10 Nutrients Necessary for Healthy Brain Function and Mood in Lyme Disease

Chronic infections, such as Lyme disease, can disrupt our neurochemistry, the biochemical activity occurring in our nervous system that regulates our cognition, mood, and mental health. Neurotransmitters, chemical messengers of the body that transmit signals from nerve cells to target cells, control neurochemistry. When the delicate neurochemistry of our bodies is disrupted, symptoms such as anxiety, depression, brain fog, mood swings, irritability, and reduced stress tolerance can occur. These are, unfortunately, common symptoms amongst those with Lyme disease. Read on to learn about the nutritional factors that can help balance your neurochemistry, supporting your mental and emotional wellbeing as you recover from Lyme disease.

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Nutritional and Lifestyle Support for Neurological Lyme

Mental health problems are exceedingly common in Lyme disease patients; there are over 340 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles documenting psychiatric symptoms associated with Lyme disease. (ref) A growing body of research indicates that neuropsychiatric symptoms such as sudden-onset panic, depression, anxiety, and anhedonia in Lyme patients have a strong immunological and biochemical basis. As a clinical nutritionist who has personally struggled with Lyme disease and (in the past) serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, I have a deep interest in the use of nutritional and lifestyle interventions for alleviating neurological Lyme symptoms. Read on to learn several of my favorite nutritional andlifestyle strategies for bringing your brain back into balance from Lyme disease.

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A Gut Feeling: The Link Between Your Gut Bacteria and Mental Health

The human brain is a complex organ composed of billions of neurons continuously firing electrical signals that control what we do, think, and feel. However, many people do not realize that the human body also has a “second brain!” This “second brain,” located in the gut, is often overlooked but equally important in regulating our behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Read on to learn about the gut-brain connection and how taking care of your gut can improve your mental health. 

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Can Fermented Foods Improve Mental Health?

Food fermentation is an ancient culinary practice that improves the palatability and nutritional value of foods while also having preservative and medicinal functions. A growing body of research indicates that the gut microbiome plays a key role in mental health, and fermented foods contain beneficial microbes that beneficially influence the health of the microbiome. The consumption of fermented foods may, therefore, be a useful strategy for optimizing mental health. Read on to learn about how probiotics associated with fermented foods may influence brain function and optimize mental and emotional health.

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Mycotoxins, Mood, and Mental Health

Chronic illnesses, such as Lyme disease and mold illness, often lead to concomitant struggles with mental health. A significant proportion of the mental health struggles chronic illness sufferers face is due to the fact that their lives have been turned upside-down by illness. The life changes induced by illness can be emotionally harrowing. However, chronic illness can also affect mental health in a physiological way. I believe that mold illness has an especially strong relationship with mental illness, due to the profound effects mycotoxins have on the brain. 

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