Each and every one of us might wake up one day with a health condition. From a simple cold to autoimmune diseases to even cancer. All are becoming more and more common.
Being at the mercy of any health condition can leave one hopeless. I believe finite diagnoses such as chronic and incurable are often incomplete. We don’t hear about it too often but there are many people around the globe that were and are able to cure themselves of incurable diseases independently and in a natural way. I know this to be true from my own personal life. I cured myself of Ulcerative Colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
Crohn’s, Colitis what does it really mean? Here is a basic guide.
What you know so far is that Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. What causes these conditions currently remains labeled as “unknown”. Furthermore, these conditions are considered incurable. I know for a fact that this is not true. It is time to call bullshit on the concept of incurable.
What happened to the body that suddenly it had developed a chronic illness? THE GENETICS MYTH
Is it Genetics? For years I considered myself unlucky. Among all of my close friends, I was the only one that was chronically ill. Were my parents to blame? Is there a pool of lucky genes that I missed on?
In our modern world genetics is a fashionable concept. Every health problem in the world is blamed on genetics. However, let’s consider something. we constantly pollute the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe and when we get ill we associate it with genetics. We deplete our soils of minerals and other nutrients and replace them with pesticides and other chemicals. We grow our foods in these soils we eat it and get sick and blame it on genetics. We damage our immune system with antibiotics and other medications and blame it on genetics. We constantly consume processed food that has no nourishing values for the body, it is loaded with chemicals and is detrimental to our health. Then we get ill and of course, we blame it on genetics. We intoxicate ourselves with alcohol, tobacco and drugs and what happens next? we get ill and we blame it on our favorite “villain” which is genetics.
If we look at the epidemic of bowel diseases we have today, of course, the only conclusion is “we must all have pretty bad genetics”. However humankind has survived for thousands of years with very little recollection of these types of illnesses. Yet something as changed in the last 100 years.
THE DIGESTIVE TRACK
In order to understand how all those dietary and lifestyle habits have a direct effect on our gut, we need to have a basic understanding of our digestive tract.
Your gut is its own ecosystem, providing a home to 100 trillion microorganisms, including 400 different species of bacteria. These incredible microbes in your gut play a crucial role in digestion, immunity, metabolism, and mental health. Basically they are you. When they are strong and happy you are strong and happy. Sixty to eighty percent of your immune system is located in your gut and ninety percent of your neurotransmitters — the chemical messengers that help regulate mood — are produced in your gut. How incredible is that? Who knew the gut had such a crucial role not only in our digestion but also in our mental and physical state.
Just for you to understand how huge this is, a healthy adult, on average carries between 3–4 pounds of bacteria in the gut.
In fact, the gut is often nicknamed the second brain because of how significantly it can affect your mood and mental state. Maintaining the proper balance of bacteria and other microorganisms in your gut. therefor is fundamental, not just to your digestion, but to your overall health and wellbeing.
Once this ecosystem is compromised for any reason and an imbalance of bacteria occurs in the gut, a reaction in our body follows which translates into compromised immune system activity, increased inflammation, and mental unbalance.
What is causing this unbalance? Well, a few things. Let’s start with this surprising factor, known as the overuse of medications.
We have all taken antibiotics in our lives. It is one of the most commonly prescribed medication in our modern world.
Antibiotics work by blocking vital processes in bacteria that either kill the bacteria or stop them from multiplying. Unfortunately, antibiotics cannot differentiate between the “bad” bacteria that may be causing a bacterial infection and the “good” bacteria that is actually necessary in your gut. Instead, antibiotics act like a tsunami, destroying everything in their path. When antibiotics kill the bacteria that belong in your gut, it disrupts the delicate ecosystem, creating a state of dysbiosis — or bacterial imbalance. When the number of good bacteria in your gut falls, it leaves you susceptible to the overgrowth of other harmful organisms.
Most drugs, particularly when prescribed for long periods of time have a detrimental effect on the gut flora, meaning our overall health and state of being. Pain killers or analgesics (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) are often prescribed for long periods of time to people with chronic pain. These drugs also stimulate the growth of forms of bad bacteria in the gut, which in turn increase the chance for disease.
Steroid drugs like Prednisone, Betamethasone, etc., damage the gut flora as well. In addition, they have a strong immunosuppressant ability, which makes the body vulnerable to all sorts of infections. For example, it is known that a course of steroids is almost invariably associated with fungal overgrowth in the body.
Contraceptive pills aka birth control pills being a popular choice of contraception for women in recent decades the average amount of young women taking birth control pills has risen dramatically making it more likely that by the time these women are ready to give birth, they have been using contraceptive drugs for such a long time that their gut flora is likely to be abnormal by then. If the mother has an abnormal gut flora she will pass it to her baby. A human baby is born with a sterile gut and acquires most of his gut flora from his mother. Having compromised gut flora at birth predisposes the child to many complications such as eczema, asthma, allergies, etc.
Many other drugs, including sleeping pills “heartburn” pills, neuroleptic, cholinolytic drugs, cytotoxic drugs etc. causes different damages to the gut flora, digestive system, and immune system. Drug-induced gut dysbiosis is usually the most severe and the most resistant to treatment. In the last 50 years, we have seen a tremendous increase in drug use by the western population. It has become a normal part of life to take some sort of prescription or over the counter drug. Yet not many of us think about what these drugs are doing to our bodies let alone our precious gut flora.
Here’s a very interesting excerpt from ‘Death by Medicine’, an incredible paper written by 6 doctors covering the hazardous nature of medications.
“A group of researchers meticulously reviewed the statistical evidence and their findings are absolutely shocking. These researchers have authored a paper titled “Death by Medicine” that presents compelling evidence that today’s system frequently causes more harm than good. This fully referenced report shows the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year. The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections is 20 million per year. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million per year. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million per year. The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US.” (include source).
I am aware of course that antibiotics and some medications are crucial and have proved to instrumental in helping people fight disease, however the overconsumption and over-reliance of modern society and medical practitioners on the use of antibiotics and medication has caused a lot of harm instead of a lot of good in many many cases.
Which leads us to the second most influential cause of damaging the gut.
Just like everybody else I thought my day to day eating habits were perfectly normal and healthy. To name some a few things I would eat on a day to day basis. I had delicious white bread, tasty morning cereal bowls with milk, amazing snacks, eggs, fruits and vegetables, lots of soda, and different fast foods. I was absolutely unaware that all these foods might have an adverse effect on my health. I imagined that if something was sold in a supermarket or a restaurant it meant that I can safely consume it. I also believed that if anything was wrong with my health it surely had nothing to do with what I had to eat.
However, once I started my research with the purpose of finding a way to heal my gut I soon discovered that the truth was a lot different than what I had previously known.
HOW WE CHANGED OUR EATING HABITS
About a hundred years ago our food consumption has started to change. From eating natural food that grew in our gardens or back yard, we moved to unnatural processed foods. On average our diet became heavily dependent on packaged foods that are full of preservatives which are used to extend their shelf life. We also made sugar, processed wheat, and other imitation foods our main source of “nutrition”.
Here is an interesting fact I discovered. processed food such as cereal, white bread, pastries, and many other examples, is the number one cause of autoimmune and IBD diseases. 1 in every 5 people in America suffers from an Autoimmune disease and the current prediction is that by 2050 1 in every 3 people in America will have diabetes.
I am fully aware It’s not easy maintaining a healthy diet in our modern world. Life can be busy and the fastest and easiest solution usually wins. Fast-food chains and restaurants are everywhere, the isles of the supermarket are filled with snacks and quick meals that look and taste good. Real food has been pushed to the sides. There was no pun intended here however it is true that real food has been pushed to the sides in the majority of supermarkets all across the country.
What we eat has a direct effect on the composition of the gut flora. A modern diet of convenience rather than nutrition, full of processed foods, has a serious detrimental effect on the gut flora. Sugary foods and processed carbohydrates and processed meats increase and promote the numbers of different fungi, worms, and parasites, triggering inflammation, and weakening the immune system. Furthermore, A diet high in fiber from grains has a profound negative effect on the gut flora, gut health, and general body metabolism, predisposing us to IBS, bowel cancer, nutritional deficiencies, and many other problems as well.
The reason IBD is considered chronic is due to the constant damage we do to our body with the wrong nutrition and long-lasting intake of medications. If you had an open wound on your hand that was constantly being scraped by you, every time it’s about to heal, would you call it a chronic wound?
Now that we know the causes it is time to focus on getting rid of all symptoms and to start healing our body.
My next article will focus on the first step on how to heal the gut.