GUT Issues: IBS, IBD, UC, Crohn’s Disease, Fatty Liver, Gallbladder disease & SIBO
More and more we’re seeing people come in with digestive issues: rumbling in their “stomachs”, gas (flatulence), extreme odors, irregular poops (loose or constipated), cramping, aches and pains that move all around the digestive areas, fatigue, emotional instability, bloating, belching, and constantly fighting yeast.
Are you suffering from any of the following?
Pain in their right side, pain in the left side,
Esophageal spasms, (or any issues of the esophagus)
Constipation and/or diarrhea, mucus in stool, sticky stools
SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,
Ulcerative colitis (UC),
Crohn’s disease, IBS, IBD
Gas, smelly farts,
Anxiety or Depression,
Joint pains, etc.
Digestive diseases affect 60 to 70 million people in the United States alone. That means that 60-70 million people have been diagnosed … this doesn’t take into account every person suffering with gut issues, just those who finally broke down and went to their local Gastroenterologist (a medical doctor specializing in gastro intestinal diseases). Over 63 million people have chronic constipation. Over 20% of the population has acid reflux symptoms at least once a week. More than 360,000 people have Crohn’s Disease. More than double that has Ulcerative Colitis. And more than 15 million have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Over 135 million people have had gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gastro intestinal area).
Modern medicine completely overlooks the cause and effect between diet and gut health. Most doctors (sadly both holistic and standard medical) actually refuse to consider the obvious connection between what their patients are eating and how their patients are feeling. I’ve actually had clients tell me that their gastroenterologist told them, “diet has nothing to do with your ______!” Holistic doctors also tend to miss the diet connection and end up suggesting a ton of herbs to “handle” the symptoms or get lazy and suggest the latest fad diet (Keto, Paleo, Blood type diet, etc.).
Here’s the deal… You’re never going to fix what is going on with your gut until you fix what you put IN YOUR GUT! It’s crazy to me that people think gut issues just magically start happening for no apparent reason and the only solution is to put something else into the gut (another medicine or supplement).
Yes, if you’ve done a tremendous amount of damage and have a very inflamed small intestine or a bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or autoimmune issues (IBD, UC, Crohn’s, etc) with your gut, you may need some L-Glutamine to heal the lining of the gut and a few herbs or a pharmaceutical drug to help kills any bacteria or fungal overgrowth. But you should not have to depend on them for any longer than 2 to 6 months and that’s it. You must change what you are putting into your gut in order to change your gut (liver, colon, small intestines, stomach, etc.).
The first thing you have to look at if you want to figure out why your GUT (liver, spleen, stomach and intestines) is a mess… is what could be CAUSING the issues.
I’ve literally never seen anyone who has gut pains or illnesses that didn’t have a high fat diet (at least at the onset) and a viral overload (Epstein Barr is the usual suspect). This then leads to bacterial overgrowth, yeast, fungus, etc. that build up and create extreme inflammation and disrupt digestion.
That brings us to: WHAT to eat.
There is no shortage of opinions about what to eat… just GOOGLE the term “diet” and you’ll see over 879,000,000 results! The problem is that the majority of what you read on the Internet or from the bookstore is based on faulty science, opinions and fads.
Fad diets include: Atkins (back in the 1980’s), Ketogenic diets, Weight Watchers, Dukan Diet, Mediterranean diet, Whole 30, South Beach diet, Jenny Craig, Zone diet, Paleo diet, and Nutrisystem, etc. I’m not going to get into tearing each one apart or try to debunk each individual one.
I just want to point out 3 key facts:
FACT 1. Each one of those was “created” in the last 70 years! What in the world did we do before then? What did we do before we had “well-meaning but un-educated” friends, TV shows and the Internet (GOOGLE, YouTube and social media doctors) telling us what to eat? Oh yeah… we ATE REAL FOOD! For literally thousands of years we ate a tiny bit of meat, if any at all, and lots of fruits, veggies, legumes, and starches from our gardens, fields or fresh markets.
FACT 2. There isn’t a single living group of people that has a history of longevity while eating a ketogenic , Atkins or paleo diet or any high protein – high fat diet or a specific “blood type diet”. Not one! In fact, just the opposite has been found in the Blue Zones (Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya Peninsula, Cost Rica; and Loma Linda, California). These “blue zones” are clear examples of populations that consume mainly a plant-based (high carbohydrate diet) diet and have a proven history of longevity. The blue zone populations have the highest number people over the age of 100 and they are not keeping people alive with medications; rather they are seeing their older populations thrive without medications and enjoying a high quality of life.
One particular blue zone group, those in the Seventh-Day Adventist religion (residing in Loma Linda, California), have been studied in great detail. Of 8,401 Adventist’s studied, they found that by eating meat just 1X per week increased their chance of developing diabetes by 74%. (WOW!) And they found over a 2 year span there was a 62% lower risk of developing diabetes in the vegans compared to those eating meats!
FACT 3. Animal proteins and fats (eggs, meats, and milks from any animal… yes… that means seafood too!) have been clearly shown to increase the risk of various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. So by choosing a Keto or Atkins or high protein (paleo) diet, you are actually jeopardizing your long-term health in an effort to create weight loss through a high fat diet. Studies have shown links between chronic ketosis, a state of acidosis created by high fat – high protein diets, and increased risk of developing certain cancers. Bottom line: a high fat diet historically and clinically contributes to higher rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
A report in 2016 listed Louisiana “NUMBER ONE” in the nation when it comes to adult obesity. The most updated statistics show that greater than 33.9% of children aged 10-17 are obese in Louisiana. Here in Louisiana we had over 25,000 cases of cancer reported in 2018 (22% of the population), 35% of adults were found to be obese, and in 2015 heart disease was the leading cause of death (24.4%)… Not great statements about our “culture’s health”. All this fat is creating not only obesity but also inflammation and major illnesses (cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes)!
And what do we eat in Louisiana? In Cajun country, where I live… food and drinking is part and parcel with every activity. The tradition and custom of the Cajun culture includes family gatherings with lots of alcohol, fried foods, heavy use of oils, and lots of meats, seafood and eggs. Heck… down here they even fry fat in fat (cracklins) and call it “good eatin!”.
Here’s the deal… every single thing that you put in your mouth supports and feeds disease or it helps to seek and destroy disease. You choose.
Imagine, if you will, a happy little cell in your body humming along following its normal healthy path and then, unexpectedly… in just a matter of days or weeks after running into cigarette smoke, foods that cause inflammation and alcohol daily, this little happy cell starts to mutate. This formerly happy healthy cell, after mutating, transforms into a little cancer seed. The seed now starts to take root and bloom in “soil” that is fed by more alcohol, more inflammatory and fatty foods, more cigarette smoke and lots of negative thoughts. Soon it blooms into a full-blown cancer capable of destroying your life and future.
Now… how do you stop that “soil” in your body from allowing those cancer “seeds” to flourish? One word: NUTRITION. Nutrition, what you eat, is more important in controlling cancer growth (or the growth of ANY disease state) than any other lifestyle activity or pharmaceutical drug. Healthy cells that are fed proper nutrition actually wear a sort of nutritional armor that protects against mutations and inflammation.
No matter if we are talking about cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and virtually every gastrointestinal illness… Diet, nutrition, what you put in your mouth… makes all the difference.
Again… that brings us back to the controversy of what to eat and all the millions of opinions on the subject. In probably what could be considered the most exhaustive study ever in the history of our planet, THE CHINA STUDY, the scientists noted that nutrition was the most important aspect in controlling disease states in humans.
Plants have a longer history than we do on this crazy planet. They developed amazing weaponry to protect themselves from bacteria, viruses, yeasts, insects, and more. When we eat plants we ingest their amazing protective powers. Plants have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal properties. To date, 35,000-70,000 plant species have been screened for their medicinal use. Where do you think aspirin (salicin), cocaine, quinine, malaria drugs (artemisinin) and well known liver disease drugs (silymarin) come from? PLANTS! When you eat broccoli or drink green tea or sprinkle a little turmeric spice on your food… you are using medicine. And you are ingesting way more than “just broccoli” or “just a little tea”. You are ingesting phytochemicals (antioxidants) in their natural form that can do all of the following:
- Prevent DNA damage and repair broken DNA
- Destroy harmful cells in your body
- Stimulates the immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Regulates hormone metabolism
- Supplying antibacterial and antiviral effects
- Stops free radicals from getting out of hand by inhibiting oxidation (oxidation is the chemical reaction that produces free radicals)
The more free radicals you have the less antioxidant activity you are creating, the more inflammation you will have… and your body can literally do nothing but create disease! You’re sabotaging your digestive system and health by eating CRAP (Calorie Rich and Processed foods).
If your body’s cells and DNA get beat up to bad from inflammation and free radicals that have run rampant … then disease gets created in your body. If it’s in your blood vessels you’ll have heart disease. If it’s in your muscles you’ll suffer with fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms. If it’s in your gut… then your bowels will be irritated. You get the idea?
Even with plants it might take a bit of trial and error to find out which foods your stomach, liver, gallbladder, and intestines can actually handle with all the inflammation present. It may be necessary to get a food allergy test done for both IgE and IgG antibodies (Immunoglobulin antibodies) that are associated with allergic reactions in your body when you ingest certain foods.
Next… you have to chew your food properly. Most people I know literally inhale and gulp their food down at each meal in a mad rush to get back to work or whatever it is that they were doing. People with IBS, Celiac, Gallbladder disease, IBD, Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, or SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) don’t chew their food well.
Chewing your food properly is actually the first step to proper digestion. The action of chewing with your teeth actually grinds the food into small enough particles to be swallowed easily. Once the food is broken down into small enough particles (almost liquefied) it’s then mixed with saliva in your mouth. The saliva contains a special enzyme (amylase) along with bicarbonate (acid salt). Saliva also contains mucous (sounds gross but it’s important!). The mucous lubricates the esophagus and binds the chewed food to create a soft ball that is now easier for you to swallow. If you swallow chunks of food, you’re missing out on key digestive steps and you’re causing your body to use more energy in an effort to handle the larger particles of food. So please make sure you chew your food well.
WHAT WE KNOW
What I can tell you is that some people just aren’t sick enough…
By that I mean they are not willing to really do what is necessary to get healthy. They want to negotiate for their health! (example: “can’t I have a little dessert when I eat out”, or “but what will I eat if I give up wheat”, “I’m not willing to give up my “______”, etc.) It just doesn’t work that way. Doing all of the other actions and staying on the same old diet plan (eating simple carbs, bread, crackers, noodles, chips, junk, desserts, ice cream, milk, alcohol, etc.) WON’T WORK! You will have constant up and downs.
We know that eating (and chewing well) a mainly plant based diet and avoiding processed oils and processed foods (boxed, bagged, jars, bottled and canned) you can prevent and in many cases reverse the 3 major lifestyle diseases of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and greatly improve your quality of life. That one fact alone tells us what to eat! The bonus is that eating a plant based diet of whole foods also helps to completely heal your gut, removes aches and pains and gives you energy.
It really is true… health begins in the gut! Give us a call… we can test your gut and find out exactly what is causing the problem and then help you to finally heal!
Ok, so I tell you you should be eating a plant based diet … you follow my advice for a week or two and end up feeling bloated and in pain. You probably cuss me out (at least under your breath)… and your partner or spouse and even the kids are wanting you to move out of the house!
What I’ve noticed in getting clients started on plant based eating is this: 40% have horrible bloating and cramping from extreme gas!
So what gives? Should you go back to being a carnivore and eating meat… you didn’t seem to have gas issues then, right?
Here’s the deal… Gas is a byproduct of bacterial metabolism and swallowed air. So people who eat all meat have different bacteria and may get less gas … BUT… this type of bacteria makes more sulfites and therefore smells horrible 🤭🤢.
So what can you do about it? Go back to eating meat or stick to the healthier plant based plan?
First of all, don’t go from eating almost no fiber to full on raw food diet with 60 gm fiber in one day. It won’t be a pleasant experience. You will have to add fiber in slowly. Your body has most likely not had very much fiber at all if you’ve been eating tons of eggs, milks, meats and fish… you’ve lived on mainly protein and fats. Adding in a ton of veggies (especially raw from salads, uncooked fruits, etc) will cause undue stress on your small intestines… they are going to have to relearn how to digest your food.
Add fiber slowly. Beans should be soaked overnight with a teaspoon of baking soda, washed, then cooked. Canned beans are ok but wash well. In the beginning take a good enzyme BEFORE meals. (we carry some of the best enzymes and you may need to double up or triple up for a few initial months).
Chewing fennel seeds AFTER meals is a wonderful old Indian remedy (and they eat a lot of legumes). Taking a very good probiotic daily like our ALIVE (that is a vegan, non-dairy derived probiotic blend) helps a lot.
Do the above for at least 30 days to start seeing good results. In people with severe IBS or any type of extreme gut inflammation… check for food allergies and sensitivities. Ensure you are not eating foods that are further contributing to your inflammation and pain.
Walk after your meals, drink peppermint tea, don’t swallow air (carbonation, gum, straws).
Finally, I increasingly believe pesticides may be damaging our gut lining causing food sensitivity. Eat organic when you can! Eventually you can get to a point where you can eat tons of beans without any issues. You will have some gas, that is normal. But the smell fine and cramping should be totally gone.
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