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From the Desk of Dr. Len

What Your Typical Crohn’s, Colitis or Irritable Bowel Patient Won’t Hear

Dr. Len Lopez - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

natural approach for crohns colitis irritable bowel;Yes, diet and stress have an impact on their gut.  Unfortunately, most of these patients aren’t also hearing that there are some nutritional approaches that include diet and supplementation that could be very helpful.

What they should be hearing or what some are wondering is if:

  • Digestive Enzymes are probably essential right now
  • -          Probiotics, and changing the flora (the internal environment) is important
  • -          An Elimination diet should be more than gluten
  • -          Food Combining can improve your digestion
  • -          We’re probably not producing enough hydrochloric acid (HCL)
  • -          You can’t keep eating – on the run, in a hurry, in the car, etc.

  • I’m not going to get into why they don’t hear this info, that’s for another day.  But if your digestive system (small and large intestine) is inflamed – causing Crohn’s, colitis, irritable bowel problems, not to mention, a possible root cause in other autoimmune problems – you need to calm down the irritation.

The best way to reduce that inflammation is to quit irritating it – meaning quit eating the foods that irritate and inflame our tummy.  Yes, you need to cut out gluten and wheat, but you also need to cut out dairy (milk based foods), corn, soy, coffee, MSG, and artificial sweeteners for about 2-3 weeks. Eliminating only one of the possible offending foods, when your tummy is inflamed, may not do very much. 

Think of those 7 offending foods as 7 tacks stuck in the bottom of your foot.  How much better will your foot feel if you remove one tack versus how much better it will feel if you remove all 7 tacks? 

It’s only for about 2-3 weeks, and you can eat all the meat, chicken, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds you can get your hands on.

This allows your intestines to calm down, which helps the healing process.  Now that you’ve quit irritating your gut – let’s help it.  Add some digestive enzymes, probiotics, glutamine, slippery elm, aloe, ginger and maybe some hydrochloric acid (HCL) to improve the breakdown and absorption of our food.

Remember your digestive system is inflamed – so your ability to produce the necessary digestive fluids (enzymes, HCL) are probably hindered. Keep in mind that since time begin, we didn’t eat a plate full of different colored foods.  We typically ate one or two things at a sitting.  So Food Combining is important.

The simple rule(s) of food combining are that some foods combine better with certain foods, because some foods require more acid, or take longer, to digest than others. 

  • -          Proteins need acid to be broken down!  No acid in your tummy – No Protein Breakdown!  That’s simple biochemistry. 
  • -          Carbohydrates don’t require much acid at all.  So when you eat a steak and potato; chicken and rice; shrimp pasta – you’re diluting the acidity in your stomach, which hinders protein breakdown.  This allows undigested protein to rot and putrefy in your tummy, which starts the cascade of bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn, etc.
  • -          Proteins and fats take a few hours to digest
  • -          Complex carbohydrates primarily in grains and veggies digest in about an hour
  • -          Simple carbs, such as fruits digest in 30-45 minutes.
  • -          Eat your proteins with veggies.
  • -          Don’t eat (mix) fruit with protein.

Remember your digestive system is irritated, so keep it simple for a few weeks.  Think of your inflamed tummy, like having a twisted ankle.  You can’t run, but you can walk with a twisted ankle.  So don’t over-stress your digestive system by giving it such a hard combination of foods – eat a meal that is easier to digest.

Do you have to eat like this forever?  No, but you need to repair and calm down your digestive system.  It’s about being pro-active in your health care – instead of reactive! 

Hope that helps, there is more about each of the above topics throughout the website and in my books.

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