Emotional Lability

A friend in dealing with a difficult person noticed a change of some microbiome associated symptoms (6-10 bowel movements a day, increased night sweats). He asked me about his dramatic increase of emotional lability he has seen recently. SPECT scan studies indicate that CFS includes acquired brain injury. From Australia Health department – a good PDF on it is here and some quotes:

“Emotional lability refers to rapid, often exaggerated changes in mood, where strong emotions or feelings (uncontrollable laughing or crying, or heightened irritability or temper) occur. These very strong emotions are sometimes expressed in a way that is greater than the person’s emotions. “

“Emotional lability occurs because of damage to parts of the brain that control:

  •  Awareness of emotions (ours and others)  Ability to control how emotions are expressed – so ability to inhibit or stop emotions coming out
  • Stronger emotional responses”

The medical term is Pseudobulbar affect since the term emotional lability has been used in multiple ways. “It is hypothesized that these primary neurologic injuries and diseases affect chemical signaling in the brain, which in turn disrupts the neurologic pathways that control emotional expression.[21][22][23]

A change of microbiome will impact chemical signaling.

Microbiome Connections?

It has been demonstrated in the literature that microbiome shifts are associated with many neurological conditions — so can we find any literature dealing with emotional lability. A PubMed search suggested the following studies:

This area appears to be understudied – but we do see a frequent reference to streptococcal infections, which are often reported in association with flu.

A Perfect Storm: Increased Colonization and Failure of Vaccination Leads to Severe Secondary Bacterial Infection in Influenza Virus-Infected Obese Mice [2017].

“Our studies utilized a coinfection model to show that obesity increases mortality from secondary bacterial infection following influenza virus challenge through a “perfect storm” of host factors that lead to excessive viral and bacterial outgrowth. In addition, we found that vaccination of obese mice against either virus or bacteria failed to confer protection against coinfection, but antibiotic treatment did alleviate mortality.”

Bottom Line

For some people it is hard to say “I have infection acquired brain trauma, one of the symptoms is emotional lability” and then ask people for their assistance by handing them a print out of the lovely Australian PDF above.

Looking at contributed microbiome with “Neurological: emotional overload” – an easier to understand symptom than “Pseudobulbar” or “lability” we have 38 samples with 16 of these having metabolism data.

Looking at the data


  • We observe these patterns frequently:
    • Bacterial Abilities: Flagellar assembly – LOW
    • Lipid metabolism: alpha-Linolenic acid metabolism LOW
    • Lipid metabolism: Arachidonic acid metabolism LOW
    • Lipid metabolism: Ether lipid metabolism LOW
    • Secondary metabolite degradation: Dioxin degradation LOW
    • Secondary metabolite degradation: Xylene degradation LOW

Going over to the Bacteria explorer


Symptom modification suggestions:

This is an education post to facilitate discussing this approach with your medical professionals. It is not medical advice for the treatment of any medical condition. Always consult with your medical professional before doing any  changes of diet, supplements or activity. Some items cites may interfere with prescription medicines.