When working with clients with pain, anxiety is often present as well.    Personally, anxiety was the trigger that finally brought my own hormonal imbalance to my attention.  Anytime the stress hormones are out of balance (and certainly chronic pain can trigger stress), there is an increased risk of anxiety for your client.

Fortunately, we have some new data that shines the light on a simple nutritional shift that can have a big impact on anxiety.  Researchers have found that adding either probiotic yogurt (100g per day) or one probiotic capsule daily significanty improved scores on the depression and anxiety stress scale (DASS) (Mohammadi, et al., 2015)

This is great news that I have found to be very true clinically and personally.

What do I recommend to my clients with chronic pain and anxiety when it comes to probiotics?

I give them a few options to choose (or alternate between) based on their tastes, cooking ability, and the convenience factor…

1. I recommend a daily dose of probiotic rich sauerkraut, kim chee or other fermented foods.  My personal favorite thing to do is add a few forkfuls of Bubbies or Farmhouse Culture Kraut to my breakfast of sausage or eggs, and vegetables.

2. Enjoy some plain organic dairy or coconut yogurt.  For my clients with dairy allergies I recommend unsweetened options like this.  Or, even better, they can make their own to avoid the preservatives.

3. Finally, if your client just wants a supplement solution, I recommend this probiotic as a good place to start.  However, sometimes, choosing the right probiotic is a process of trial and error.

My colleague and friend, Trudy Scott is the top expert on nutrition and lifestyle solutions for anxiety.  She has brought together 25+ amazing experts to teach you cutting-edge information and tools to prevent and eliminate anxiety, panic attacks and social anxiety eating using the power of food and nutrients. The third edition of the anxiety summit is May 6 – 20, 2015.  Listen and learn!

Mohammadi A.A., Jazayeri S., Khosravi-Darani K., Solati Z., Mohammadpour N., Asemi Z., Adab Z., Djalali M., Tehrani-Doost M., Hosseini M., & Eghtesadi S. (2015) The effects of probiotics on mential health and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: A randomized, double -blind, placebo-controlled trial in petrochemical workers. Nut Neurosci, Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]