I am back out working in Dubai this week, which of course I love. I have been fortunate enough to have a three-hour lunch break at the beach, with a large coconut for my cocktail of choice and half a watermelon the size of the moon for lunch! For me it doesn’t get much better than that… Heat, sun and beautiful food! Paradise!
The one thing that becomes more and more apparent to me as I trot round the globe giving health lectures and seeing clients from all Nationalities, is that it doesn’t matter how wealthy you are, or what position you hold within your company, no one in this modern society is free from stress and anxiety. It’s out of control. And what are we all striving for? Apparently the latest stats for the UK are one in four people suffering form serious mental health issues, and one in six people reporting experiencing a more common mental health problem such as anxiety and mild depression or feelings of low mood. This is a huge percentage of people. There is something very wrong with society, as we know it. I see lots of teenagers in my clinics now suffering from anxiety, and is it that our expectations of them are too high? Or, their expectations of themselves are too much? Five years ago I wasn’t seeing even half the amount of people with these issues as I see now, so even in that relatively short space of time period things are changing rapidly.
From a Nutrition point of view, one of the things I would consider if someone comes to see me presenting mental health issues is to look at the health of their digestive system. I think a lot of people know now that diet and gut health can seriously affect mental health symptoms such as stress-related disorders, depression and anxiety. Signalling between the gut and the brain includes communication via the immune system, central nervous system and the endocrine (hormonal) system, which in turn impacts mood and behaviour. This “communication” is under the influence of the gut microbiota. The gut is home to hundreds of trillions of micro-organisms, which form part of the gut-microbiome-brain axis. The complex interactions involved are thought to be influential in conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, autism-spectrum disorders and ADHD. After running several tests on a patient in my clinic, I would be able to detect if there is a problem in the gut and then determine how to treat it. Sometimes it can be really simple stuff to correct and can make all the difference to a persons well-being, thought pattern, feelings of anxiety and feelings of happiness. Can you imagine? A lifetime of healthy eating, or a lifetime of medication, which can often cause other side effects and symptoms.
Sometimes if you look at life really simply and clean up your diet, so you take the toxins and stress away from your physical body, it’s amazing what can happen to the mind. Even just the realization that the two are connected can help address health issues. Knowledge is always power, so if you suffer, get to know as much about your subject as you can, because it often removes the fear.
If you are worried about mental health for yourself, your child, or someone you know and would like to talk things through, or book an appointment for a consultation please don’t hesitate to contact me for further confidential advice at: firstname.lastname@example.org