A new approach to treating children’s mental health: Focus on gut health

When a child has behavioural or emotional problems, the established route is to seek the help of a therapist. While talking about difficulties can be very helpful, it is not the only key to good mental health.

In the past, the brain and the body have been treated as completely separate spheres. The dividing line between the body and the brain (the blood/brain barrier) was assumed to be completely impermeable, so how could the body affect the brain?

Recent neuroscientific discoveries have, however, shown this assumption to be false.

The blood brain barrier is, in fact, permeable, with the immune system, toxins and excitatory foodstuffs capable of crossing it. In fact, some 60-80 per cent of the chemicals in our brains (‘neurotransmitters’) are manufactured in our guts. We now understand that the gut biome plays a pivotal role in healthy brain functioning.

Treating behavioural and emotional difficulties without treating the body, appears increasingly outdated.

The problem with psychiatric medications

Children suffering from hyperactivity, depression or anxiety continue to be routinely prescribed brain altering medications in the complete absence of any scientific biomarkers, on a ‘trial and error’ basis.

The drugs suppress symptoms, rather than treat underlying causes and the risks are significant. Potential side effects include stunted physical growth, personality changes, dependency problems and even increased risk of depression.

While fast-acting medications may be necessary in the short term, longer term, surely a more enlightened approach would be to improve brain functioning from the body up?

A healthy gut is a healthy mind

A good place to start is gut health. An unhealthy gut biome directly impacts behaviour, interfering with neurotransmitter production, releasing neurotoxins and causing brain altering inflammation. A simple gut health programme may be all that is needed to improve mood/behaviour.

For others, particularly those diagnosed with ADHD or autism, difficulty digesting gluten and milk results in morphine-like molecules, crossing into the brain, causing hyperactive behaviour. Eliminating these substances from the diet can be a game-changer.

Healthy food to improve gut health
A simple gut health programme may be all that is needed to improve mood/behaviour.

A game-changing way to rebalance neurotransmitters without using medications

Perhaps most excitingly, we now hold the keys to being able to rebalance brain chemicals without drugs. The Walsh Institute’s ground-breaking work identifies specific biochemical imbalances in the body which produce brain imbalances, making us more depressed, anxious, hyperactive or aggressive/violent.

Most importantly, these imbalances can be tested for and treated using highly targeted vitamin/mineral supplementation, called ‘Nutrient Therapy’.

The success rates are better than for many drugs and without the side effects or cost (70-90% efficacy rates).

Walsh Nutrient Therapy Supplements for mental health
Walsh Nutrient Therapy is highly effective for treating mental health

Walsh also identifies five distinct biotypes of depression, rather than one, each with

a different biochemistry, requiring different treatment. This is why the ‘one size fits all’ approach of SSRI antidepressants only works for 38 per cent of the population, while proving dangerous for some, fuelling a suicidal depression or rage. Interestingly, 18 out of the last 20 school shootings in the US, the teenagers involved were taking SSRIs, including the recent shooting at Gilroy.

None of these children were tested to ascertain their depression biotype prior

to receiving their prescription. As numbers of childhood mental health problems continue to rise, it is heartening that new science is providing us with the key to more effective, cheaper, less risky options for helping them to get better, without recourse to drugs.

“It is nothing short of a miracle what you’ve achieved with our son over such a short time and I know that we’ve really only just started. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

It’s staggering really how little is really known and understood about all of this. Having seen our son wrongly medicated I can really appreciate some of the more scary stats about consequences as we’ve almost been there. I’m spreading the word as widely as I can!” - Clare, Mother of 18 year old son, October 2021

Contact us today to find out how we can help your child's mental health.

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