Understanding GI Problems

At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced some sort of GI problem. Maybe you weren’t able to defecate for a day, or maybe you were doing so multiple times a day. From these everyday issues to bigger issues like celiac disease or inAlammatory bowel disease, our gut is to blame. Our gut is faced with so many obstacles like stress, unhealthy diet or lack of sleep. At some point or another our gut is bound to act up. What is the 5-R Framework for Gut Health? The 5-R framework for gut health focuses on the body as a whole, in an effort to improve and treat GI problems. The Airst R in the framework refers to “remove”. This is the Airst step of the framework where we are said to remove any stressors in our lives that have an impact on our gut health. We may not know it, but stress is one of the top causes of GI problems. So if we remove the stressor, essentially, we will be healing and improving our gut health. The second R stands for replace. This is telling us to replace any digestive secretions lost. In other words, replace what is gone by things that are beneAicial for proper digestion. These things can be digestive enzymes or bile acids. The third R is for “Reinoculate”. To do this, we must take probiotic foods or supplements in order to help the good bacteria in our gut. The fourth R refers to repair. We can do this by supplying key nutrients to the body. In doing so, we are helping the GI tract repair itself. The last R in the 5-R framework refers to rebalance. In order to rebalance, we must focus on everyday things we do that affect our gut health. These things can be as simple as sleeping, eating, and exercising. We must use these simple everyday tasks to help rebalance the GI tract. For instance, getting more sleep, or exercising daily can help us to rebalance our bodies. The 5-R framework can beneAit nearly anyone who tries it, but what about people with more serious issues like Celiac Disease?

What is Celiac Disease? A person is diagnosed with Celiac Disease when he/she has an autoimmune response to gluten. In other words, if this person were to consume gluten, an immune response in his/her small intes;ne would be triggered, causing damage to the villi in the lining of the small intes;ne. This response would also prevent efficient absorp;on of nutrients. Due to this, pa;ents with celiac disease are o@en faced with anemia and fa;gue. Some other symptoms of the disease include, diarrhea, weight loss, gas, bloa;ng, and abdominal pain. In the long run, gluten intolerance can also cause derma;;s herpe;formis. For these reasons, pa;ents with celiac disease must follow a gluten-free diet. So now that we know that celiac disease makes the gut hates gluten, lets learn more about what gluten really is. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and triticale. Seeing that gluten is found in so many grains, you might think that it is impossible for someone to be on a gluten-free diet. That’s where you’re wrong. There are many alternatives for gluten that make living with celiac disease possible. Alternatives for Gluten

  • – Rice (brown or white)
  • – Corn
  • – Quinoa
  • – Buckwheat
  • – Potatoes
  • – Potato Flour
  • – Coconut Flour
  • – Cornstarch
  • – Millet Along with these alternatives, people with celiac disease are also able to consume foods that are naturally free of gluten. These foods include fruits, vegetables and certain nuts and seeds. Is Celiac Disease always to blame? Lets say that your friend Tom often complains about how he gets gassy and experiences abdominal pain whenever he consumes any form of gluten. Is it safe to say that Tom has celiac disease? You might be tempted to say yes, however these symptoms are not enough to make a conclusive diagnosis. This is because although Tom is experiencing symptoms similar to those of celiac disease, he may or may not be experiencing internal villi damage caused by his gluten intake. In other words, when a person experiences symptoms of discomfort after consuming gluten, however there is no damage occurring to the outer lining of their small intestine, this person is experiencing something called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, NOT celiac disease. A person with non-celiac gluten sensitivity would also beneAit

-Teff – Guar Gum – Amaranth – Almond meal Alour – Sorghum – Pea Flour – Soy Flour

tremendously by following a gluten free diet and switching to the alternatives for gluten mentioned earlier. Now lets say Tom also experiences discomfort when he consumes things like meat, caffeine or dairy foods. He complains of rectal bleeding and weight loss and feels as though he cannot eat anything without being in pain. What’s wrong with Tom? In this case, Tom could have an InAlammatory Bowel Disease. What is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease? An InAlammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, is when inAlammation and ulceration of parts of the GI tract occur. There are two major types of IBD’s, Ulcerative Colitis (UC), and Crohn’s Disease. Ulcerative Colitis occurs when there is ulceration and inAlammation of the innermost layer of the large intestine. In contrast, Crohn’s Disease occurs when there is ulceration and inAlammation of every layer in any part of the GI tract. In short, Crohn’s disease is known to be a more severe version of UC, since it encompasses more parts of the GI tract. The exact causes of these diseases remain unknown, however genetics can play a factor. A patient with Crohn’s might experience symptoms such as rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, diarrhea, anemia, weight loss, and fever. There is no cure for the disease, however patients with Crohn’s are often prescribed medications to help treat their condition. Although the medications do cause some relief, diagnosed patients often have to undergo drastic lifestyle changes starting with their diet. The dietary lifestyle that a patient with Crohn’s chooses to follow can be a form of treatment in itself. A Look into the Yes and No Foods of Crohn’s The diet for a patient with Crohn’s Disease must be super individualized because what works for one person may or may not work for the next. With this in mind, here are some foods that cause symptoms of the disease to worsen in most patients:

  • – Red meat and pork
  • – Raw fruits
  • – Raw vegetables
  • – Spicy foods
  • – Whole grains/bran
  • – Foods high in Aiber
  • – Fried foods
  • – Diary
  • – Caffeine (coffee, chocolate, tea)
  • – Alcohol
  • – Nuts/Seeds Here are some foods that are tolerable by most Crohn’s patients:
  • – Bananas
  • – Potatoes
  • – Cooked vegetables
  • – Eggs
  • – White rice
  • – White bread
  • – Fish (steamed or broiled)
  • – Applesauce
  • – Avocado What are some Dietary Treatments for Crohn’s? Now that we know that it is possible to keep Crohn’s Disease under control with simple dietary changes, lets look at some speciAic diet plans used to treat the disease. Anti-inAlammatory Diet (AID) Studies have shown that patients with Crohn’s have an imbalance in the microbiome in their digestive system. The focus of an anti-inAlammatory diet is just that — to create a balance in the level of bacteria in the digestive system. For this diet, the main goal is to add probiotics and prebiotic to the diet. You can Aind probiotics in fermented foods such as yogurts and pickles. As for prebiotics, they can be found in bananas, and many other plants. Another signiAicant part of AID is to eliminate certain carbohydrates from the diet. Patients who follow this diet have found that the severity of their disease has decreased, and it has helped them stay in remission. Low FODMAP Diet FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that are found in many foods. Some foods that contain FODMAPs include garlic, onions, fruits and wheat. Many Crohn’s patients Aind that eating foods high in FODMAPs causes them discomfort. On a Low FODMAP diet, patients avoid foods high in FODMAPs. People on this diet can eat carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, kiwis, pineapples, strawberries, eggs, peanuts, and many more foods. Here are some foods to steer away from when following a Low FODMAP diet:
  • – Grains
  • – Dairy
  • – Meat
  • – Beans
  • – Honey
  • – Apples

– Mangoes – Cherries – Pears – Watermelon – Peaches – CauliAlower – Onions – Garlic – Mushrooms – Pistachios – Dried Fruit – Asparagus

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