MIAMI – A new study is creating greater understanding about the link between gut health and mental health.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Michelle Pearlman with Prime Institute said among other things, the study found higher levels of certain bacteria in those who reported more negative emotions.
“Our brain has incredible impact on our gut and our gut includes our stomach and our intestines so when people have abdominal pain or gastrointestinal symptoms they say ‘what’s going on with my stomach?’ But many times it’s what’s going on with our emotions,” Pearlman said.
The focus now is on expanding the research to develop micro biome based therapeutics that could ultimately improve emotional health.
And on the heels of the surgeon general’s warning this week about the impact of social media on the mental health of children and teens, experts are underscoring the importance of creating ‘digital boundaries’, especially when a child is acting up.
“When parents use screen time to calm a child’s emotions what they’re actually doing is teaching themselves that it works opposed to teaching a child that they can manage their own feelings,” said Dr. Michael Manos, a pediatric psychiatrist with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.
Manos said if children don’t learn how to manage their emotions and identify their feelings, it can lead to inappropriate social expression later in life.