I’ve got the bug …

I always have had … the ‘need to know’ bug.

But this time – following my ‘need to know’ I came up with more than I expected. brain

Lets start with dementia. As you may know from other blogs, my lovely, extremely intelligent mother is suffering from Dementia.

Now this is like saying a forest is made of trees; there are different types of dementia – and the most well known (to the general public – as the ‘face’ of dementia) is Alzheimers. Too often the term Dementia is substituted for the term Alzheimers … causing confusion. For example the headline ‘Breakthrough in treatment of Dementia’ turned out to be a drug which, if caught very early, slows down Alzheimers. It wouldn’t do anything for vascular dementia which is caused by a narrowing and blocking of the small blood vessels in the brain – causing the brain cells they served to die from lack of oxygen – like lots of mini-strokes.

Well, this isn’t a blog about dementia – but it is an explanation of why and how I got interested in reading about how we can support our brain – to help keep it as healthy as possible because, and I do not need to tell anyone who has had a family member suffer from any form of dementia, losing your brain function looks like a living hell – and if I can do anything to stop myself from following that path I want to know about it.

Now, when I support anything like this I need to temper it with ‘that which makes sense to me’ – that is, the me that has always been a bit of scientist, the me that likes to question, the me that has, at base, my own sense of ‘common-sense’ – call it a GUT FEELING about things – if you like.

bacteriaSo when I read an article which cited a book by a neurologist who had ‘jumped  ship’ and was saying that what happens in your gut was very important for your brain health – I was interested. I read a bit more – learnt a bit more  – then bought his book ‘Brain Maker – the power of gut microbes to heal and protect your brain – for life’

I read the book slowly, checking out the references to the scientific papers cited throughout. It made sense. It chimed with many of my own observations over the years. It linked into other ‘new’ science I have been reading about lately – epigenetics. Moreover, though Dr Perlmutter is an American, much of what he recommended as treatment, I had heard of already in the UK* which, oddly enough, was where he’d had to send some of his patients for a treatment (more of this in a later blog) AND he wasn’t trying to sell me anything (apart from the book lol) – in fact his book finished up with old-fashioned recipes for foods to make at home that would help your gut to help your brain! (*some even on TV’s Trust me I’m a Doctor)

So why am I blogging about this? I could merely say – go out and buy this book – I think it is good. Yes, I could – yes, you could. However it is packaged in a strange blend of ‘common-touch’ language and ‘detailed scientific’ language. He wants to tell us everything in each section, so if I was concerned about one aspect or another it was easy to get bogged down in the other aspects touched upon.

I’ve been going through the book and doing something I NEVER do – marking a BOOK! (horror) with different coloured highlighters for the different disorders that he deals with that are affected by the operation of the gut biome. So I’m going to try to blog half-a-dozen or so times about this – each focussing on a different aspect. Then, if you are interested – go and get his book to fully understand and get his recipes – if you want. However, remember – I am not a scientist (as such) or a doctor – in this case, I hope, just to be a faithful interpreter.

These are the sections I intend to separate my blogs out into, though not necessarily in that order.

What the ‘good’ gut bacteria do for us and Inflammation
Auto-Immune conditions
Diabetes / Obesity
Depression / Anxiety disorders / ADHD

 Do any of these interest you more than others?

Any experiences you would like to share – I’d love to hear


Find me on Facebook & Twitter @AnnFoweraker


4 thoughts on “I’ve got the bug …

    • Hi Susi,
      Thank you – maybe I ought to have said that his claims are not mainstream or agreed on more clearly and that I did know that there is division about his opinions … when I said ‘I did some more reading’ this included googling his name and seeing what came up, there was quite a bit of ‘anti’ suggesting quackery. I also googled the names of those most Anti – most also had a line to peddle 🙂 However, I also sought out information suggesting that the gut bacteria were implicated, to various degrees, within conditions – and found enough pro-information (not related to Dr Perlmutter) to take a chance on buying the book.
      I did spot he had ‘stuff for sale’ online – but in the book it isn’t mentioned at all. (generically – a probiotic mix to help re-start your gut bacteria, after antibiotics for instance, is suggested – but, apart from listing the five more beneficial bacteria he does not point at his or anyone else’s products).
      As I said – there are things in here – the gut / brain / allergy /sensitivities connections that I have noticed in real life, that I already suspected through my experiences, or those of people I know. I am, therefore inclined to try cutting down on the gluten and upping the intake of ‘live bacteria cultures’ (read home-grown inexpensive real-foods – fermented) and we shall see. What I am fairly sure of is that it will not do harm. The carb-heavy government-food-regulators recommendation for ‘healthy eating’ did – and does – of that I am sure (in fact they know it too and have started to change their recommendations already (strangely enough, the new recommendations look like the old UK ones we learnt in the 1960s – a much more balanced plate).
      Thank you for bringing this up – I wouldn’t want to be misunderstood.
      Best Ann

  1. Sounds very interesting…I think that the Alzheimers angle is one which we would all like to know about to be able to avoid if possible and actually perhaps a very close second would be the obesity, since that appears to be the threat “du jour” but in general, I suppose it just goes to reiterate that we are what we eat.

    • Hi Christine,
      We are what we eat … or maybe ‘we are also what lives inside us’? After all, I recall when I first understood about mitochondria – they are our cell’s power house – without them we would be nothing – yet in an odd way they are separate – different, their DNA is in a circular shape and their genetics passes down our female line – for instance. It is understood that they were a separate cellular creature at one time – that became part of these larger multi celled organisms who would find the food for them, in return for them releasing the energy.
      So how much easier is it to believe that a looser crowd of organisms which live ‘inside’ us* and create chemicals (and hormones) that affect us (*at the same time ‘outside’ ie in the gut) can be essential to our well-being.
      Finding out will be interesting 🙂
      best Ann

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