Nutrition and Gut Health

1460084525Food and mood…

The food you eat greatly impacts how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.

But anxiety, stress, depression, or poor sleep can affect your eating habits.

Skipping meals, overeating, undereating, craving carbs, grabbing packaged snacks that you know aren’t the healthiest, or not having the energy to make a smoothie (let alone cook a full meal!) can all go hand-in-hand with mood and sleep issues.

And did you know that fluctuations in blood sugar can show up as panic, anxiety, problems with focus, or sleep disturbances?

It becomes a vicious cycle.

Mood and sleep problems make it harder to nourish your body, and poor nutrition worsens mood and sleep issues.

So, it becomes harder to stay on track as you feel more fatigued, guilty, and helpless when it comes to improving your nutrition.

The cycle continues.

That’s why we at Pacific Integrative Psychiatry take a whole-body approach to mental health, which includes nutrition services.

Fuel for your brain…

When you have a high-performance machine like a race car, it requires high-quality fuel. The human body is like this. It’s a sophisticated machine. Your body and brain need premium fuel (good nutrition) to run optimally.

Small changes in what, how, and when you eat can make a big difference in your mood, mental clarity, energy levels, and sleep quality.

It’s not about depriving yourself of foods you enjoy; it’s about enhancing your nutrition with a personalized approach tailored to your needs and lifestyle.

1647269665Your “second brain”…

Butterflies in your stomach…

A gut feeling…

Feeling sick to your stomach when you’re nervous…

Anxiety using public bathrooms…

Nausea in the mornings…

These things happen because you have a “second brain”: your gut.

The gut and brain are constantly talking to each other.

Anxiety, depression, and sleep issues can happen because of problems in the gut, and vice-versa: Problems in the gut can contribute to mood and sleep issues.

The gut is a major source of neurotransmitters that affect the brain. About 95% of your serotonin and 50% of your dopamine is found in the gut—as are other mood-modulating neurotransmitters like GABA.

Did you know that the gut produces 400 times more melatonin than the brain?

Antidepressant medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can cause gut-related side effects because of their effects on serotonin.

It’s even thought that IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), partly related to serotonin, could be a “mental illness” of the second brain.

At Pacific Integrative Psychiatry, we know that addressing gut health is vital to improving mental health.

1291738072Nutrition is an essential part of your mental health treatment plan.

While there’s a lot of research on the connection between food and mood, nutrition is often overlooked in conventional mental health treatment.

Nutrition is essential because it provides the building blocks for neurotransmitters involved in mood… and the fuel for your body to function at its best.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition.

We can help you determine if a specific diet (e.g., ketogenic, paleo, gluten-free, anti-inflammatory, etc.) is appropriate for you. Many of these dietary approaches have been shown to improve anxiety and depression.

Meal planning and preparation can be overwhelming. During a nutrition appointment, you’ll get guidance on what to buy at the grocery store, recipe ideas, and how to prepare nourishing foods to fit your lifestyle.

We’ll also consider testing for micronutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, and gut health. Depending on your results, we can recommend a personalized supplement plan.

This can change your life!

Many of our patients have found our nutrition services to be life-changing. That isn’t surprising, as food is alchemy.

Let us help. Our unique nutritional psychiatry program will give you recommendations that are easy to implement but have a big impact.

You may choose to work with just the nutritionist, but for best results, we recommend a team approach that involves a psychiatrist, nutritionist, and psychotherapist.

We’re here for you – online throughout California. Our nutritionist is able to work with some clients out of state, please inquire about out-of-state services.

Our team would love to meet you. Contact us today for your free 20-minute phone consultation.