Slide 7 of 15
In terms of eating for optimal intestinal health, first we have to learn to avoid direct abdominal symptomatology. What is abdominal symptomatology? It's reflux, it's burning anywhere in the upper abdomen/lower chest area, it's nausea, it's dyspepsia (what we would probably call indigestion) when the food hits your stomach and it doesn't make you feel too good. Be aware of how food hits your stomach. You swallow it, then how do you feel in the first 15 to 20 minutes? Next, how do you feel in 1 to 2 hours after eating? And then, how do you feel in 8 to 24 hours after eating it? This could also be stated as: How do you feel when the food's in your stomach? How do you feel when the food's in your small intestine (which takes about 2 to 4 hours to get through)? How do you feel when the food's in your colon (which is 8 to 24 or even 48 hours, and in constipated people, longer)?
What's going on? These are different organs, they react differently with a different physiology. The thing you really want to learn is to start to become a little more instinctual. We are the only animals in the whole animal kingdom that choose our foods and eat hundreds and thousands of different things. Everything else instinctively knows what its natural food is and eats pretty much just that. If you are having trouble with food, you've got to get back to that a little bit. Hence, you have to learn what foods make you and your gut feel the best.
Although we have developed some pretty good food sensitivity testing methods, there is no test better than what you actually experience, and what you can determine. If the cutoff for a normal antibody level on a food sensitivity test is 10 and you have a 9, what does that mean? I know that 9 is not zero, but how that ultimately reacts is really how you are affected. There may not be any effect or there may be.
Now, this is a real important point. That 8 to 24 hours I mentioned, when food gets into your colon, it will lead to the growth of certain types of bacteria and other microorganisms that grow in the colon. Some bacterial populations that grow can be very stimulating to the immune system, while others less so. From research we know that the type of bacteria that grow and cause inflammation is mostly of a particular variety called Bacteroides ("bad bacteria") that can be suppressed with the growth of another type of bacteria called Lactobacillus ("good bacteria"). You can get supplements or take a pill of Lactobacillus. It is also what is added to make milk ferment to form yogurt. Since I would rather immune sensitive people (and maybe anyone) avoid dairy proteins, it is Lactobacillus as a supplement that I really recommend. There is one in particular I happen to like because of how it was developed and how it has been researched for many years. It is called Culturelle. I have nothing to do with this supplement other than I think it is a good product and I take it personally . You can buy it by mail order: 1-888-828-4242 or www.culturelle.com on line.
You must keep your intestinal contents moving out of your body. The longer stool stays in the body, the longer and more chance it has to cause problems. Those problems being constipation and pain and discomfort, immune reactions, growth of the wrong bacteria, growth of too many bacteria, and cancer. Colon cancer is the second most common cancer. Why is that? Because there are chemicals inherent to the colonic contents that are carcinogenic. The longer a carcinogen is exposed to the cells, the greater the chance of it forming a cancer. Not to mention how good you can make yourself feel from the immune standpoint by keeping the colonic contents, the bacteria, and all their metabolic by-products, continuously moving out of the body.
We found in our colitis research many years ago that when people had chronic diarrhea from colitis, and then had a colonoscopy before which they had to wash out the colon completely with laxatives, in about 5% it cured their colitis just from the washout, just from the procedure. I therefore started including an intestinal lavage in my treatment studies. I figured everybody ought to do that at the beginning. I have been experimenting with better methods, maybe more natural methods, and with better agents to help arthritis and fibromyalgia. We know that rodents do not get colitis, and do not get any inflammatory bowel disease if they have no bacteria in their gut. We don't really know that this is true in humans (since the experiments were with animals), but in animals raised in germ-free conditions (what we would call "a bubble"), they never get colitis, they never get damage. So, the less bacteria one has in their colon, especially the less Bacteroides, the better.
Keeping the colonic contents moving and healthy also improves the nature and amounts of colonic gases that are generated. The more toxic colonic gases are generated mostly from sulfur-containing amino acids. That may be another way that lowering protein in your diet keeps from generating immune reactions. There is a researcher in Minneapolis who has made a career of studying intestinal gas. We worked together on a project from the hypothesis that colitis may be due to the generation of toxic sulfur gases. If we for one minute breathed the gases that our colon cells are exposed to, we'd be dead. They are extremely toxic sulfur-containing gases such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, also known as "rotten egg" or "egg gas". You all know it. It seems that people with colitis don't seem to metabolize these type of gases properly and this may contribute to the inflammation involved with colitis.
How do you keep your intestinal contents moving? Mostly by eating healthy fiber. It's not grain fiber. It's got to be fresh fruits and vegetables, and to some extent raw nuts. Why not water? Because when you drink water, it doesn't get to your colon. It gets absorbed right away. Although if you are dehydrated, your colon will absorb more water, so additional water above a normal intake doesn't help, but avoiding being dehydrated does.
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