens.


Photo by Angelsover, Mimzy, Nayuta

This dark leafy greens should be consumed daily and one to two tablespoons of seeds can be introduced in the later phases of the diet.


Photo by Delphine Hourlay, Bruno Scramgnon, cheifyc

A small handful of walnuts, either as whole nuts or mixed as dressings and sauces can also be used as a source of Omega-3.

Also, DHA/EPA supplements derived from algae, not fish oil that’s probably contaminated with heavy metals like mercury are a good source at the beginning of our elimination diet when seeds and nuts are most problematic for our gut.

Gamma (GLA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) black currant seed is anOmega-6 fatty acid from which the body makes a potent, natural anti-inflammatory substance called prostaglandin E-1. This substance complements the Omega-3 and can be very beneficial for our inflammatory autoimmune disease. ALA and GLA can be taken as pills or natural from black currant seed oil.

Gut Stress – Infection or Loss of Ecological Balance

How is it possible that our gut gets into stress?

Our gut can be under stress from infections or a loss of ecological balance for example as a side effect of using antibiotics. Our body will try to restore the balance by decreasing tryptophan. Tryptophan is also a precursor to serotonin a neurotransmitter that makes us “feel good”. Tryptophan is ingested as food by some bacteria in our gut.

In order our body can restore its gut balance it activates the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and degrades serotonin and tryptophan. So no more food for bacteria that uses them. This can potentially cause depression and anxiety in us, degrade our memory – brain fog, disturbances in cognition, appetite, sleep and body temperature disturbances like cold extremities or fevers.

Psychological and emotional stress can also trigger inflammation in our gut and brain. That’s why mind-body exercises for managing stress are fundamental if we want to to get rid of inflammation and heal our gut.
Without this, the healing won’t last or wouldn’t even take place in the first place. If you have a high-stress life or dealing with past/present traumas you should take extra care of your gut.

 

 

Who is Controlling Who – The Gut Brain Axis

The puppet master(s)?

The gut-brain axis is the biochemical signaling taking place between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system. Most of the times the signaling comes from the intestinal microbiota, which has an important role in healthy brain functions. The gut-brain axis details how the gut and brain communicate back and forth, and how the health of each influences the other.

When the balance of good) and potentially harmful microbes are compromised and inflammation in the gut starts the inflammatory signaling molecules called cytokines are delivered to the brain by immune tissue in the gut.

Most immune responses produce their initial effects at some part of the body at different rates but information regarding immune challenges are almost immediately signaled to the brain like our senses would do it. This results in an immediate inflammatory impact on the brain from the immune reaction in the gut to substances like protein/molecule parts from food or to chemical compounds such as the pesticide glyphosate.

Part 2 in this series will be about Gut Stress

The Cause of Autoimmune Diseases are Unknown – Part 5

Heal your gut with these foods

It’s important to heal our gut as fast as possible and the solution to that is to reduce gut damaging medication and consume foods that are easy on the digestion and promote gut health.

Some of this foods are:

Cabbage & Cabbage juice.

Pseudo Grains like Amaranth, Quinoa, Buckwheat.
Sweet Potato, Carrots, Onion, Garlic, Ginger
Seaweeds,
Celery Sticks, Cucumber, and juices of them.
All leafy grains like Kale, Lettuce, Rocket, Swish chard and so on.

After your gut starts to heal you can introduce more foods like Basmati rice, Pumpkin, Millet, Cauliflower, Zucchini  Cantaloupe, Okra and so on.

And a lot more foods based on your gut health level and elimination diet progress. Check out it out for more information here.

Also be careful with seasoning your food, keep it to a minimum, as some spices like cayenne can promote inflammatory reactions.

A pinch of salt, really not a spoon full a few crumbles

to your vegetables is fine will help you to make delicious meals with the baseline foods mentioned above. A word of caution high-salt diets can turn on genes that promote autoimmune processes in our body.

What are the next steps after our inflammation has improved? We discuss that in part 6 of our series.

 

Try out new things to get better, If it does not Work, It is not a Failure

Not trying is a failure

If you tried something out and did not get the results you wanted, it’s definitely not a failure. You learned something new and can now try other things.

For example, you changed something in your autoimmune diet that created flare-ups. Congratulations for having the courage to try something out new. Now you know one more troublemaker and can avoid it for a certain time, till your gut is strong enough.

Or you exercised too hard and now are too inflamed and your immune system is acting up. Not a problem, you learned your current limit and should avoid to exceed it until you get a little healthier.

Your new autoimmune medication is damaging your gut and you are not on the right track for healing yourself. Talk to your doctor and change your medication and start your lifestyle change, so you wont need any medication after a certain time.

Trying new things is absolutely ok, even if they don’t work for you. Not trying anything, not trying to get to the cause of your autoimmune disease and not changing bad habits that caused the disease in the first place are a failure.

Try out new stuff, change your lifestyle and get rid of your autoimmune illness.

The Cause of Autoimmune Diseases are Unknown – Part 4

Here are some of the bad boys that cause inflammation.

While any protein food “parts” can leak into the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the joints, there are some foods you should definitely avoid while beginning your gut repair.

Red meat should be avoided and especially pork meat.

Chicken protein and eggs.

Wheat protein from wheat cereals, pizza, pasta, bread,…

Soy products like tempeh, soy-meat, tofu and so on…

Milk proteins from dairy products like yogurt, ice cream, cheese, chocolate,…

Avoid all fats from animal products (highly saturated) and oils (olive oil, palm oil, etc.) except Omega 3 from plant sources like algae.

Sometimes also nightshade vegetables like potatoes (sweet potato is not a nightshade and causes no inflammation), tomatoes, eggplants, peppers,…

After a few months of gut healing, the nightshade vegetables can be introduced one sort at a time.

And what are foods to begin with for our gut healing? We will discuss that in part 5 of this series.