As your gut has more immune cells than the rest of your body, any reactions to what you eat can shut down the complex sequence that leads to proper digestion, absorption and elimination. This, in turn, can lead to constipation, bloating, intermittent diarrhoea and abdominal pain. If you’ve been to your doctor and they’ve found no evidence of inflammation (colitis or Crohn’s ) you’ll probably be given the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). And these common IBS symptoms can often be addressed by resolving a simple check list of factors that should lead you back to 100% digestive health.
• Are you allergic to something you’re eating or drinking ?
• Are you eating something that you cannot digest, but the bacteria inside you can?
• Are you lacking gut bacteria, digestive enzymes, water or fibre?
• Is your ileo-caecal valve not working properly or have you got poor peristalsis?
Let’s start with allergies since this is the most common cause of digestive problems. To test this approach researchers at the University of York devised an ingenious study. They tested 150 IBS sufferers using an IgG allergy test and then gave their doctors either the real results or fake results, and a supposedly ‘allergy-free’ diet to follow for the next three months. Neither the patients nor their doctors knew they were on a fake diet. At the end of the three-month trial there was a significant improvement only in those people on their true allergy-free diet. What’s more, those who stuck to it most strictly had the best results. Level of compliance, on the other hand, didn’t make a difference in those on the sham diets. This study confirms positive results seen in previous studies. Lisa is a case in point. She suffered from abdominal pain after certain meals, constipation and bloating and had gradually been gaining weight and girth. She’d often become uncomfortably bloated after a meal. At a friend’s birthday dinner she became so bloated her trousers split! She also had asthma. Lisa tested allergic to yeast, almonds and cashews, with a mild allergy to milk. Within days of avoiding these foods her symptoms started to vanish. Here’s what she says: “People have noticed ......
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