Monday, February 17, 2014

Anxiety and food

I learnt from this article that possible reasons for anxiety after eating includes physical sensations from food, such as light-headedness, heart palpitations and indigestion; something within the gut activated by the food; acid reflux; and so on. I remember a few times I experienced mild heart palpitations after eating a full meal of oatmeal for breakfast in the morning, and I think it was probably due to the carbohydrates, sugar and sodium as mentioned in the article. (Oatmeal happens to be my favourite dish as it is tasty and healthy, and I would eat it once a week on average, usually on a weekend morning.) I would then sit or lie down for about an hour or so and wait for the food to digest and I usually feel better after that. I have been avoiding coffee or tea or other beverages that contain caffeine, so nowadays I don't experience palpitations often, unlike in the past, thankfully.

On a similar note, I was googling about natural remedies for anxiety caused by the gut after eating, and came across some related articles on this topic - here's sharing a couple of them with you too, which may be useful as a reference or reminder.

"The gut is home to about 1,000 trillion bacteria. The gut also contains around 100 million nerve cells (neurons), more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system. This multitude of neurons in the enteric nervous system enables us to "feel" the inner world of our gut and its contents.
Neurons in the gut also use serotonin to signal back to the brain - and 95% of all serotonin in the body is in the gut. About 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain.

Generally when people think of "gut feelings," they are thinking about instinctive-like reactions such as the "butterflies" or "hollow feelings" one may get due to fear, bad news or an upcoming daunting task. Now it is apparent that other serious conditions may originate at least partially in the gut. Maintaining a healthy digestive system, including a healthy intestinal flora mix, could be a key in helping to prevent and control such conditions."

Learn more:
"When you first start re-introducing good bacteria in your gut through eating more cultured, fermented foods and taking a therapeutic grade probiotic, you’ll probably notice what’s called “die-off” symptoms. Headaches, dizziness, fever, nausea, and other mild cold-like symptoms are all natural parts of experiencing die-off. Basically, as your newly introduced good bacteria start out-competing the bad bacteria already present in your system, the bad bacteria start dying off. When they die off, they produce toxins. Normally, your body is able to eliminate these toxins without you experiencing any symptoms. However, when a radical shift in gut flora takes place, the bad bacteria die off in such large quantities that your body can’t effectively eliminate the toxins created in the die-off. So, you’ll experience the die-off effects, also known as a Herxheimer Reaction.

Don’t worry! The die-off symptoms won’t last long at all, and on the other side of them you’ll be feeling better than ever. And, if this new study is any indication (which I believe it is), you’ll have happier and more balanced moods, too."

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