The Gut-Nervous System Connection

Gut brain connection

SIBO, Histamine Intolerance, POTS, and Dysautonomias: The Gut Connection

If you are one of the 70 million people worldwide with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chances are, you are always on the lookout for new solutions to improve your symptoms. I am happy to share that new research has found a connection between your gut health, histamine intolerance, and dysautonomias, including POTS. Dysautonomia or autonomic dysfunction is a condition in which the autonomic nervous system (ANS) does not work properly. This may affect the functioning of the heart, bladder, intestines, sweat glands, pupils, and blood vessels. This means that improving your gut health may also improve your POTS symptoms and increase your overall well-being.

In this article, you will learn how dysautonomias and your gut are connected. You will understand what POTS is and its connection to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and histamine intolerance. Finally, I will offer some natural solutions for histamine intolerance, SIBO, and POTS to help you regain your health and happiness. 

Dysautonomia and Your Gut

Dysautonomia is an umbrella term used for various medical conditions that are related to your autonomic nervous system (ANS). Your ANS is responsible for your body’s automatic functions. These functions include your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, dilation, temperature regulation, and anything else that you don’t have to consciously think about. 

You may wonder how your ANS is related to your gut. Your gut is part of your enteric nervous system (ENS). It is also called your second brain because it affects your entire body, including your immune system, digestion, metabolism, nutrition, physiology, brain, and mental health. Gut bacteria balance is critical for healthy gut function and overall health (1).

Your gut is in constant communication with your central nervous system (CNS) through the vagus nerve and ANS. This phone line between your gut and your CNS is a two-way system. This means that your gut affects your nervous system, while your nervous system influences your gut health. The two are connected and mutually affect each other (2).

Understanding the connection between your gut and your nervous system, you can understand how an unhealthy gut may contribute to neurodegenerative disorders and brain health issues. Different parts of your nervous system are connected through nerves as well. If your enteric nervous system inside your gut experiences imbalance, it affects your autonomic nervous system as well and can lead to chaos all over your body (3).

What Is POTS?

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a common autoimmune disease that affects 70 million worldwide.

Symptoms of POTS include:

  • Increased heart rate (30 beats/minute resting heart rates, increase to 120 or over when standing)
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Shortness of breath

Causes of POTS

The exact cause of dysautonomias is not yet completely understood. While in some cases, they may be inherited, in other cases, they may be the result of a degenerative disease, prolonged inflammatory reactions, injury, or another disease. A recent case report has linked gut health to dysautonomia. The patient with POTS experienced a near full reduction of symptoms after successful treatment for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) (4, 5).

Does this mean that SIBO is connected to dysautonomias and POTS? As you already know, your gut health is strongly connected to your autonomic nervous system. It is only logical to think that SIBO or other gut imbalances can, in fact, contribute to dysautonomia. By treating the gut, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your symptoms of POTS or other types of dysautonomia as well (6).

The SIBO and Dysautonomia Connection

SIBO is an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine. Research has connected SIBO to various autoimmune and neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and fibromyalgia. Stress on your immune system can also lead to an increase of norepinephrine from your sympathetic nervous system resulting in a flight-or-fight reaction. However, your gut microbiome balance is also closely connected to your nervous system. Gut bacteria imbalance is stress on the body and can result in the release of norepinephrine. As a result, SIBO can lead to your dysautonomia symptoms (7, 8, 9).

It is important to note that, one study has found that 27 out of 35 patients with POTS also had SIBO. This is 69% of POTS patients with SIBO. Connecting the dots between these research findings, it is critical that POTS patients get tested for SIBO and receive treatment for it if they have it (10).

SIBO

Histamine Intolerance and POTS

POTS is a complex health issue, so it is important to cover everything and treat the root cause of your problems. This is why we have to look at histamine intolerance and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), especially because research has found a connection between MCAS and POTS due to the prolonged inflammatory reactions caused by MCAS (11)

Histamine is a chemical that is responsible for a variety of functions in your body, including getting rid of allergens as part of your immune response, communicating with your brain, and triggering stomach acid release for optimal digestion. Normally, histamine release is beneficial and your body releases enzymes to break down histamine build-up. However, if you have MCAS, your body cannot turn off the release of histamine leading to histamine intolerance (12, 13)

Histamine intolerance means that you have too much histamine which can lead to various health issues. Symptoms of histamine intolerance include fatigue, headaches, irregular heartbeat, acid reflux, digestive problems, cramps, itching, sleep troubles, and anxiety. You may notice that some of these symptoms are very similar to symptoms of dysautonomias and POTS, while others correspond with the symptoms of SIBO. This is not surprising, considering your entire body is connected.

SIBO can often lead to leaky gut syndrome, which can also result in histamine intolerance and food intolerances. As you can see, SIBO, histamine intolerance, and POTS or dysautonomias can become a vicious cycle, unless you address the root cause of your issues.

Natural Solutions for Histamine Intolerance, SIBO, and POTS

If you suspect that you have histamine intolerance or SIBO and it’s contributing to your POTS symptoms I have some simple natural solutions for you. This is what I recommend to my patients with histamine intolerance and SIBO:

  • Follow the 4-Phase Histamin Reset Plan: To improve histamine intolerance and gut health, I recommend that you follow an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, and low-histamine diet following The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan. This is a simple yet refined system and you need to follow it carefully. I recommend that you read my book, The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan: Getting to the Root of Migraines, Eczema, Vertigo, Allergies and More where I explain everything about histamine intolerance and each phase of the plan in detail and share delicious low-histamine recipes to nourish your body and support your health. 
  • Support your gut: Supporting your gut critical for your recovery. I recommend my Low Histamine Ultimate Gut Support Kit complete with Probiota HistamineX probiotics to support your microbiome, Optimal Reset Ultimate Gut Support to support your intestinal lining, Optimal Reset Digest Care digestive enzyme and betaine HCI for optimal digestion, Optimal Reset Immune Gut Support for microbiota diversity and intestinal mucosal health, and Lauricidin for your digestive and immune system.
  • Support your liver: It is critical that you love your liver for optimal health. I recommend Optimal Reset Liver Love, a powerful blend of botanical and mushroom extracts and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), a derivative of the amino acid cysteine to support your healthy liver function and hormonal health naturally.
  • Reduce histamine intolerance: To improve histamine intolerance, I recommend HistoRelief, a synergistic blend of nutrients, including Tinofend®, quercetin, nettle leaf, vitamin C, and bicarbonate salts, that provides natural support to balance your immune response and allow normal histamine metabolism. 

Final Thoughts

Your gut health is connected to your entire health. It is not surprising that new research has found an interesting connection between your gut and dysautonomias. To improve your overall gut health, repair SIBO, and histamine intolerance, and improve your POTS symptoms, I recommend that you follow the natural solutions I outlined in this article. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of histamine intolerance, SIBO, or POTS, I invite you to schedule a consultation with us. We can help to identify the root cause of your condition and recommend a personalized treatment plan to repair your body and regain your health and well-being. Schedule your consultation here.

Sources:
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2. Bonaz B, Bazin T, Pellissier S. The Vagus Nerve at the Interface of the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis. Front Neurosci. 2018 Feb 7;12:49. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00049. PMID: 29467611
3. Cenit MC, Sanz Y, Codoñer-Franch P. Influence of gut microbiota on neuropsychiatric disorders. World J Gastroenterol. 2017;23(30):5486‐5498. Link Here
4. What is dysautonomia? Dysautonomia International. Link Here
5. Blitshteyn S. Autoimmune markers and autoimmune disorders in patients with postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Lupus. 2015;24(13):1364‐1369. Link Here
6. Weinstock LB, Brook JB, Myers TL, Goodman B. Successful treatment of postural orthostatic tachycardia and mast cell activation syndromes using naltrexone, immunoglobulin and antibiotic treatment. BMJ Case Rep. 2018 Jan 11;2018:bcr2017221405. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2017-221405. PMID: 29326369
7. Bures J, Cyrany J, Kohoutova D, Förstl M, Rejchrt S, Kvetina J, Vorisek V, Kopacova M. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jun 28;16(24):2978-90. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i24.2978. PMID: 20572300
Agarwal AK, Garg R, Ritch A, Sarkar P. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Postgrad Med J. 2007 Jul;83(981):478-80. doi: 10.1136/pgmj.2006.055046. PMID: 17621618
8. Goldstein DS, Eldadah B, Holmes C, Pechnik S, Moak J, Sharabi Y. Neurocirculatory abnormalities in chronic orthostatic intolerance. Circulation. 2005;111(7):839‐845. Link Here
9. Bested AC, Logan AC, Selhub EM. Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: Part II – contemporary contextual research. Gut Pathog. 2013 Mar 14;5(1):3. doi: 10.1186/1757-4749-5-3. PMID: 23497633
10. SIBO, Restless Leg Syndrome and More with Dr Lenny Weinstock. Link Here
11. Shibao C, Arzubiaga C, Roberts LJ 2nd, et al. Hyperadrenergic postural tachycardia syndrome in mast cell activation disorders. Hypertension. 2005;45(3):385‐390. Link Here
12. Kovacova-Hanuskova E, Buday T, Gavliakova S, Plevkova J. Histamine, histamine intoxication and intolerance. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2015 Sept; 43(5):498-506. PMID: 26242570
13. Maintz L, Novak N. Histamine and histamine intolerance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007; 85(5):1185-96. PMID: 17490952

EXPLORE THE RECIPES, THE STORIES, THE METHODS AND CHANGES TO GET YOU BACK WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.

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DR. BECKY CAMPBELL

Hi, I am Dr. Becky Campbell. I work with men and women who’ve had a health set back and are willing to do whatever it takes to reach optimal health so they can perform their best in their careers and be fully present with their family again.

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