Can looking after our gut health have a positive impact when dealing with eating disorders?
Research suggests it can! This article highlights there is growing evidence of the gut microbiota influencing the progression of eating disorders (EDs) suggesting that the gut microbiota influences several different neural, hormonal and nervous systems, that all contribute to psychological and physiological changes such as stress, irregular feeding behaviours and dysregulated appetite control. The article states that gut microbiome-targeted treatments such as prebiotic and probiotic supplementation can be used alongside other available treatments such as nutritional rehabilitation and refeeding. ED patients can experience GI symptoms during treatment, such as nausea, early satiety and abdominal pain, therefore, improving these symptoms with the help of supplementation could increase the effectiveness of treatment and in turn, recovery. Pre/probiotics have also been shown to improve psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression, showing further benefits of using them alongside conventional treatment. So what does this all mean? That gut health matters when dealing with eating disorders and this review shines a light on the importance of it. This leaves exciting and promising insights into future treatment of EDs through optimising the gut microbiota. If you're interested in reading the full article, click here!