Gut/Brain Axis: Health, Anxiety and Brain Fog
In this course, you will learn personalized lifestyle medicine strategies for improving intestinal wall integrity—specifically with the use of targeted dietary and lifestyle interventions—including nutrigenomic approaches, “behaviorceuticals” (physical activities that improve mental health), and targeted prebiotics and probiotics.
Sara Gottfried, MD
AIHM 2019 Annual Conference
Time to Complete
1 hr 15 min
What you will learn
Previously overlooked, we now know that the 100 trillion gut microbes of healthy people influence their wellbeing in substantial ways. Those bugs and their DNA vary from one healthy person to another and from one unhealthy person to another. Meanwhile, as practitioners, we are witnessing an epidemic rise in the incidence of inflammatory conditions associated with the gut-brain axis dysfunction, including anxiety and brain fog.
Developing research shows these conditions are associated with an imbalance (dysbiosis) in the gut microbiome and often increased intestinal permeability. There is constant talk between the gut and brain: Some of it travels along the vagus nerve, and some of it travels in the blood, especially via nutrients, hormones, proteins, peptides, and inflammatory messengers like antibodies and cytokines. The good news is that while abnormal gut microbiota can lead to dysfunction of the brain body and cause brain symptoms like anxiety and brain fog, correcting perturbations in gut health is an emerging strategy to address such symptoms.
Currently, the lifetime risk of anxiety is 30 percent, and higher in women. Mainstream medicine taught us that anxiety is a response to perceived threat, whereas depression is a response to perceived harm or loss. For decades, anxiety has been treated with benzodiazepines, in an effort to mask symptoms, and occasionally with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or a new generation of similar pharmaceuticals. Turns out that a more accurate characterization is that these conditions are manifestations of a gut/brain axis that is out of homeostasis. There are five key ways that dysbiotic gut flora can promote anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline: by making your gut wall leaky, by manipulating your stress response (and therefore your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal/thyroid/ gonadal axes), by disrupting your immune response, by causing chronic inflammation in the body and brain (neuroinflammtion), and by producing harmful peptides and other chemical messengers. In this interactive presentation, you will learn personalized lifestyle medicine strategies for improving intestinal wall integrity—specifically with the use of targeted dietary and lifestyle interventions—including nutrigenomic approaches, “behaviorceuticals” (physical activities that improve mental health), and targeted prebiotics and probiotics.By the end of this course, learners will be able to:
- Identify the normal and abnormal function of the gut-brain axis and how it impacts the immune and central nervous system, particularly the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-thyroid-gonadal (HPATG) axis.
- Recognize the role of the gut microbiome, dysbiosis, and intestinal permeability in stress, mood, an overactive HPATG, anxiety, and brain fog.
- Review evidence-based strategies for improving the gut-brain axis with a more integrative approach that incorporates nutrigenomics, food plan, psychobiotics, behaviorceuticals, and other microbiome-based systematic approaches.
Certificate of Completion
Included in this course
Sara Gottfried, MD
Faculty Disclosures: Employer - Metagenics; Consultant - WelleCO; Other Financial/Material Support - Gottfried Institute
Sara Gottfried MD is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and author of three New York Times bestsellers, including The Hormone Cure, The Hormone Reset Diet, and Younger. Dr. Gottfried graduated from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed residency at UCSF in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Gottfried Institute, based in Berkeley, CA.
Physicians earn a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. The subscription period for this CME-eligible course is until June 24, 2022.
All other healthcare professionals completing this activity will be issued a certificate of participation. Physicians should claim only those credits that reflect the time actually spent in the activity. To successfully earn credit, participants must review the content and complete the activity evaluation, followed by the post-test online during the subscription period. After the subscription period, you will continue to have access to your purchased content, however you will no longer be able to claim CME credits for your participation in the course.
This course is self-paced with no set beginning or end date. You may complete this course on your own schedule and pace. Enrolling in and purchasing this course grants you access to its contents in perpetuity.