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Improving Mental Wellness
The Gut Brain Connection

It's becoming more common. People are becoming more comfortable talking about mental wellness and that's a HUGE deal. But do people have the resources they truly need to begin improving their mental wellbeing? Nicole is passionate about educating and guiding people through understanding the gut-brain axis (GBX). Through properly nourishing the GBX, improving sleep, and increasing exercise, we can significantly improve our mental wellness and when we are mentally well, many great things follow.

Postpartum Depression - RX -Desperate For Alternatives
Nicole’s Story

I never imagined that I would be someone who need that help. Or at least I never really admitted it. I’ve always coped very well in the midst of mild anxiety or times where I felt down.  During pregnancy, with my first child, I had five friends pass away. Pregnancy already causes a slew of emotions and a mix of hormones. I thought I handled the passing of each of these friends fine until postpartum came along. BOOM, postpartum was harder than I had ever imagined possible! I was struggling.  It was so incredibly hard, but I made it through postpartum round one and before I knew it, Landon was 14 months old and I was pregnant again with our daughter.

Holy smokes. Riley's first trimester was 10 times harder than it was with Landon. Prior to being pregnant with Landon, I was prescribed a medication called Cymbalta for chronic back pain. They can also use this as an anti-depressant (it’s a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor).  As I had to begin to struggle in the first trimester with Riley, my provider had decided to increase the dose. I had no second guesses about doing this and I went with the flow.

Fast forward to postpartum with Riley, and I was significantly struggling. Every once in a while I would forget to take my Cymbalta and oh boy was that brutal. If I ever forget a dose, the withdrawal effects were quick, and they were terrible. Unbearable.  Withdrawal left me feeling extremely exhausted, with my head spinning, with elevated irritability with my family and friends, and feeling terribly sick.

With worsening anxiety and mood, the only alternative offered was to continue upping the dose. I didn’t feel great about this decision any longer. A friend reached out to me two months postpartum with Riley and asked if I had ever heard of the gut-brain axis. At first, I kind of blew it off. As I was left searching for more help, I decided to hear her out. And the rest was history. Praise God that she reached out to me and for the science behind the gut-brain axis.  This is huge and it’s going to help so many people. I can’t wait for the world to continue to learn more about it.

It is my goal to help educate people about an incredible alternative available before making the decision to go on a medication. Medication is not the only option, although I do recognize that it is necessary in some cases and I’m thankful for that science as well. 

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