Those of us who have IBD know we are stressed out. Getting the diagnosis is one the most stressful days in our lives. Psychologically, I had a hard time accepting I had a gut disease and a very serious one. I knew my life would change and that stressed me out. My whole family was stressed out. I was making myself sick with worry, so I finally had to get a prescription for Xanax while finding a path to a new attitude. It’s so cliché, but how we choose to internalize our stress is a choice. ok, ok, but I had a hard time believing this It took me 6 months to pull myself out of my depression and make a commitment to do something before the disease ruled my life.
Like many of us, we experience two kinds of stress related to our bowels. Some folks have only a sense of urgency when stressed, others have a sense of urgency ALL the time. I had the double whammy. Stressful situations often hit me hard and as my disease progressed, I felt a sense of urgency all the time with bad diarrhea. At some point, IBDers are in the bathroom all the time. It’s the first thing you look for in a theatre or new building – you plan your route. I urge you to click on one of my links to a book called – The Second Brain, by Michael Gershon, M.D if your Gastroenterologist hasn’t already recommended it. It will explain in detail how our gut has a mind of its own.
But, here’s something I never realized before: my gut ecology was also causing me a lot of anxiety and stress. Maybe that’s why IBD’s are on the rise and so are anti-depressants ?! . I think I started to figure it all out after finally getting my IBD and health under control – I now feel relaxed and unstressed in a way I’ve never felt before. I am happier and non reactive, even while having major marital and career issues. I don’t have to run to the bathroom out now when stressed – this is a major change. In retrospect, I didn’t know how bad I was feeling, until I felt better.
The more I research, the more I understand that biology had a lot to do with my moods and periodic depressions . Vitamin B and Serotonin is produced in the gut and processed but those with of us with IBD, our intestinal villi is compromised. So it makes me wonder just how much nutrition, serotonin and vitamins was I getting ? Let’s see what Serotonin and B vitamins do:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Here’s what Vitamins do in our bodies:
Vitamins, which are organic substances found in plant and animal sources, help our bodies function properly. They’re crucial to the activities of our cells, our organs, immune systems and general energy supply. They may even help ward off cancer.
What exactly does that mean, though, to consume vitamins? What happens when we swallow foods containing vitamin molecules? How do we absorb them in order to reap their healthful effects?
Well, that depends on the type of vitamin we’re talking about. There are two kinds: fat-soluble and water-soluble.
In terms of overall digestion, what’s going on is pretty standardized. The digestive tract starts at the mouth; there, we chew food and drench it in saliva to begin the process of breaking it down into pieces small enough for our bodies to absorb. That food moves through the esophagus into the stomach, where molecules of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and other nutrients are further broken down, usually by stomach acids. The nutrients then move to the small intestine, the large intestine (colon), the rectum, and finally the anus, from which the remaining, non-nutritional matter is expelled.
The small intestine is where vitamin absorption happens (along with most other types of absorption). Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C, have “active transports” for absorption — molecules that pick them up in the small intestine, in a section called the jejunum, which is located about midway through. These transports carry the vitamin molecules through the intestine’s cell walls and deposit them in the body, where they can enter the bloodstream. Because they dissolve in water, they don’t require stomach acids to enable absorption; this also means they leave the body every day in your urine, so you need to consume these vitamins every day in order to maintain a full supply.
The B vitamins are also water-soluble and need to be replenished every day, although their absorption works a bit differently. They’re bound to proteins and therefore require a protein breakdown triggered by stomach acids. Absorption of most of the B vitamins happens further down in the small intestine, in the ileum.
The other type of vitamin, the fat-soluble ones such as A, D, E and K, need to dissolve in fat before they can make it into the body. The process requires fat-digesting bile acids that come from the liver and live in the small intestine. When the bile acids break down the fat the vitamins are dissolved in, the vitamins move with the fat through the intestinal wall, into the body, and finally end up in the liver and in body fat, where they’re stored until they’re needed (much like fat).
Reprinted from Discovery Health and Fitness:
- How Does Digestion Work and How Can I Improve Mine? WHFoods.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=16#vitamins
- Nutritional Aspects of Fish: Vitamins. BIM.http://www.bim.ie/templates/text_content.asp?node_id=750
- Vitamins and Minerals. TeensHealth.http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/vitamins_minerals.html
- Water Soluble Vitamins vs. Fat Soluble Vitamins. MedicineNet.http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10736
- Your Digestive System and How It Works. National Digestive Diseases International Clearinghouse.http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd
Reprinted from August 2004. Evelyn F. Crayton, Extension Assistant Director for Family and Community Programs, Professor, Nutrition and Food Science, Auburn University
- Help the body use energy from food.
- Keep the nerves in good condition.
- Keep the skin healthy.
- Are found in a variety of foods.
- Are water soluble.
B1 also known as thiamine:
- Helps the nerves.
- Helps the appetite.
- Helps the body digest food.
Not enough thiamine in the diet will eventually lead to a condition called beriberi (inflammation and degeneration of the nervous system, the digestive system, and the heart). Clinical signs of deficiencies include:
- Mental confusion.
- Anorexia (loss of appetite).
- Muscular weakness.
- Ataxia (uncoordinated voluntary muscle movement).
- Peripheral paralysis.
- Ophthalmoplegia (paralysis of the eye muscles).
- Edema (wet beriberi).
- Muscle wasting (dry beriberi).
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat).
- Enlarged heart.
B2 also known as riboflavin:
- Keeps the skin healthy.
- Keeps the eyes healthy.
- Helps the body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These give you energy.
Without enough riboflavin in the diet, lesions may occur. Clinical signs of deficiencies include:
- Cheilosis (cracks in the corner of the mouth, scaley lips).
- Angular stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth).
- Scrotal and vulval skin changes.
- Seborrheic dermatitis (oily skin problems).
- Normocytic anemia (reduced numbers of normal red blood cells).
B6 also known as pyridoxine:
- Helps the body use protein; assists in protein metabolism.
- Helps the body make blood cells.
In adults, dietary deprivation of vitamin B6 may cause:
B12 also known as cyanocobalamin:
- Helps the body grow.
- Maintains health in patients with pernicious anemia.
Dietary deficiency of B12 is rare. Clinical signs of deficiency include:
- Sore tongue.
- Demyelination of the spinal cord and brain and the optic and peripheral nerves (the loss of sheath tissue which normally covers the nerve fibers).
- Keeps the skin healthy.
- Keeps the tongue healthy.
- Keeps the nerves in good condition.
- Participates in many metabolic processes, including fat synthesis, tissue respiration, and the breakdown of carbohydrates to produce energy.
A niacin deficiency results in:
- Pellagra (dermatitis, inflammation of the mucous membrane).
- Dementia (confusion, apathy).
- Builds blood cells.
- Works with B12
- Prevents anemia in pregnancy
- Makes new cells for developing babies
- Supplements are often recommended during pregnancy
Not enough folic acid may result in
- Birth defects of the spinal cord
- Red and sore tongue
- Reduced sense of taste