If Its Not In Your Head, Where Is It?
Last week I shared part of the cause of the IBS and Fibromyalgia that I struggled with for many years. After being told there wasn’t anything wrong with me physically, but rather it was all in my head, I learned about the true causes of the issues I was experiencing. Yes, I was able to reverse these symptoms and heal my body by following some simple principles.
Today, we’ll provide the second key to the successful reversal of these issues and give you ideas that you can implement into your own life. There are always a cause for every health issue you might be experiencing. The key is not to mask the symptoms but rather to figure out the cause. What is making the body behave in a less than healthful way. Remove the cause and the body will do the rest of the work – regain health.
Before we get into today’s discussion, last week we discussed the importance of the digestive tract in ensuring you maintain a strong immune system. Click here if you missed the blog from last week on the digestive tract. Today we will look at another area of concern – Digestion itself.
Have you ever noticed pieces of food in your bowel movement? Yes, I did go there. While discussing bowel movements might not be politically appropriate the topic is vital for someone wanting to be healthy. Food in the stool is an obvious indication that you are not digesting your food properly. When food is not broken down properly in the stomach, microbial overgrowth in the upper intestinal tract will occur. Any increase of exposure to larger protein fragments is dangerous. The healthy way your body comes in contact with food proteins, is in small teeny broken up amino acids. Starches and fats should also be small, tiny pieces.
Did you know that the PH in your stomach is equivalent to battery acid? Yes, it is between 1.7-2.0. This acid breaks up the large pieces of food into small useable ones. Your body can digest these foods utilizing the nutrients within. If large pieces sneak through the walls of the stomach, to the upper intestinal tract, they will be seen as possible bacterium or viruses. The body will then launch an attack.
Do you know any one on proton pump inhibitors? These are medications that can totally shut off gastric acid. You know them as acid blocking medications. You may also know one of them as “the purple pill.” People on acid blocking therapies have a stomach PH of 5 within two weeks of beginning the medication.
Would you rather have your food broken down by battery acid or table vinegar? Table vinegar is acetic acid and has a PH of 5.
Side effects of these medications include bone density issues due to low magnesium, low B12, and increased infections. Another significant side effect from these medicines is a 10.5-fold increase in reactions to foods – Allergies. Anyone older than age 40 will likely be on these medications who have digestive issues. These people are candidates for reacting to their foods. The chances people will have a reaction to most foods is extremely high if they are on these types of medications.
What happens when you don’t break your food down? You will irritate the upper intestinal tract. What else happens in upper intestinal tract? Digestion.
After you have eaten, the foods drop down to the upper intestinal tract. You have cells there that signal the pancreas and the gall bladder to help the upper intestinal tract to break down fats, carbs and proteins. If you irritate that upper intestinal tract, the signaling never happens. In fact, people who irritate the upper intestinal tract with dairy, soy, and gluten destroy the cells and can’t empty their gall bladder completely anymore. And, they can’t secrete enough pancreatic enzymes anymore, which means they are not breaking down food, which means less nutrients to the body and more reactive substances.
Gluten can inhibit the hormone that signals the pancreas and the gall bladder by 70%.
Soy enteropathies wear down the intestinal tract.
Food is so powerful for disease.
Consider the fact that every time you take a bite, it is either building you up or breaking you down.
Discover the Elimination Diet.
Remember the 4 R’s:
- Remove irritants – More and more people are being irritated from their foods because of chemicals and poor digestion. The odds dictate that you look at your food first. It is the primary irritant. Before pharmaceuticals, doctors asked people what they were eating. Not only allopathic medicine, but Tibetan medicine, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda medicine, even the Native American medicine man and woman—all say certain foods can trigger certain symptoms.
Remove the prime irritants, gluten, soy, corn, dairy, yeast, eggs, (minimum of 30 days) and if your symptoms persist then try removing Nightshades, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate.
After you have found relief by removing the above items then start adding them back slowly – one at a time. Give the body enough time to react before reintroducing another potential irritant. If you notice that your system comes back when a particular item, remove it again. Let the body stabilize again before reintroducing another potential irritant. You may well find that you are sensitive to more than one item.
- Replace digestive function – You may have to supplement with digestive enzymes. The older you grow; the less original digestive enzymes you will create in your stomach.
- Re-inoculate with beneficial microbes – Whether you take probiotics or eat fermented foods, both will serve you well during this time.
- Repair the gut – Stop eating the foods that are hurting you!
Improvements experienced by just eliminating trigger foods include:
- Skin conditions
- Gall bladder
- Chronic fatigue
Epsom salt baths, charcoal and broccoli sprouts will help with detoxification as well as with withdrawal symptoms.
Soon you will find that instead of focusing on the foods that you can’t have, you will discover that your hands, feet and joints can move again without pain and being swollen. Your skin eruptions will cease, your eyes will be brighter and your energy will abound.
If your energy is still low, consider supplementing with:
- Vitamin B12, B6 and Folate
- Essential Fatty Acids
When sourcing ingredients to re-introduce on after the Elimination Diet use only organics. It could be the pesticides that are causing your reactions. Your behavioral mood and energy issues are affected by the quality of food you eat.
The reality is of the 87,000 industrial chemicals being either produced or imported into the USA which uses 74 billion pounds per day, the vast majority of them disrupt energy. They are called mitochondrial disruptors. These will lower gastric acid secretion and energy. One of the most common complaints of today is no one has any energy left.
Where else do chemicals come from?
Skin care. Lotions, creams, sunscreens and kits, air fresheners, glade plug ins. These phthalates can alter our immune response.
- Remove irritants—The primary one is food. What have you been eating that has caused you to get this way?
- Consider your Microbiome-What is your history of antibiotic use? Was your birth a C-section? Have you consumed mostly refined foods for an extended period of time? If you have any of those, your microbiome will not be as good. Add in probiotics and fermented foods each day.
- Become conscious of toxic exposures—air fresheners, lotions, creams, pesticides on produce.
- Look for a support network.
Its not about eliminating foods. It is about eliminating symptoms and eliminating disease. it is about increasing the nutrient content and decreasing the irritant content. Bringing yourself back to balance.
Changing your diet for 30 days is not difficult. Creating a food journal is not expensive. None of these need to be covered by health insurance. It is possible that when the irritating substances are eliminated that the symptoms may quickly dissipate.
The beauty of an Elimination Diet is:
- It is not expensive
- It is not harmful
- It is easy
- It is proven
- It will work
During this Lenten season, don’t just give up something, give something up to bring about real change that you can live with. As Jesus gave up His life for you and me, consider creating the changes in your diet that will give up the daily pain and struggles that come with the chains of poor eating choices. Break free and know that the rest of your life here on this earth can be filled with more of what you can do than what you had to give up.