Different Gut Issues and How To Eat for Them Pt. 2
The microbiota in the gut contains over three million genes.
It’s 150 times more diverse than the rest of the human body.
And because of the steady diet of junk food, sedentary behavior, and toxic chemicals Americans live on, the healthy function of our GI tract has seen a dramatic decline.
Which is evident in our collective ability to fight disease, our frequent digestive issues, and our moods and attitudes.
Yes — gut health can even affect brain function, according to a study at Johns Hopkins Medicine. So rather than stress giving you stomach ache… your stomach ache may actually be causing you stress.
And although the situation can feel hopeless, leading researchers in the medical community have started breaking down the microbiome. Which, for the layman, means that we can finally start addressing some of these issues at home by keeping ourselves well informed!
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
If you haven’t heard of this one, you may have heard of its main two types: Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.
In both disorders, the lining of the gastrointestinal tract grows ulcers and becomes inflamed. Which hurts. A lot. The symptoms can range in severity, but often include stomach pain, bleeding, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and fatigue.
Because these are autoimmune disorders, you can’t fix them with a diet change. But you can certainly mitigate your symptoms, or at least not exacerbate them. Especially by eating foods that are plain and easily digestible.
To manage your diet, follow these general rules:
- Lean poultry or fish with limited seasonings
- Mashed potatoes
- Canned fruit
- White bread
- Diluted juices
Do NOT Eat:
- Fried food/processed food
- Spicy or hot foods
- Fatty meats
- Creamy sauces
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
In the U.S., although 15% of the population has been estimated to have this disorder, only about 7% has actually been diagnosed.
This means it’s much more common than we think it is. It’s more common in women than in men, though studies are inconclusive as to why.
The symptoms of IBS are very similar to other gut disorders — pain and cramping, diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, etc. Often times, IBS can be treated with dietary changes as long as you’re eating well and ignoring trigger foods. As IBS can be manifest itself in constipation OR diarrhea, it’s important to skew your diet to tackle one of those two issues.
But because it can so closely mirror other disorders, it’s best to see your doctor should symptoms persist.
You can help yourself by paying special attention to these foods:
- Cooked vegetables, light on the cruciferous intake
- Skinless fruits
- Insoluble fibrous foods
- Bread, pata, rice
- Dairy products (unless you’re lactose intolerant)
- Chicken and fish
- Smaller and more frequent meals
- Psyllium husk
- Olive and coconut oils
Do NOT Eat:
- Red meat
- Unripe bananas
- Cruciferous veggies
- Spicy food
Now, this list is hardly exhaustive. But you can certainly notice some trends.
If you’re experiencing bowel irregularity, or have a diagnosed condition, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fatty meats, spicy food, and fried foods are never recommended. (Although, are they ever?)
It can be difficult to watch what you eat in today’s world. But in 2019, more and more people are turning away from fast food burgers and even trying plant-based meats, like the vegan break-out star of the year, Impossible Foods.