Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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What We Can Do About Digestive Disorders

Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn are common symptoms of a digestive tract in turmoil. Their convenient medical terms and accepted labels—irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis—reveal nothing about the five major causes of digestive problems: food sensitivities, bad bacteria and yeast, poor nutrition, prescription medications and toxicity, or the fact that we can reverse and heal these problems.

What We Can Do: We can increase the nutritional density of the food we eat. By eating no empty calories, the automatic reduction in carbohydrate intake addresses poor nutrition. Organic foods lower toxicity. Improving nutritional intake can eventually eliminate the need for medication.

Dairy products, wheat and eggs are foods that cause the most problems. Eliminate these for two weeks. Reintroduce them one at a time to get important clues about food allergies and sensitivities. Particularly exclude foods such as peanut butter or chocolate, which we might crave every day. While it is challenging, the effort yields the answer to what is irritating the body. Then we can begin the search for new and different, tasty and nutritious, healing foods that will lead us in the direction of disease prevention and optimal health.

The human “biome” is the term scientists use to describe the organisms that live in and on our bodies. Trillions live in our gut, either allowing smooth digestion and helping us stay healthy or causing havoc.

Connections are consistently made in the laboratory between bacterial and fungal toxins as the major cause of arthritis, headaches, spinal stenosis, depression and heart disease. Anyone that has been taking multiple courses of antibiotics, eating high-carb foods or been treated with steroids or antacid drugs for years is a perfect host for bad bacteria.

What We Can Do: Take probiotic supplements to increase the numbers of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Eat lots of vegetables and fruit for fiber that feeds good bacteria. Do not take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. Dig in the garden. A healthy population of soil bacteria is in perfect symbiosis with the human biome because the soil is its home.

Use common sense. Eat better food, drink clean water, move the body in energizing ways, get plenty of rest, reduce stress levels and plan to include fun. Life is too short to waste any of it in a hospital bed.

Dr. Carol Roberts is the author of Good Medicine: A Return to Common Sense. She practices functional/holisitc medicine at the Perlmutter Health Center, 800 Goodlette Rd., N., Ste. 270, Naples. For more information or to register for her July 24 presentation at 6:30 p.m. on digestive disorders, call 239-649-7400. Donations will be given to the Humane Society of Collier County.

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