Where our digestion goes, our life goes. Time after time, patients show up at the office with digestive complaints ranging from inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to acid reflux.
Many of these patients have been conditioned to believe that they have a disease condition that warrants the use of immune-suppressing or acid-blocking drugs and that diet and lifestyle changes won’t help.
Natural Remedies for IBS
Let’s think about this another way. How many times have you noticed bowel changes with travel, eating out, or after a week of sitting at a desk all day or during final exam week?
If you’re even mildly in tune with your body, you’ll notice changes in your digestion such as gas, bloating, loss of appetite, ravenous appetite, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea with normal life interruptions.
The opposite is true as well, when you start eating real whole foods and forgo processed foods, this change can impact your digestive system for the positive.
A recent study revealed that consumption of commercially-produced, pre-packaged foods like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, cold cereal, soda, chips, ice cream, biscuits, pudding, energy bars, substantially increased one’s risk of Crohn’s disease.
This was a systemic review and meta-analysis of over 1 million people. I hope this isn’t shocking to us anymore, but the more ultra processed food consumed (or said another way, the more inflammation consumed) the greater one’s risk of inflammatory bowel disease.
Find out what processed foods are the worst offenders in this post, 5 Non-Food Items to Avoid.
Relationship Between Food and Digestion
I recently read an article from the University of Cincinnati Medical School and one of the patients was quoted saying, “I never thought I would have a doctor tell me not to eat fruits and vegetables.” Talk about sad.
My expectation is that every time I go to the doctor or dentist, I am going to be encouraged with great veracity to consume meat, fruit and vegetables.
A multitude of studies have researched the relationship between food and digestion and these are the conclusions:
- Coincident with the trend of ultra processed food consumption is an increase in cases of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.
- High consumption of ultra-processed foods in men and women was associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- High consumption of ultra-processed foods associated with functional diarrhea, function constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Regular ultra-processed food consumption upsets balance of flora in digestive tract setting stage for Crohn’s disease.
- Ultra processed food consumption creates bacterial balance associated with increased risk of obesity and diabetes in parents and their offspring.
Please recognize that dependence on sterile, ultra convenient, easily accessible, beautifully packaged food items is a recipe for digestive disease and dysfunction.
And like I mentioned out of the gate, where our digestion goes, our life goes.