Victoria's Anxiety (06:00)
Victoria has chronic anxiety disorder but also started having constipation and gut pains. She believes the gut problems were caused by treatment for her anxiety. Dr. Joanna McMillan is hoping she can use nutrition science to help Victoria.
Victoria's Diet (04:34)
McMillan is hoping to alter Victoria's gut microbiome to improve her mental health. Victoria eats very little with almost no variety because of fear about creating gut problems. Research has shown connections between gut problems and mental health.
The Gut and the Brain (03:00)
The gut contains the enteric nervous system, which gives it functions similar to the brain. The vagus nerve is the main connection between the gut and brain, but gut bacteria also communicate via hormones.
Victoria's Microbiome (05:27)
McMillan creates a genetic map of Victoria's gut bacteria. Her low food intake is causing her microbiome to feed off itself more than usual. Her diversity in bacteria is very low.
Victoria's Diet Plan (07:09)
McMillan is worried added stress is going to make creating better eating habits even harder for Victoria. McMillan is hoping to go with a Mediterranean diet because of its links to positive mental health. McMillan goes shopping with Victoria to pick food she feels comfortable eating.
Start of Diet (03:30)
Victoria starts the first day of her diet and enjoys the first meal but starts having gut problems. The problems continue for the first two weeks and Victoria is worried it will not improve her symptoms.
Microbiome and Depression (04:24)
An Irish study has soon people with depression have less diversity in their microbiome than people without it. There is evidence that childhood stress, like Victoria had, can permanently damage the microbiome.
Diet and Anxiety (04:45)
McMillan knows the Mediterranean diet is not enough to help Victoria. She takes her to a meditation class to help her anxiety. McMillan tries to figure out if Victoria's diet or anxiety is causing her gut pain.
Victoria's Improvements (05:54)
Four weeks into the diet, Victoria is diversifying her diet and found a new job, which has reduced her stress. McMillan takes Victoria to the lab so she can better understand her microbiome.
Victoria's Stress Reduction (02:42)
Victoria tries yoga as a way to reduce stress and gut pain. Yoga has been linked to reducing anxiety.
Victoria's Progress (09:02)
After six weeks, McMillan has Victoria's microbiome retested. Her bacteria are more diverse, healthier, and better at handling different foods. She starts going to gut related hypnotherapy.
Credits: Victoria's Story (00:30)
Credits: Victoria's Story
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