The gut microbiome has become one of the most exciting fields of medical inquiry of the last decade. Much of the research began as an effort to understand and address a variety of chronic stomach ailments that have come into popular focus over the last 25 years, conditions such as Crohn’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcerative colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Psychotherapists and psychologists have long postulated a connection between psychological ailments, psychosocial stressors, and stomach disorders. For example, 61% of people with IBS also have a DSM-diagnosed anxiety disorder. The classic understanding posits that high stress levels and anxious tendencies can cause disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract, including high stomach acid levels and hyper-reactive bowels, that may lead to various GI disorders.
Many people I know are freaked out on a regular basis these days. And can you blame them? We’ve got Climate Change, Trump Tweets, North Korea, ISIS, Brexit, mass shootings, sex scandals, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes… oh my! Its almost as if the entire world is completely falling apart! Except it most certainly is not. While all of these things are real, marinating in the juices of all the world’s “problems” isn’t helpful or functional. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.