We talk a lot about using amino acid therapy to help correct underlying neurotransmitter imbalances to help people overcome trichotillomania and other disorders related to neurotransmitter imbalance, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD/ADHD, migraines, obesity, fibromyalgia and insomnia. However, recent research has shown that you may be able to fine-tune your neurotransmitter levels by using the right combination of probiotics.
Probiotics – good for your (brain) health
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that normally reside in your gut. It is known that if these bacteria become imbalanced in some way (due to illness, improper diet or toxin exposure), a condition called “dysbiosis” results, which can have many dire consequences including decreased immunity, improper immune function, food allergies, inflammation, indigestion and numerous other physical disorders. However, until recently it was not known that these bacteria can also generate neurotransmitters that can also affect your brain, impacting your mental and emotional states.
Researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center found that the following bacteria can produce neurotransmitters in the gut:
|Escherichia, Bacillus, Saccharomyces||Norepinephrine|
|Candida, Streptococcus, Escherichia, Enterococcus||Serotonin|
This could mean that the microbial balance in your gut could be a key player in improving and maintaining your neurotransmitter levels, and therefore alleviating the urge to pull. It also provides more scientific evidence for something that we routinely see in the clinic – that many people with gastrointestinal disorders develop or have one or more disorders related to neurotransmitter imbalance and that correctly the underlying gastrointestinal disorder is imperative to long-term recovery. Think of it like this – the gastrointestinal disorder (like IBS, Crohn’s disease, food allergies or Celiac’s disease) is like a hole in a bucket, causing neurotransmitter levels to decline (or become imbalanced). In order to fill the bucket back up (using amino acid therapy) over time, you have to first fix the whole.
Certain gastrointestinal disorders create neurotransmitter imbalances through inflammatory, immune or genetic influences. This research provides another potential way to explain, and address, the resulting neurotransmitter dysfunction. Obviously, more research needs to be done to define just how this can be useful in real life, but for now, it seems logical that anyone that suffers from trich or other disorders associated with neurotransmitter imbalance must heal any underlying gut issues while restoring proper neurotransmitter balance using amino acid therapy to achieve long term success.