From Science of Us: A recent study suggests that our guts may harbor evidence of traumatic life experiences many years after the fact, impacting our digestion and the way our bodies process stress.
The idea that mental functioning is dependent on digestive processes goes back to Pinel in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s. He was also able to get his patients functional at a better rate than modern psychiatrists.
I believe an important part of my recovery has been changing my diet in an effort to support a healthy gut microbiome. I find all the research on the enteric nervous system and the brain-gut connection utterly fascinating. In my case, I was a very sickly child and spent most of ten years from age 2-12 on a steady stream of antibiotics to treat unresolvable ear infections. And this was in the 1980s before there was information widely available to the general public about gut health or the importance of using probiotics to restore after taking antibiotics. I believe this contributed to my emotional dysregulation as a child. I’ve spent the better part of the last two years during and now after withdrawing from psych meds also working actively to heal my gut with homemade fermented foods and I believe it has made a substantial contribution to my recovery. I would encourage others, especially those who have had chronic exposures to antibiotics, to try a gut healing diet protocol.
The only criticism I have to this article is that it suggests talk therapy to heal IBS and other functional gut disorders when what is actually needed is a diet change and a change in bacterial colonization. I have heard others also suggest that treatment of IBS should be relegated to psychotherapy and psychiatry and I find that disheartening. What we need is more nutritional counseling and less head shrinking.