There is a huge amount of inflammation going on in our guts that can cause a plethora of different symptoms, some quite mild and inconvenient, but others quite dangerous and even life threatening.
You may not feel that you have any problems with your digestive tract but having been working with food intolerances now for over 30 years I do believe that almost every disease has a connection with the gut and digestion. It may be a malfunction of the digestive system and is often an inflammatory overload due to food intolerances and imbalances in the gut flora.
Every disease has multiple causes, never just one trigger, and food intolerances and bowel inflammation is one of the commonest of all contributive factors to a whole host of diseases and mental states.
Food intolerances are like a ‘masked sensitivity’, they build up in your body and then as if the body has had enough, the symptoms appear. Once the food has left the bowel the symptoms subside, waiting for the next build up. With intolerances you can be well one minute, feel bad a few hours later and then back to feeling good a few days after that, so it is not a continuous illness, but comes and goes, often depending on your tolerance level. On the plus side, this is a good thing because if you can feel good on some days you can feel good all the days once you have found your trigger inflammatory foods!
Food sensitivities affect many parts of the body, and every individual is different, some people may get headaches, others asthma, some skin rashes and others irritable bowel. They can trigger any organ; the brain, the nose, the bowel, the skin, the musculoskeletal system, the lungs and even the cardio-vascular system.
Food sensitivities become addictive, so that when you get your symptoms they can often be relieved by the allergenic food. So many of my patients will say that a cup of coffee relieves the headache, when infact it is probably just relieving the withdrawal symptoms. A heroin addict continues to shoot up because it makes them feel better, it relieves the withdrawal symptoms, albeit only temporarily. So coming off the foods that you are sensitive to, may be a nasty experience of withdrawal symptoms, but you will feel so much better in the end!
In more recent studies, it has been found that genetics play a huge part in sensitivities and allergies and that it is really a genetic incompatibility with certain foods. They don’t suit you, the foods cannot be metabolised properly and will inevitably cause inflammation.
We are surrounded by a sea of genes that come from our food and our gut flora, and will have physiological effects on our metabolism. It appears that the genetic material in food survives digestion, circulates in the blood and goes on to change the behaviour of our own genes.
So, food genes are responsible for setting up inflammation in our intestines and they are also absorbed and taken in the blood to other areas of the body, causing inflammation elsewhere.
Food sensitivities are very common, I would say 80% of patients have a problem with one or two foods, and the good thing is that by removing the offending food from your diet it can make a dramatic change. Food may not be the only cause of the problem but by unloading the body it gives it a chance to heal and build the immune system.
Foods play a huge part in inflammation of the intestines but they are not the only things. All sorts of other agents could set up inflammation in the bowel and elsewhere in the body. These include moulds, chemicals, parasites, bacteria, heavy metals, candida and other yeasts.
More to come……