GUT BRAIN THERAPY
WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT EVOLVED
By Tom Staverosky
Gut Brain Therapy is an innovative approach to migraine prevention that is based on the belief that the protein metabolism cycles of the body, particularly those cycles that produce neurotransmitters and hormones are "malnourished". We believe that underlying dysfunction in the digestive and elimination systems of the body results in the body not being able to make all the necessary neurotransmitters and hormones in the proper balance at the proper times.
The body's reaction to these "malnourished" protein metabolism cycles results in the pain and suffering we see in migraine patients. Gut Brain Therapy treats this root cause with our Migraine Combo which is a combination of our ForeverWell Foundation Formula and ForeverWell Renew Formula.
Foundation Formula uses predigested whole foods containing high levels of small chain peptides to address the digestive dysfunction side of the problems while Renew Formula is a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs and micronutrients to address the elimination dysfunction side of the issue. You will also be pleased to learn that Gut Brain Therapy is complementary and synergistic with the various pharmaceutical and natural products you may currently be using to address your migraine disease.
Gut Brain Therapy incorporates the best of both worlds in that the research that supports our philosophy is contained in both the traditional healing systems of alternative/natural medicine as well as leading edge, university based medical research in the exciting new field of neurogastroenterology also known as the enteric nervous system or the gut brain.
Most migraine sufferers are already aware that there are gastrointestinal components to migraine as many deal with food triggers, nausea, constipation, irritable bowel etc. However in the past these have all been considered part of the symptoms of migraine rather than an indication of a potential root cause.
We have always known that the gut is responsible for digesting the food we eat into nutrients that can be absorbed to feed all the cells of the body. Medical research has also shown that some 70-80% of the body's immune function occurs in the gut. Now the gut brain research is showing that there is an immense neurological component to the digestive system.
Some of the key facts from the neurogastroenterology research will point to the possibilities offered by Gut Brain Therapy:
- 95% of the body's serotonin, the target of migraine abortive triptan drugs as well as antidepressants like Prozac, is made in the gut.
- The enteric nervous system, or gut brain, operates independently of direction from the head brain. It is a complex system that orchestrates the various organs of digestion demanding the production of digestive enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters etc.
- There are more nerve cells in the gut brain than there are in the spinal column.
- Autopsies conducted on Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients reveal specific brain damage indicative of each disease. Identical damage is discovered in the neurological tissue of the gut brain. This suggests that if you have a problem in your head you have a problem in your gut.
Now let's examine how the healing philosophies of natural/alternative medicine complement the gut brain research. A close look at the various traditional healing methods such as classic naturopathic medicine, Chinese medicine and most of the shamanic traditions, reveals some common threads. They believe that chronic disease, including migraine, is the result of the breakdown of normal function in the body, and the principal role of the doctor is assisting the patient in returning the body to normal function rather than the treatment of symptoms.
This rather simplistic philosophy honors the wisdom of the body and inspires the doctor to utilize products and modalities that work with the body. It assumes the body is an intelligent organism that is not only capable of healing itself, but is also constantly trying to do so. Therefore, working with the body will stimulate better results than trying to outsmart the body by treating symptoms.
Within natural and traditional medicine there are a variety of beliefs as to why the normal function of the body breaks down. Environmental toxins, dietary choices, nutrient depletion of our soils, the denatured condition of the protein in most of our processed foods, use of antibiotics, physical and emotional stress, and sedentary lifestyles are a short list of reasons why normal function begins to deteriorate.
For a variety of reasons we became very intrigued by the possibilities opened by this simplistic, yet intuitive view of disease in the body. In consultations with leading naturopathic physicians we realized that, in most cases, the breakdown of normal function occurs in two principal areas. Either the body is not getting something that it needs, which is a combination of dietary choices and good digestive function, or the body is not removing the waste products and toxins, which is the role of the filtering system of the body, principally liver and kidney.
We theorized that if we designed a state of the art nutritional supplement to support and improve digestive function (ForeverWell Foundation Formula) and another to improve liver/kidney function (ForeverWell Renew Formula) and applied them to migraine disease we could help many sufferers.
During our investigation it became clear that the principle result of the breakdown of good digestive function is the body is not efficient in digesting and absorbing protein. This becomes dramatically important when you realize that protein in its various forms (amino acids and peptides) is critically important to almost every function in the body. Thus we concluded that the protein metabolism cycles of the body that produce neurotransmitters and hormones were compromised or "malnourished".
Gut Brain Therapy is the result of the careful study of ancient healing traditions combined with leading-edge, university based medical research. We believe it is the first example of a new way of treating migraine and other neurological and gastrointestinal conditions. This new approach honors the wisdom of the body and incorporates research proving the existence of the enteric nervous system, the brain in our gut.