Over the last couple of weeks I have posted quite a few articles on the subject of Ingredients in processed foods because of the negative impact they so clearly seem to have on anyone consuming these products. After discussing such a broad topic, I would like to narrow things down this week and focus specifically on the topic of Crohn’s Disease, also known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. Both eating and lifestyle habits have such a strong impact on how we function as human beings, but most of us seem to disregard this fact. Instead of maintaining healthy eating and lifestyle habits we tend to abandon the beneficial options available and often times settle with the easier options…freezer lasagna instead of homemade lasagna, lemonade from a powder mix instead of lemonade from fresh squeezed lemons, take out for dinner (quick option) instead of a homemade meal (option requiring some effort on your part), etc.
In American culture, our average diet considered “normal” by most people is composed almost completely of processed foods. Shocking, I know! Synthetic foods should be thought of as the furthest thing from normal. But, alas, we have reached a low point in the nutrition arena that honestly does not bode well for the future health of those maintaining this type of diet. That has been made very clear when examining the rise in a variety of health problems, most especially Crohn’s Disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Crohn’s Disease is officially defined as a “chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract” (mayoclinic.org). Basically, your body is struggling to correctly digest the foods you are feeding it, the consequence being the development of holes in the intestines. Once these holes have developed, your body becomes susceptible to the leakage of everything traveling through your intestinal tract.
While thinking of the big picture scenario, it can be easy to keep your concept of these “traveling” items in your stomach limited to food products alone. However, realistically, there is quite the diverse collection of travelers present in every human being’s digestive system far beyond food products and including other elements such as digestive fluids, toxins, bacteria (both good and bad), liquids, and many other organisms (some beneficial, others detrimental to overall bodily function). The stomach is always thought of as the center of the body not only because of its biological location, but also because of the numerous activities performed by this single organ on a daily basis. These numerous activities or “tasks” are provided by a multitude of organs, therefore, when a person does develop Crohn’s disease their leaky gut is also allowing elements from other organs (sent to the digestive tract for a specific purpose) to slip through the intestinal lining and circulate randomly throughout the body.
Instead of being properly digested, these foods and/or liquids are forced to find other routes out of the body. This is why people with Crohn’s Disease typically develop a second anal cavity near or right next to their first cavity. This second cavity will serve as a drain for all of the foods or liquids that slip through the existing holes in the intestines.
If you “Google” Crohn’s Disease, it will give you some general info on this condition including the statement that it “can’t be cured, but treatment may help” and it is a “chronic condition, meaning it can last for years or be lifelong.” Basically, this search engine has provided some not so encouraging details about a disease that, when treated holistically, actually can be reversed.
Many of us often jump to the conclusion that antibiotics, medications, and surgeries are needed if any type of recovery will occur because this is what we know and it is what we have grown up with. However, it is actually the opposite of what you really want to be doing, especially for this specific circumstance. Although we are trying to heal the issue at hand, we make the mistake of automatically assuming that we already know best and therefore never make any other effort to further analyze the overall situation. We never take the time to consider what could be causing such a serious condition; we immediately jump to finding the solution.
Which may be very bold of us, but we lose the opportunity to figure out the true cause of the problem. By taking a look at Crohn’s Disease, one will discover that the main issue stems from the entire gut. It is not exclusive to only one region of the gut, such as the digestive system or the intestines. The whole gut is struggling to function, therefore, our greatest concern when battling this disease should be the entire gastrointestinal system. When visiting a doctor of modern medicine, it is much easier for him or her to “fix” the problem by blaming it on only one part of the gut, typically the intestines because this is where the greatest amount of wear and tear from improper gut function is found.
In my opinion, this is the biggest mistake made by modern medicine in relation to this specific condition. These doctors focus on one tiny component of the gut when it is the entire system that needs help. You can’t throw medication at one area of the body and expect it to be miraculously healed from a condition like Crohn’s Disease, just like you can’t fix one flat tire on a bike with two flats and expect it to ride perfectly. You must air up both tires before you can receive this result.
Personally, I do not believe you can throw medication at any part of the body and expect positive results because the overall cause of medication use is typically side effects and long-term damage. The products are made up of synthetic and chemically based ingredients so it really shouldn’t come as much of a shock.
I just want to point out that health issues based in the stomach are more often than not related to poor diet. If your diet is poor, than you’re consuming numerous amounts of processed foods (filled with synthetic ingredients) on a daily basis. Therefore, it makes no sense to try and heal the issue with more of what caused the condition in the first place. Our goal shouldn’t be to increase the existing synthetic material already in the gut; we should want to decrease this harmful material! Synthetically based products are NOT going to do this! They’re only going to worsen the Crohn’s Disease! If anyone is going to achieve this goal of decreasing the existing synthetic material, the stomach first needs to be flushed of it.
I know that the thought of healing the entire gastrointestinal system can be a bit daunting, obviously it is much more complicated than simply airing up two bike tires, but a solution does exist and it is feasible (doable, reasonable, realistic). Not only that, it is logical too! It makes sense to remove the poor ingredients creating the problem if we are ever going to successfully remove the problem, itself.
For an illness that begins in the gut, it is crucial to automatically focus on healing this specific area. The human body craves and, with the right approach, that is exactly what it is going to get. Skip the medication and surgery; God gave us ALL of those intestines for a reason, therefore, cutting them apart should never be an option!
An alternative treatment option is the GAPS Diet, also known as the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet. This diet is amazing! The primary goal of this diet is to heal the gut in its entirety all the while restoring balance, proper nourishment, and healthy total body function. If you do a little research on GAPS, you will find story after story from people who have used it as a treatment method, all receiving positive benefits from the diet.
There is an Intro GAPS Diet, consisting of 6 stages, which some people choose to do while others skip it and go straight to the main GAPS diet, known as the Full GAPS Diet.
Personally, I recommend utilizing the Intro GAPS Diet because it is supposed to be the most healing, especially for the gut. Intro GAPS breaks down your diet by stage and builds upon each as you complete one stage and move on to the next. In Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book, The Gut and Psychology Syndrome, she advises a person spend 3-5 days on every stage of the Intro diet. There are specific foods allowed with each stage, which you can find more details about in Dr. Natasha’s book (mentioned above). The Heal Your Gut Cookbook by Hilary Boynton is also terrific for anyone starting this diet! It was so helpful for me the way it was organized by each stage of the diet and clearly listed the allowed foods. This is also a great way to help your body ease in to starting such an intense diet without shocking your system. In addition to these two sources, I also recommend you check out the following article by Jen Reviews on the GAPS Diet. It contains lots of helpful information including recipes and insights on how to successfully commit to this diet despite the meal restrictions. You can access the article here.
In this cookbook, there are a variety of recipes for every dieter to try including meals, desserts, and beverages. I personally love the ginger tea in Stage 1. Although I’m not a huge fan of ginger’s flavor, I am a fan of its many anti-inflammatory qualities that could be so helpful to people with Crohn’s Disease or even those with a sensitive gut. It is a supplemental tea that not only adds to the diet, but it helps to further progress the healing effects of the GAPS diet, as well. Since caffeine is not allowed during the first couple of stages, this ginger tea would be a fantastic substitute option for your morning or afternoon coffee. The diet is strict and requires complete dedication, but it offers a true-blue method to healing your gut.
Although I do not have Crohn’s Disease, I have two family friends who, in the last three years, have been diagnosed with this condition. Both are too young to be dealing with such an illness, the first being in his mid-twenties and the second being less than ten years of age. Both also happen to be choosing the wrong path (medications and surgery), but do not realize the error in their actions because they are unaware of alternative options like the GAPS diet. The truth is, most people do not realize that they can literally heal their intestines with their diet and, therefore, reverse their painful condition.
If a second option is available to those suffering from Crohn’s disease, they should know about it. It is because of this reason that I have chosen to write on this particular subject. At the very least, I want people to know that the GAPS diet exists and can heal many intestinal issues beyond Crohn’s disease. I am not being paid to write this article, I truly believe in this diet and the nutritional healing it can provide to whomever needs it.
Diet and lifestyle play a huge role in your chances of developing Crohn’s Disease and the likelihood of you beating this disease if you already suffer from it. Holistic medicine triumphs once again by keeping its focus on healing the root of the problem at hand rather than the symptoms. Medication and treatments merely serve as a Band-Aid for the true problem. For those of you seeking an actual solution for your problem(s), sometimes it is best to go back to the basics when figuring out how to reach a healthy state. Many times, fixing the gut is the foremost approach to achieving this goal.
Reminder: As always, please remember that I am not a healthcare provider, therefore any changes you wish to make to your diet or lifestyle based upon the info you read here on Seize the Day Blog should first be approved by your doctor.
The information posted on Seize the Day Blog, including but not limited to, articles, images, recipes, text and other material are shared for informational purposes only. None of the writings should be looked upon as advice meant to replace that of an actual medical professional. If you suspect you have a serious medical condition you should seek help from a healthcare professional immediately. Please be aware that the author of this website is posting information simply to inform NOT to recommend others about health-related topics. Before following any information (i.e. undertaking a new healthcare or diet routine) found here on Seize the Day Blog, you should always consult a medical professional first. Please be sure to never disregard any medicinal advice because of something you have read on this website.
Brain Maker by Dr. David Perlmutter – https://www.amazon.com/Brain-Maker-Power-Microbes-Protect/dp/0316380105
The Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – https://www.amazon.com/Gut-Psychology-Syndrome-Depression-Schizophrenia/dp/0954852001