Stomach and mood disorders: how your gut may b... - CLL Support

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Stomach and mood disorders: how your gut may be playing with your mind

AussieNeil profile image

This post is only peripherally related to CLL in that it touches on the effects of inflammation on the gut/brain interface, but I'm sure will be of particular interest to anyone who has suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Nicholas Talley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research (Acting) and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Australia briefly outlines potentially huge possibilities from developing a better understanding of how our gut influences our mind:

I'm not aware of any specific studies on whether CLL patients have more gut related health issues than the general population and whether that is subsequently reflected in increased anxiety.  Is anyone aware of any such studies?  It might be an interesting field of study once more groundwork has been laid down as explained in Nicholas Talley's article, give the suspicions regarding the influence of low grade inflammation in CLL patients and our lower immunity to pathogens in food.  Could be an area to watch for future developments...


Photo:  Looking good enough to eat - a banksia bloom about to flower

20 Replies

I read an interesting book - Missing Microbes. Your guts seem to have an amazing effect on everything in your body. I also have a friend who just had C-dif. An experience I don't want to share. I started taking probiotics regularly.

Unfortunately us Cllers rely so heavily on antibiotics.


Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to virdieblue

You should run pre and probiotic use past your CLL specialist... there are situations post treatment for example were these are not recommended due to a chance of probiotic sepsis... it is rare but can occur in CLL...

Do a search on HU, I wrote a thread on it about a year ago with links to the latest research...


Thanks Chris. I reread your post. I think the general consensus is they're beneficial but not scientifically proven to a vigorous test yet. I use them but asked my Doc first. I use the Florastat brand as it reduces the chance of C-diff infection and can be taken at the same time as antibiotics if needed. 

The other probiotics you can't. The reason is Florastat is yeast and the others are bacteria which is a bad choice if you are on antibiotics. 


What about the chance of fungal infection from the yeast? Any info on that?

Not to be used near central lines. This applies to all probiotics from what I read. 

virdieblue profile image
virdieblue in reply to Cllcanada

Will do.

Interesting article. It's only recently come to my attention the tremendous effect that inflammation has on so many aspects of our health. As someone who has suffered from many many sinus infections in the past and osteoarthritis, Iwonder now whether that contributed towards the CLL.

As someone also who (because of personal circumstances) has worked very long hours (two jobs) for a long time, I wonder also how big a part stress has played in weakening my immune system.

I suppose we'll never really know will we.


PS  Where's 'spell check' gone when replying to a post? 😀

AussieNeil profile image
AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to Peggy4

Still works for me using a Firefox browser.   Is your spell checker working on other sites?  If not, check out what's changed on your computer.  If wrongly spelt words are picked up on other sites in your browser, but not on HU, let me know your computer operating system and browser along with the version - usually available via Help..About... and I'll pass your info onto HU for them to look at.


Hmm. Not quite sure how to do that Neil. Using I phone. Google is my internet search. Spell check on as normal with e mail, messages etc....and works here when writing a post but not when replying. Also finding it generally harder to be able to 'go back to a part of my reply to change it. When I do it brings up the 'next posts' and difficult to pinpoint the exact place.Weird! Might be me though, usually is! 😀

Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to Peggy4

Not just you Peggy... my problem too... very hard to edit text... they broke something 

Agreed. I can't edit. 

AussieNeil profile image
AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to Justasheet1

I've had no problems on a PC and have successfully tried an Android tablet (a Kindle Fire) with this reply. I can easily move the cursor around, delete and add or correct text and cut and paste text, with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

Are all of you Peggy, Jeff and Chris using Apple products?


Peggy4 profile image
Peggy4 in reply to AussieNeil

Yes, I phone. 


Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to AussieNeil

Yes it is on Apple mobiles  I have tried on a Mac Air no problems, but it is seen on an iPhone 6s running iOS9.2, and a iPhone 5... and iPad 3... 

So this appears to be on HUs end

I just did an edit on Android and it works fine...

Oh no Neil. Your last reply contsined the dreaded '1'' again!

AussieNeil profile image
AussieNeilAdministrator in reply to Peggy4

I can't see any weird characters; it's displaying fine for me.  Is it still a problem for you Peggy (and why do you have all the fun?)


Ha! Weird symbols have gone but still no spell check. Yes, my youngest son says that I can do things on a computer that no one else can, but not in a good way! 😀

An excellent book on the topic of the biome:

The title, unfortunately, has now proven to be incorrect based on recent calculations that show that the microbiome has approximately as many cells as the body as completely human cells.

If you do indeed have IBS, look for a dietician experienced in the FODMAP protocol pioneered by Monash University, and duplicated at King's College and Stanford.

It calls for hydrogen breath testing to determine if some types of foods ferment in the gut. After that test, a strict FODMAP free diet, followed by careful food challenges determine which foods are safe. This is very important because a strict FODMAP free diet is unbelievably BORING. In addition, many so-called health foods have high amounts of FODMAPs as replacements for sweeteners and as prebiotics. After doing the protocol, I found that I can handle lactose and fructose well, but fructans, such as whole wheat, onion, garlic, and inulin, and polyols, such as maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, erythritol, and isomalt  are bad.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression my whole life. The FODMAP protocol has helped, but has not eliminated these symptoms. It has let me reduce anciety and depression meds, however. As with anything emotional, there are many variables, including genes and learned experience. My pet theory is that the gut brain, which lines your intestines, learns based on gut illnesses in early childhood, and increases anxiety and depression via the massive number of serotonin and other chemical transmitter producing cells in the gut. Merely losing 400 calories a day on a diet leads to clinical depression for me.

I would emphasize that FODMAPs do not produce allergic reactions, and small amounts of FODMAPs are generally tolerated well. This is by no means the same sort of thing as coeliac disease. There seems to be a tipping point where fermentation ramps up, and inflammation sets it.

Justasheet1 profile image
Justasheet1 in reply to SeymourB

Very interesting. Thanks. 

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