These are some common Gastrointestinal conditions:
- Food Intolerance’s
- Celiac disease
- “Leaky gut”
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Dyspepsia (nausea)
Root causes of these conditions are pathogens and toxins, and the liver plays an important role in GI health as well since it produces the bile necessary to break down fats during the digestion process. An overwhelmed liver is not as capable of helping you digest your food –> food can putrefy –> bacteria consume the putrefying rancid food –> gas is produced, and other symptoms may occur.
How to Ruin Your Digestive Tract:
1.Eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) including:
- Gluten – largely an indigestible, inflammatory, source of protein that feeds pathogens. It’s not the gluten your grandma ate! Gluten is in everything from food to lipstick so if you’re an average consumer, you’re ingesting it on a daily basis!
- Dairy – which also feeds pathogens responsible for those chronic conditions I mentioned above.
- Processed Sugar – these foods are devoid of any real nutrition, they acidify or lower the pH of the body, and often include Genetically Modified ingredients (canola, soy, corn just to name a few).
- Processed food in general. By processed dead food, I mean most anything with a shelf life longer than 7-14 days. If it’s been in your cupboard for months or years, it’s hard to imagine there’s a lot of nutritional value in it. All those aisles of frozen meals, and all those canned and boxed foods are largely processed, nutrient poor, fiber-poor, foods.
- Hydrogenated fats – which are worse for you than any saturated fat. These are the man-made ones and were developed to extend shelf life. If you have any source of margarine around, or see “partially hydrogenated xyz” on a food label, you are eating hydrogenated fats. Partially hydrogenated fats are often found in baked, and processed foods like cookies, crackers, chips and some frozen items too.
2.Use of antacids, PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors), and the like. We need hydrochloric acid (HCl) which neutralizes potentially harmful bacteria like E Coli or Salmonella when we eat food that might be spoiled or contaminated.
We also need HCl to break down protein, fat, and carbohydrates as we eat.
HCl also cleaves the minerals from our food so that we can absorb them. Who can live without zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium and the rest of the bunch??
Chronic use of antacids comes with side effects like SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) and long term use is associated with hip fractures as mineral absorption is impaired day after day.
3.Eating fast. Digestion starts in the mouth and relies on saliva to initiate the process downstream in your stomach and then intestines. If you are eating quickly, you are short circuiting the signals your body needs to secrete valuable digestive enzymes and thus risking the ability to fully digest your nutrient dense organic food.
4.Mismanaging stress. When we are stressed, blood is shunted from our digestive tract to our brain, arms & legs so that we can think and run from whatever the threat is.
Our bodies truly can not differentiate between stress due to stressful family situations or a work environment – vs – stress due to a dog chasing you down the block or the saber toothed tiger.
Evan vacations can be stressful right? Stress absolutely impairs optimal excretion of digestive juices, and without those, food putrefies and can feed microbes that should have been killed off by the Hydrochloric Acid (HCl).
5.Use of Medications including Antibiotics, Antifungals, or Steroids. Your liver acts like a sponge to any medications you take and absorbs it. This is one of the roles of the liver, because its job is to absorb toxins.
However, unlike other toxins the liver is absorbing, medication takes quite a while to leave the body. Therefore, before it finally exits after many years, it can take up residency in your intestinal tract, causing more inflammation and disrupting peristaltic action.
Additionally, chronic use of antibiotics opens the door to SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth).
6.Overuse of NSAID’s (Non Steroid Anti Inflammatory Drugs) like Advil, Aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, Vioxx, Celebrex, and others. NSAID’s disrupt the epithelial lining, and also cause the liver to absorb the ingredients.
7.Drink too much alcohol at one time, or chronic daily use. Alcohol thins the mucous membrane lining our digestive tract and of course it has a negative effect on the liver (cirrhosis is the result of chronic ingestion).
A social drink now and then is one thing, but even a daily drink adds to the wear & tear on our digestive tract and liver.
I realize that flies in the face of hearing that red wine is GOOD for us but we have to look at the big picture. Many people don’t have the liver function it takes to metabolize alcohol well. For some, it contributes to cognitive decline. Beer contains gluten. If you want your resveratrol and think red wine is the only way to get it, you’re dead wrong and a drink a day isn’t really in your best interest IMO.
BONUS #8: Drinking Chlorinated water. Chlorine is added to the water to kill potentially pathogenic bacteria right? What do you think that chlorine does to the bacteria in your gut? Yup. It kills em. Just like antibiotics do but more like slow poison.