This blog post follows on from my post about leaky gut...leaky brain. Below are a few tips on how to support the blood brain barrier.
1. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet by eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, oily fish, nuts and seeds, healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, grass fed meats, organic eggs, whole grains if tolerated, herbs and spices.
2. Balance blood glucose levels by avoiding sugars and eating balanced meals of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
3. Reduce stress by:
4. Try some brain training or crosswords - this will support your overall brain health.
If you experience digestive symptoms, food sensitivities or allergies, this may be an indication of imbalanced bacteria in your gut and of ‘leaky gut’ which is related to ‘leaky brain’. A nutritional therapist can help with this and also has access to stool testing for evaluation.
If all this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry...we have many tools to assist and improve our brain function.
With a step by step nutritional approach, we can find the root cause of your symptoms and you can transform your health by re-balancing the gut-brain connection.
In the words of Dr Tom O’Bryan - one of the world’s leading functional medicine doctors….
“You Can Fix Your Brain”
The brain and gut are linked by our central nervous system (CNS) which polices the molecules in our blood stream and allows certain permitted substances (such as oxygen, hormones and specific chemical messengers) to enter the brain. It also prohibits unwanted and potentially damaging particles from crossing the brain barrier - including viruses, toxins and damaging chemicals.
The aptly named Blood Brain Barrier is formed of a single layer of cells. The integrity of this layer can be disrupted by various influences including:
Signs & symptoms of leaky brain?
For information about how you can support your gut and your brain see my next blog post... How to support the brain barrier
I am often asked why I am so passionate about nutritional therapy so I thought I'd share how my journey to becoming a nutritional therapist started with my own health challenges.
From childhood I was treated with antibiotics for constant ear infections. I had severe food allergies, eczema, hay-fever and if that wasn’t enough traumatic orthodontic treatment. Eventually I was knocked off my feet by a glandular fever type virus in my teens.
I slept constantly but never regained wellness and 8 years later was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. By the time I reached my early twenties, I had to stop working, and was struggling to function at the most basic level.
With treatment I did recover enough to return to work and threw myself into an exciting but stressful career. But this lifestyle was not sustainable and after a serious infection, a bereavement and car crash, all in the space of a few months, my body finally had enough. I crashed like never before.
The doctors did not know why my treatment was failing, the medications made me feel worse. When I asked for explanations, what I could do to help, why something improved or worsened my symptoms, I was met with no response.
My journey to wellness started when I went to see a functional doctor and nutritional therapist, who, for the first time listened to my story and explained what was happening, and most importantly, why.
A functional stool test revealed that my beneficial gut bacteria had been completely eliminated by all the antibiotics I had taken decades before and my immune system was compromised. I addressed this imbalance and over time I started to feel better. I changed my diet and my symptoms started to reduce. Eventually, I recovered enough to study nutrition.
An important point in my studies was realising that I needed to listen to my body. The more I listened, the more my body talked. I changed both diet and lifestyle. With time the crippling fatigue, foggy brain, digestive complaints, insomnia and the endless list of CFS symptoms disappeared.
The functional medicine approach and functional testing has allowed me to look further to find the root causes of my conditions. Investigations, including genetic testing have allowed me to focus on repair and rebuilding. I am now working to prevent the autoimmune conditions that run in my family.
The journey I have experienced has been in many ways indescribable. Yet, it has led me to the most exciting and fulfilling vocation I could have ever imagined.
I am passionate about helping others achieve similar results and I have developed a desire for knowledge, education and learning that I could not have imagined just a few years ago. The emerging research in this area I find mind blowing and I constantly want to know more to enable me to help others.
I am a Nutritional Therapist based in Macclesfield, Cheshire. I work with people with a wide variety of symptoms and conditions.