How To Heal the Gut To Heal Behavior
The health of the gut directly effects the health of the brain and behaviors. When the gut is injured it decreases the ability of the brain to function properly. The lining of the digestive tract can be injured due to candida or yeast overgrowth, pesticides, toxic food, antibiotics, and NSAIDS such as aspirin. They all weaken and damage the gut. Holes can be created in this delicate single-celled lining.
Once this happens “leaky gut” allows for undigested food and other toxins to enter the bloodstream where they make their way through the body’s organs, including the brain. Here we often see the symptoms of autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and a lack or inability to focus.
The brain is protected by another single-celled system called the blood-brain barrier. When toxins and inflammation are present in the system this delicate barrier cannot do its job of protecting the brain, thus allowing toxins to enter it. When the brain is toxic it can become injured and cannot function properly.
The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that tells us if we should feel fear or if we are safe to remain calm. This is otherwise known as fight or flight. The hypothalamus is also involved in aggressive behavior, territorial defense, sleep, appetite, and energy. The hypothalamus has no protective blood brain barrier. It must be protected from toxins. The hypothalamus is seen injured in children with autism.
The gut produces a lot of neurotransmitters, or brain messengers. An impaired gut lining cannot produce the necessary chemicals to help the brain function properly. Three of these neurotransmitters are serotonin, GABA, and dopamine. Serotonin is responsible for monitoring behaviors such as mood (depression), sleep and appetite control. GABA calms the nerves. When the GABA system is weak or ineffective it commonly results in anxiety and impulsive behavior. If there is trouble with impulsivity, or the ability to concentrate and focus then dopamine is low. To heal the brain and behavior issues we must first start with the gut.
The best way to protect your brain from toxins starts with your gut.
Yes, air pollution, pesticides on food, and mercury, aluminum and other toxic compounds found in vaccinations all contribute, but we have some control over their intake if we choose to. The gut, on the other hand, is often injured without our knowledge.
How to Heal the Gut Lining
- Diet: Eating moderate protein with good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado is very important. Eliminating processed carbohydrates, (especially gluten), and other processed foods, sugars, bad fats, and dairy products is also essential. Click HERE for a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid in my 3 Stage Quick Guide.
- L-glutamine: One of the best supplements to heal the holes in the gut lining is the amino acid L-glutamine. The product Glutagenics from the company Metagenics is an excellent choice. It contains L-glutamine to heal, deglycyrrhizinized licorice (DGL) to calm, and aloe vera (laxative properties removed) to soothe the digestive tract.
- Probiotics help to balance the candida overgrowth and help prevent leaky gut.
- Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help heal and protect the gut lining. They are also crucial for the health and proper functioning of the brain.
Help for the Brain to Heal
Additional help for behavior can come through supplementation.
- For anxiety GABA can be built by a supplement with its own name, GABA.
- For issues with mood, sleep, or appetite serotonin can generated through a natural supplement called 5HTP (5-hydoxy tryptophan). Consult your physician before taking 5HTP if you are already taking anti-depressant medications.
- For impulsivity and issues with concentration dopamine can be synthesized through the amino acid L-tyrosine.
- Take alpha lipoic acid to assist removal of toxins.
I healed my own son from the symptoms of autism. I share a multitude of valuable resources in my book, Naturally Healing Autism: The Complete Step-By-Step Resource Handbook for Parents.
I’ve just released a new tutorial that shows how to quickly begin to reduce your child’s symptoms of autism by eliminating 3 specific foods that most people consume daily.