What Exactly are Mood Swings?
A mood swing is an extreme, rapid change in mood. It can happen anytime and anywhere, and the duration can vary. They may last a few hours or several days to a few weeks. For most people who experience mood swings, a range of emotional ups and downs are typically mild to moderate. Episodes may also alternate from depression to euphoria such as in the condition called manic depression.
Signs of an oncoming mood disorder may include changes in energy level, concentration, sleep patterns, and self-esteem. The cause has been touted as having a brain or chemical imbalance that can be treated with a pharmaceutical drug. However, neuroscience hasn’t yet been able to describe what a balanced brain actually looks like. So, how are they able to assess one or even claim that these drugs will work?
In most cases, psychiatric symptoms are just that. Symptoms! They are signs that the mind and body are struggling. The prescribed drugs may suppress the symptoms, but they unfortunately do nothing to address the real reasons for feeling moody. Besides, nearly half of antidepressants don’t even work. Some of these so-called medicines also cause tragic thoughts of suicide. So, what actually causes mood swings, and how can it be treated effectively? Your gut plays an important role in this matter. Learn more by continuing to read this article.
How Mood Swings are Linked to Gut Health
Your body is extremely intelligent, and it will let you know when things aren’t working quite right. Whether it be mood swings or other symptoms, this is a warning sign that you need to make quick changes for wellness. Else, your body will continue down the path of more illness.
When it comes to mood swings, inflammation is most likely the culprit as it is the primary driving force of chronic illness. When inflammation occurs, many different immune cells get to work in protecting the body. They release inflammatory mediators which cause the narrow blood vessels in the tissue to expand, allowing more blood to reach and heal the injured or infected site. Once triggered, inflammation is highly self-perpetuating. When this inflammatory process is constantly activated, the body recognizes it as familiar. Inflammation transfers information to the nervous system, typically through the stimulation of major nerves which links the gut and brain. Your gut is the gatekeeper of the inflammatory response because the majority of your immune system resides in your gut.
Mood disorders, such as depression, are nonspecific symptoms on chronic illness. This is most likely due to an unhealthy inflammatory condition that is being driven by cortisol dysfunction that stems from an unhealthy gut or immune system. This gut-brain connection is good news because it warns you that something is wrong so that you can make quick changes. It starts with healing the gut with lifestyle behaviors such as diet. This can be done simply and means that you don’t need drugs to heal your moods. Your gut will do it naturally.
Relieve Moodiness by Fixing Your Gut Health
Your gut microbiota is central to the development and maturation of your nervous system, and your microbial signature began as early as birth if your mother gave birth to you vaginally. The vaginal microbiota is extremely important for the start of life, and this is why vaginal birth is so important for babies.
Your gut microbiota – also your immune system – produces relevant levels of neurotransmitters which are, in part, responsible for much of your health. This includes brain health. The microbes of the gut microbiota interact with the gut-brain axis through several pathways, and you can heal your moods by making two important changes for your gut health.
STAY AWAY FROM PROCESSED FOODS
Neuropeptides are important mediators within the nervous system, as well as between neurons and other cell types. They play a role in the bidirectional gut-brain communication. In this capacity, they influence the activity of the gut microbiota and its interaction with the gut-brain axis. Because the gut needs to maintain homeostasis with its extensive microbe community, it communicates with other organs in the body – including the brain.
The gut-brain communication system is relevant for a number of vital functions involving food. This interaction helps the body to find appropriate food and assimilate it for metabolic survival. It also distinguishes between good and toxic food, thereby sorting them accordingly.
Apart from operating as neurotransmitters, many biologically active peptides also function as gut hormones. Some of these neuropeptides control the impact of the gut microbiota on inflammatory processes, pain, brain function, and behavior.
EAT FOODS HIGH IN TRYPTOPHAN
Certain foods can heal the gut microbiota, and the gut microbiota is important to tryptophan metabolism, the precursor to serotonin production. Nearly 95 percent of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and wellbeing, is produced by gut cells. Serotonin is also linked to the regulation of gastrointestinal secretion, motility, and pain perception. At the same time, it also regulates cognition and mood in the brain. Following are a few foods high in tryptophan:
Nourish and Protect Your Gut Microbiome
You can save yourself from mood swings by treating, nourishing, and protecting your gut microbiome. In addition to emotional roller-coasters, inflammation in the brain can cause changes in vision, speech, cognition, as well as other mental processes including irritability, anxiety, and depression. By eating a diet full of tryptophan rich foods, you can heal your gut which will relieve your mood swings. To encourage a good start on your gut health, you may also want to include dietary supplements that include a digestive enzyme and super rich probiotic:
To learn more about your gut microbiome and how you can heal it, you may want to read Protecting Your Microbiome for Better Gut Health and 17 Probiotic Foods to Strengthen Your Gut Microbiome.